CLERUS DOMINI: OR, A DISCOURSE OF THE DIVINE INSTITUTION, Necessity, Sacredness, and Separation OF THE Office Ministerial.


WRITTEN By the special Command of King Charles the First.

By IER. TAYLOR, Chaplain in Ordinary to King Charles the First, and late Lord Bishop of Down and Connor.

LONDON, Printed for R. Royston, Bookseller to the King's most Ex­cellent Majesty. 1672.

THE Divine Institution and Necessity OF THE OFFICE MINISTERIAL.


WHen several Nations and differing Religions have with­out any famous mutual intercourse agreed upon some common rites and forms of Religion; because one common effect cannot descend from chance, it is certain they come to them by reason, or tradition from their common Parents, or by imitation; something that hath a common influence. If Reason be the principle, then it is more regular and lasting, and admits of no other variety, than as some men grow unreasonable, or that the reason ceases. If Tradition be 1 the fountain, then it is not only universal, and increases as the world is peopled, but remains also so long as we retain reverence to our Parents, or that we do not think our selves wiser than our forefathers. But these two have produced Customs and Laws of the highest obligation: for whatsoever we commonly call the Law of Nature, it is either a custom of all the world, derived from Noah or Adam; or else it is therefore done, because natural reason teaches us to do it in the order to the preservation of our selves and the publick.

But imitation of the customs of a wise Nation, is something less, and yet it hath produced great consent in external rites and offices of Reli­gion. 2 And since there is in Ceremonies so great indifferency, there being no antecedent Law to determine their practice, nothing in their nature to make them originally necessary, they grow into a Custom or a Law, ac­cording as they are capable. For if a wise Prince, or Governour, or a Nation, or a famous family, hath chosen rites of common Religion, such as were consonant to the Analogy of his duty, expressive of his sence, decent in the expression, grave in the form, or full of ornament in their representment; such a thing is capable of no greater reason, and needs no greater authority, but hath been, and may reasonably enough be imi­tated upon the reputation of their wisdom, and disinterested choice, [Page 2] who being known wise persons, or nations, took them first into their religious offices.

Thus the Jews and the Gentiles used Valer. Max­im. l. 1. c. 1. white garments in their holy 3 offices, and the Christians thought it reasonable enough from so united example to do so too. Example was reason great enough for that. The Dion. hist. l. 54. Gentile-Priests were forbid to touch a dead body, to A. G [...]ll. l. 10 c. 15. eat leavened bread, to Ibid. mingle with secular imployments during their attendance in holy offices; these they took up from the pattern of the Jews, and professed it reasonable to imitate a wise people in the rituals of their Religion. The Gentile-Priests used Ring and Staffe and Mitre (saith Philostratus:) the Primitive Bishops did so too; and in the high­est Lib. 3. detestation of their follies thought they might wisely enough imitate their innocent customs and Priestly ornaments, and hoped they might better reconcile their minds to the Christian Religion by compliance in ceremonials, than exasperate them by rejecting their ancient and inno­cent Ceremonies: for so the Apostles invited and inticed Judaism into Christianity.

And Tertullian complains of the Devils craft, who by imitating the Christian rites reconciled mens minds with that compliance to a more charitable opinion of the Gentile superstition. ‘The Devil intending to draw the professors of truth to his own portion, or to preserve his own in De praescript. c. 40. Hujus sunt partes inver­tendi verita­tem, qui ipsas quoque res sa­cramen [...]crum divin [...]rum in idclorum my­steriis aemula­tur. Tingit & ipse quosdam, [...]ique creden­tes & fideles su­os: expiatio­nem delictorum de la [...]acro re-promittit, & sic ad [...] initiat Mithrae: signat illic in frontibus milites suos, celebrat & panis oblationem, & imaginem resurrectionis inducit, & subgladio redimit corouam. Quid, quod & summum Pontificem in unis nuptiis statuit? habet & virginos, bab [...] & continentes. Qui ergo ipsas res de quibus sacramenta Christi administrantur tam aemulanter af­fectavit exprimere in negotiss idololatria, utique & idem & eodem ingenio gestiit, & potuit instrumenta quoque divinarum rerum & sanctorum Christianorum sensum de sensibus, verba de verbis, parabolas de parabolis, profana & amulae fidei attem­perare. the same fetters he first put upon them, imitates the rites of our Religion, adopting them into his superstition. He baptizes some of his disciples, and when he initiates them to the worship of Mithra, promises them par­don of sins, by that rite; he signs his soldiers in their foreheads, he repre­sents the oblation of bread, and introduces representments of the resurrecti­on, and laboriously gets Martyrs to his cause. His Priests marry but once; he hath his virgins, and his abstemious and continent followers: that what Christians love and the world commends in them, being adopted into the rituals of Idolatry, may allure some with the beauty and fair imagery, and abuse others with colour and phantastick faces.’

And thus also all wise men that intended to perswade others to their 4 religion, did it by retaining as much as they innocently could of the other, that the change might not be too violent, and the persons be more en­deared by common rites and the relation and charity of likeness and imi­tation. Thus did the Church and the Synagogue; thus did the Gentiles both to the Jews and to the Christians; and all wise men did so.

Censor. de die [...] l. c. 1. The Gentiles offered first-fruits to their gods, and their tithes to Hercules, Sueton. in Vespas. L [...]. decad. 1. lib. 10. kept vigils and anniversaries, forbad marriages without the 5 consent of Parents, and clandestine contracts; these were observed with some variety according as the people were civil or learned; and accord­ing to the degree of the tradition, or as the thing was reasonable, so these customs were more or less universal.

But when all wise people, nay when absolutely all the world have con­sented upon a Rite, it cannot derive from a fountain lower than the cur­rent, 6 but it must either be a Command which God hath given to all the world: (and so Socrates in Xenophon, Quod ab omnibus gentibus observa­tum est, Lib. 4. de fa­ctis & dict. Socr. id non nisi à Deo sancitum esse dicendum est) or a tradition, or a [Page 3] law descending from our common parents, or a reason derived from the nature of things; there cannot in the world be any thing great enough to take away such a rite, except an express divine commandment: and a man by the same reason may marry his nearest relative, as he may deny to worship God by the recitation of his praises and excellencies; be­cause reason and a very common tradition have made almost all the world consent in these two things, that we must abstain from the mixtures of our nearest kindred, and that we must worship God by recounting and declaring excellent things concerning him.

I have instanced in two things in which I am sure to find the fewest adversaries, (I said, the fewest; for there are some men which have lost 7 all humanity:) but these two great Instances are not attested with so uni­versal a tradition and practice of the world, as this that is now in question. For in some nations they have married their sisters, so did the Magi among the Persians: [...], says Tatianus in Clemens Alexandrinus, and Bardisanes Syrus in Euse­bius. And the Greeks worshipped Hercules by railing, and Mercury by Stromat. 3. Lib. 4. praepar. Evangel. throwing stones at him. But there was never any people but had their Priests and Presidents of religious rites, and kept holy things within a mure, that the people might not approach to handle the mysteries: and therefore besides that it is a recession from the customs of mankind, and charges us with the dis-respect of all the world (which is an incurious­ness next to infinite) it is also a doing against that which all the reason of all the wise men of the world have chosen antecedently, or ex pòst facto, and he must have a strange understanding, who is not perswaded by that which hath determined all the world.

For religion cannot be at all in communities of men without some to guide, to minister, to preserve and to prescribe the offices and ministe­ries: what can profane holy things but that which makes them common? and what can make them common more than when common persons handle them, when there is no distinction of Persons in their ministrati­on? For, although places are good accessories to religion, yet in all re­ligions they were so accidental to it, that a sacrifice might hallow the place, but the place (unless it were naturally impure) could not dese­crate the sacrifice: and therefore Iacob worshipped upon a stone, offered upon a turf; and the Ark rested in Obed-Edom's house, and was holy in Dagon's Temple; and hills and groves, fields and orchards, according to the several customs of the Nations, were the places of address: But a common person ministring, was so near a circumstance, and was so ming­led with the action, that since that material part and exterior actions of Religion could be acted and personated by any man, there was scarce any thing left to make it religious, but the attrectation of the rites by a holy person; A Holy place is something, a separate time is something, a prescript form of words is more, and separate and solemn actions are more yet; but all these are made common by a common person, and therefore without a distinction of persons have not a natural and reasonable distin­ction of solemnity and exterior religion.

And indeed it were a great disreputation to religion, that all great and 8 publick things, and every artifice or profitable science should in all the so­cieties of men be distinguished by professors, artists, and proper ministers; and only religion should lie in common, apt to be bruised by the hard hand of mechanicks, and sullied by the ruder touch of undiscerning and undistinguished persons; for although the light of it shines to all, and so far every mans interest is concerned in religion, yet it were not [Page 4] handsome that every man should take the taper in his hand; and religion is no more to be handled by all men, than the laws are to be dispensed by all, by whom they are to be obeyed; though both in religion and the laws, all men have a common interest.

For since all means must have some equality or proportion towards 9 their end, that they may of their own being or by institution be symbo­lical, it is but reasonable that by elevated and sublimed instruments we should be promoted towards an end supernatural and divine; now be­sides, that of all the instruments of distinction, the Person is the most principal and apt for the honour of Religion (and to make our Religion honourable is part of the Religion it self) it is also apt for the uses of it, such as are, preserving the rights, ordering, decent ministration, dispen­sing the laws of Religion, judging causes, ceremonies and accidents; and he that appoints not offices to minister his Religion, cares not how it is performed; and he that cares so little, will find a great contempt pass up­on it, and a cheapness meaner than of the meanest civil offices; and he that is content with that, cares not how little honour God receives, when he presents to him a cheap, a common, and a dishonourable Religion.

But the very natural design of Religion forces us to a distinction of 10 persons, in order to the ministration; for besides that every man is not fit to approach to God with all his sordes, and adherent indispositions; an assignment in reason must be made of certain persons, whose calling must be holy, and their persons taught to be holy, by such a solemn and religious assignment; that those persons being made higher than the people by their Calling and Religion, and yet our brethren in Nature, may be intermedial between God and the people, and present to God the peoples needs, and be instrumental to the reconveying Gods blessing up­on those whose fiduciaries they are. This last depends upon Gods own act and designation, and therefore must afterwards be proved by testimonies of his own, that he hath accepted such persons to such purposes; but the former part we our selves are taught by natural reason, by the rules of proportion, by the honour we owe unto Religion, by the hopes of our own advantages, and by the distance between God and us towards which we should thrust up persons as high as they are capable. And that all the world hath done prudently in this, we are confirmed by Gods own act, who knowing it was most agreeable, not only to the constitu­tion of Religion, and of our addresses to God, but to our meer necessi­ties also, did in his glorious wisdom send his Son, and made him apt to become a mediator between himself and us, by cloathing him with our nature, and decking him with great participation of his own excel­lencies, that He might do our work, the work of his own humane nature, and by his great sanctity and wisdom approach near to Gods mercy-seat, whither our imperfections and sins could not have near ac­cess.

And this consideration is not only good Reason but true Divinity, 11 and was a consideration in the Greek Church, and affixed to the head of a prayer as the reason of their addresses to God in designing ministers in Religion. O Lord God, who [...]. In ordinat. Episc. [...], &c. because mans nature cannot of it self approach to thy glorious Deity, hast appointed Masters and Teachers of the same passions with our selves, whom thou hast placed in thy throne, viz. in the ministery of the kingdom, to bring sacrifices and oblations in behalf of thy people, &c. And indeed if the greatness of an imployment separates persons [Page 5] from the vulgus, either we must think the immediate offices of Religion and the entercourse with God to be the meanest of imployments, or the persons so officiating to receive their estimate according to the excel­lency of their offices.

And thus it was amongst the Jews and Gentiles before Christ's time, 12 amongst whom they not only separated persons for the service of their gods respectively, but chose the best of men and the Princes of the people to officiate in their mysteries, and adorned them with the greatest honours and special immunities. Among the Jews, the Priesthood was so honourable, that although the expectation which each Tribe had of the Messias was reason enough to make them observe the law of distinct marriages, yet it was permitted to the Tribe of Levi to marry with the Kingly Tribe of Iudah, that they also might have the honour and portion of the Messias's most glorious generation; and for the Priesthood of Aaron it was [...], saith Philo, a Celestial ho­nour, not an earthly, a heavenly possession, and it grew so high and was so naturalized into that Nation to honour their Priests and mystick persons, that they made it the pretence of their Wars and mutinies against their Conquerors. Honor sacerdotii firmamentum potentiae assumebatur, saith Tacitus, speaking of their wars against Antiochus; The honour of their Priesthood was the strength of their cause, and the pretence of their arms; and all the greatest honour they could do to their Priesthood they fairly derived from a Divine precept, that the Prince, and the People, and the Elders, and the Synagogue, should go in and out, that is, should com­mence and finish their greatest and most solemn actions at the voice and command of the Priest; And therefore King Agrippa did himself honour in his Epistle to Caius Caesar: [...]. I had Kings that were my ancestors, and some of them were High Priests, which dignity they esteemed higher than their Royal purple, believing that Priesthood to be greater than the King­dom, as God is greater than men.

And this great estimate of the Ministers of their Religion derived it 13 self from the Jews unto their enemies the Philistines, that dwelt upon their skirts; insomuch that in the hill of God where there was a garison of the Philistines, there was also a colledge of the Prophets newly institu­ted 1 Sam. 10. 5. & 10. Acts 3. 24. by Samuel (from whom because he was their founder S. Peter rec­koned the ordinary descent from Samuel) unharmed and undisturbed, though they were enemies to the Nation; and when David fled from Saul, he came to Naioth where the prophets dwelt, and thought to take sanctuary there, knowing it was a priviledged place; there it was 1 Sam. 19. 18. where Sauls messengers, and Saul himself turned Prophets, that they might estimate the place and preserve its priviledge, himself becoming one of their society.

For this was observed amongst all Nations, that besides the band 14 of humanity forbidding souldiers to touch unarmed peopled, as by all Religions and all Nations Priests ever were, the very sacredness of their persons should exempt them from violence, and the chances or in­solencies of war. Thus the Cretians did to their Priests and to the [...], the persons who were appointed for burial of the dead, the same with [...], or fossarii in the Primitive Church, no souldiers durst touch them; they had the priviledge of Religion, the immunity of Priests, Hos quae necabant non erant purae manus; and therefore it grew [Page 6] up into a proverb, when they intended to express a most destructive and unnatural war, [...], not so much as the Priests that carried fire before the Army did escape; the same with that in Homer in the case of messengers,

Iliad. [...]. vide 1. li. Eustath.

Not so much as a messenger returned into the City: These were sacred and therefore exempt persons; and so were the Elei among the Grecians, as being sacred to Iupiter, safe from the hostility of a professed enemy; the same which was observed amongst the Romans,

Quis homo est tantâ confidentiâ,
Qui sacerdotem audeat violare!
At magno cum malo suo fecit Herculé.
Pla [...]tus in Ruden [...].

But this is but one instance of advantage.

The Gentiles having once separated their Priests, and affixed them to 15 the ministeries of religion, thought nothing great enough either to ex­press the dignity of their imployment, or good enough to do honour to their persons, and it is largely discoursed of by Cicero, in the case of the Roman Augures, Maximum autem & praestantissimum in Rep. jus est Cicero lib. 2. de leg. Augurum, cum est authoritati conjunctum; neque verò hoc quia sum ipse Augur ita sentio, sed quia sic existimare nos necesse est. Quid enim majus est, si de jure quaerimus, quàm posse à summis imperiis & summis potestati­bus comitia tollere? concilia vel instituta dimittere, vel habita rescindere? Quid magnificentius quàm posse decernere, ut migistratu se abdicent consu­les? quid religiosius quàm cum populo, cum plebe agendi jus aut dare aut non dare? It was a vast power these men had, to be in proportion to their greatest honour: they had power of bidding and dissolving publick meetings, of indicting solemnities of religion; just as the Christian Bi­shops had in the beginning of Christianity; they commanded publick fasts, at their indiction only they were celebrated; Benè autem quòd & Episcopi universae plebi mandare jejunia assolent; non dico industriâ stipium Tertul. adv. Psychicos c. 13. Ibid. conferendarum, ut vestrae capturae est, sed interdum, & aliquâ sollicitudi­nis Ecclesiasticae causâ. The Bishops also called publick conventions Ecclesiastical. Agantur praecepta per Graecias illas certis in locis Concilia ex universis Ecclesiis, per quae & altiora quaeque in commune tractantur, & ipsa repraesentatio totius nominis Christiani magnâ veneratione celebratur. It was so in all Religions; the Antistites, the presidents of rites, and guides of Consciences had great immissions and influences into the Re­publick, and Communities of men, and they verified the saying of Ta­citus, Deum munere summum pontificem, etiam summum hominem esse, Lib. 3. Annal. non aemulatione, non odio, aut privatis affectionibus obnoxium. The chief Priest was ever the chief man, and free from the envies, and scorns and troubles of popular peevishness and contumacy; and that I may use the expression of Tacitus, Utque glisceret dignatio sacerdotum, (for all the great traverses of the Republick were in their disposing) atque ipsis promptior animus foret ad capessendas ceremonias, the very lower instituti­ons of their Religion were set up with the marks of special laws and pri­viledges; insomuch that the seat of the Empress in the Theatre was among the Vestal Virgins. Lib. [...]. Annal.

[Page 7] But the highest had all that could be heaped upon them, till their ho­nours 16 were as sublimed as their functions. Strab. Ge [...]g. lib. 17. Amongst the Ethiopians the Priests gave laws to their Princes, and they used their power some­times to the ruine of their Kings, till they were justly removed; Aelian. var. hist. l. 14. c. 34. Ioseph. Antiq. l. 14. c. 16. Caesar. com. de bello Gal. l. 6. Among the Egyptians the Priests were their Judges; so they were in Athens, for the Areopagites were Priests; and the Druids among the Gauls were Judges of murder, of titles of land, of bounds and inheritan­ces, magno apud eos sunt honore, nam ferè de omnibus controversiis publicis privatisque constituunt; and for the Magi of Persia and India, Strabo re­ports, [...], they conversed with Kings, meaning they were their Counsellors and Guides of their consciences. And Herodotus in Eu­stathius tells us of the [...], the divine Eustath. in [...]iad. [...]. order of Prophets or Priests in Delphos: [...], they did eat of the publick provisions together with Kings. By these honours they gave testimony of their Religion, not only separating certain per­sons for the service of their Temples, but also separating their condition from the impurities and the contempt of the world; as knowing, that they who were to converse with their Gods, were to be elevated from the common condition of men and vulgar miseries.

P [...]rphyr. citat. ex Eurip. 4. [...].

As soon as I was made a Priest of Idaean Iupiter, all my garments were white, and I declined to converse with mortals. Novae sortis oportet illum esse qui jubente Deo canat, said Seneca. He had need be of a di­stinct and separate condition that sings to the honour, and at the com­mand of God: thus it was among the Jews and Heathens.


NOW if Christian Religion should do otherwise than all the world 1 hath done, either it must be because the rites of Christianity are of no mystery and secret dispensation, but common actions of an ordi­nary address, and cheap devotion; or else, because we undervalue all Religion, that is, because indeed we have nothing of it: The first, is dishonourable to Christianity, and false as its greatest enemy: The second, is shame to us: and both so unreasonable and unnatural, that if we separate not certain persons for the ministeries of Christianity, we must consess we have the worst Religion, or that we are the worst of men.

But let us consider it upon its proper grounds. When Christ had cho­sen 2 to himself twelve Apostles, and was drawing now to the last scene of his life, he furnished them with commissions and abilities to constitute and erect a Church, and to transmit such powers as were apt for its con­tinuation and perpetuity. And therefore to the Apostles in the capacity of Church-officers, he made a promise, That he would be with them to the end of the world; they might personally be with him until the end of the world, but he could not be here with them, who after a short course run, was to go hence, and be no more seen: and therefore [Page 8] for the verification of the promise, it is necessary that since the promise was made for the benefit of the Church, and to them as the ministers of the benefit, so long as the benefit was to be dispensed, so long they were to be succeded to, and therefore assisted by the Holy Jesus according to the glorious promise: [...]. ‘Not only to the Apostles, but absolutely and indefinitely to all Christs disciples, their successors, he promised to abide for ever, even to the consummation of the world, to the whole succession of the Clergy: so Theophylact upon this place.’

And if we consider what were the power and graces Jesus committed to the dispensation of the Apostles, such as were not temporary, but 3 lasting, successive, and perpetual, we must also conclude the ministery to be perpetual. I instance first in the power of binding and loosing, remitting and retaining sins, which Christ gave them together with his breathing on them the holy Spirit, and a legation, and a special Com­mission, as appears in S. Iohn; which power, what sence soever it ad­mits John 20. 21. of, could not expire with the persons of the Apostles, unless the succeeding ages of the Church had no discipline, or government, no scandals to be removed, no weak persons offended, no corrupt mem­bers to be cut off, no hereticks rejected, no sins, or no pardon; and that were a more heresie, than that of the Novatians; for they only de­nied this ministery in some cases; not in all: saying, Priestly absoluti­on was not fit to be dispensed to them, who in time of persecution had sacrificed to Idols. [...]. [ [...], To these] only, pardon is to be dispensed without the ministery of the Priest, To these] who were [...] Vide Socrat. li. 1. c. 7. Sozom. l. 1. c. 20. [...], sacrificers, and mingled the table of the Lord with the table of devils. Against other sinners they were not so severe. But however, so long as that distinction remains, of sins unto death, and sins not unto death; there are a certain sort of sins which are remediable, and cog­noscible, and judicable, and a power was dispensed to a distinct sort of persons, to remit or retain those sins; which therefore must remain with the Apostles for ever, that is, with their persons first, and then with the [...], with their successors; because the Church needs it for ever; and there was nothing in the power, that by relating to the pre­sent and temporary occasion did insinuate its short life and speedy expi­ration.

In execution of this power and pursuance of this commission, for which the power was given; the Apostles went forth, and all they upon 4 whom this signature passed, [...], executed this power in appropriation and distinct ministery: it was the sword of their proper ministery; and S. Paul does almost exhibite his Commission and reads the words, when he puts it in execution, and does highly verifie the parts and the consequence of this argument; God hath reconciled us to himself by Christ Iesus, and hath given to us the ministery of James 5. reconciliation; and it follows, now then we are Embassadors for Christ. The ministery of reconciliation, is an appropriate ministery; It is com­mitted to us; we are Embassadors, it is appropriate by vertue of Christs mission, and legation. He hath given to us, he hath made and deputed certain Embassadors whom he hath sent upon the message, and ministry of reconcilement; which is a plain exposition of the words of his Com­mission, before recorded, Iohn 20. 21.

[Page 9] And that this also descended lower, we have the testimony of S. Iames, who advises the sick person to send for the Elders of the Church, that 5 they may pray over him; that they may anoint him, that in that society there may be confession of sins by the clinick or sick person, and that after these preparatives, and in this ministery, his sins may be forgiven him. Now that this power fell into succession, this instance proves; for the Elders were such who had not the commission immediately from Christ, but were [...], they were fathers of the people, but sons of the Apostles, and therefore it is certain the power was not personal, and meerly Apostolical, but derived upon others by such a communicati­on, as gives evidence the power was to be succeeded in; And when went it out? when the anointing and miraculous healing ceased? There is no reason for that. For forgiveness of sins was not a thing visible, and therefore could not be of the nature of miracles to confirm the faith and christianity first, and after its work was done return to God that gave it; neither could it be only of present use to the Church, but as eternal and lasting as sin is: and therefore there could be nothing in the nature of the thing to make it so much as suspicious, it was presently to expire.

To which also I add this consideration, that the Holy Ghost which was to enable the Apostles in the precise office Apostolical, as it was an office extraordinary, circumstantionate, definite, and to expire, all that, was promised should descend upon them after Christs ascension, and was verified in Pentecost; for to that purpose to bring all things to their mind, all of Christs Doctrine and all that was necessary of his life and miracles, and a power from above to enable them to speak boldly and learnedly, and with tongues, all that, besides the other parts of ordinary power, was given them ten days after the Ascension. And therefore the breathing the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles in the octaves of the Resurrection, and this mission with such a power, was their ordinary mission, a sending them as ordinary Pastors and Curates of Souls, with a power to govern (binding and loosing can mean no less: and they were the words of the promise) with a power to minister reconciliation: (for so Saint Paul expounds remitting and retaining) which two were the great hinges of the Gospel, the one to invite and collect a Church, the other to go­vern it; the one to dispense the greatest blessing in the world, the other to keep them in capacities of enjoying it. For since the holy Ghost was now actually given to these purposes here expressed, and yet in order to all their extraordinaries and temporary needs was promised to descend after this, there is no collection from hence more reasonable, than to conclude all this to be part of their commission of ordinary Apostleship, to which the ministers of religion were in all Ages to succeed. In at­testation of all which, who please may see the united testimony of In Ioh. 20. S. Cyril, Ibid. S. Chrysostome, In 1 Zim. 4. S. Ambrose, Homil. 26. in Evang. S. Gregory and the Quaest. 39. Author of the questions of the old and new Testament, who unless by their calling shall rather be called persons interess'd, than by reason of their famous piety and integrity, shall be accepted as competent, are a very credible and fair representment of this truth, and that it was a doctrine of Christianity, that Christ gave this power to the Apostles for themselves, and their successors for ever, and that therefore as Christ in the first dona­tion, so also some Churches in the tradition of that power used the same form of words, intending the collation of the same power, and separating persons for that work of that ministery. I end this with the counsel S. Au­gustine gives to all publick penitents, Veniat ad Antistites, per quos illis in [Page 10] Ecclesia claves ministrantur, & à praepositis sacrorum accipiant satisfactionis suae modum, let them come to the Presidents of Religion by whom the Keys are ministred, and from the Governours of holy things let them re­ceive those injunctions, which shall exercise and signifie their repentance.


THe second power I instance in, is preaching the Gospel: for which work he not only at first designed Apostles, but others also were 1 appointed for the same work for ever, to all generations of the Church. This Commission was signed immediately before Christ's Ascension; All power is given to me in Heaven and in Earth, Go ye therefore and teach all Nations, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have command­ed Matth. 28. 19, 20. you, and lo I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. First, Christ declared his own commission, [all power is given him into his hand] he was now made King of all the Creatures, and Prince of the Catholick Church; and therefore as it concerned his care and provi­dence to look to his cure, and flock, so he had power to make deputa­tions accordingly [Go ye therefore,] implying that the sending them to this purpose was an issue of his power, either because the authorizing certain persons was an act of power, or else because the making them Doctors of the Church and teachers of the Nations, was a placing them in an eminency above their scholars, and converts, and so also was an emanation of that power, which, derived upon Christ from his Father, from him descended upon the Apostles. And the wiser persons of the world have always understood, that a power of teaching was a Presiden­cy and Authority; for since all dominion is naturally founded in the un­derstanding; although civil government accidentally, and by inevitable publick necessity relies upon other titles, yet where the greatest under­standing and power of teaching is, there is a natural preheminence and superiority eatenus, that is, according to the proportion of the excellen­cy; and therefore in the instance of S. Paul we are taught the style of the Court, and Disciples sit at the feet of their Masters, as he did at the feet of his Tutor Gamaliel, which implies duty, submission, and subordi­nation; and indeed it is the highest of any kind, not only because it is founded upon nature, but because it is a submission of the most imperious faculty we have, even of that faculty which when we are removed from our Tutors, is submitted to none but God; for no man hath power over the understanding faculty; and therefore so long as we are under Tutors and Instructors, we give to them that duty, in the succession of which claim, none can succeed but God himself, because none else can satisfie the understanding but he.

Now then because the Apostles were created Doctors of all the 2 world, hoc ipso they had power given them over the understandings of their disciples, and they were therefore fitted with an infallible spirit, and grew to be so authentick that their determination was the last ad­dress of all inquiries in questions of Christianity: and although they were not absolute Lords of their faith and understandings, as their Lord was, yet they had, under God, a supreme care, and presidency, to order, to guide, to instruct, and to satisfie their understandings; and those whom they sent out upon the same errand, according to the pro­portion and excellency of their spirit, had also a degree of superiority and [Page 11] eminency; and therefore they who were [...], La­bourers in the word and doctrine, were also [...], Pres­byters that were Presidents and Rulers of the Church; and this eminen­cy is for ever to be retained according as the unskilfulness of the Disciple retains him in the form of Catechumens; or as the excellency of the in­structor still keeps the distance; or else, as the office of teaching being orderly and regularly assigned makes a legal, political, and positive au­thority, to which all those persons are for orders sake to submit, who possibly in respect of their personal abilities might be exempt from that authority.

Upon this ground it is, that learning amongst wise persons is esteemed a title of nobility and secular eminency: Ego enim quid aliud munificen­tiae 3 adhibere potui, ut studia, ut sic dixerim, in umbra educata è quibus claritudo venit, said Seneca to Nero. And Aristotle, and A. Gellius affirm, Apud Tacitum lib. 8. Arist. lib. 4. Polit. c. 4. A. Gellius, lib. 19. c. 10. that not only excellency of extraction, or great fortunes, but learning also makes noble; circum undique sedentibus multis doctrinâ, aut genere, aut fortunâ nobilibus viris: and therefore the Lawyers say, that if a le­gacy be given pauperi nobili, the executors▪ if they please, may give it to a Doctor. I only make this use of it, that they who are by publick Barthol. in. l. Iudices. Cod. de dignit. l. 12. Bald [...] in l. nemini. C. de adv. advers. judi [...]. designation appointed to teach, are also appointed in some sence to go­vern them: and if learning it self be a fair title to secular opinion, and advantages of honour, then they who are professors of learning, and ap­pointed to be publick teachers, are also set above their disciples as far as the Chair is above the Area or floor, that is, in that very relation of teachers and scholars: and therefore among the Heathen the Priests who were to answer de mysteriis, sometimes bore a scepter.


Upon which verse of Homer, Eustathius observes, [...], The scepter was not only an ensign of a 4 King, but of a Judge and of a Prophet; it signified a power of answer­ing in judgment, and wise sentences. This discourse was occasioned by our blessed Saviour's illative; All power is given me, go ye therefore and teach; and it concludes, that the authority of Preaching is more than the faculty, that it includes power and presidency, that therefore a separation of per­sons is ex abundanti inferred, unless order and authority be also casual, and that all men also may be Governours as well as Preachers.

Now that here was a plain separation of some persons for this mi­nistery, I shall not need to prove by any other argument besides the words of the Commission; save only that this may be added, that here was more necessary, than a commission; great abilities, special assi­stances, extraordinary and divine knowledge, and understanding the mysteries of the kingdom; so that these abilities were separations enough of the persons, and designation of the officers; But this may possibly become the difficulty of the question; For, when the Apostles had filled the world with the Sermons of the Gospel, and that the holy Ghost descended in a plentiful manner, then was the prophesie of Ioel fulfilled, old men dreamed dreams, and young men saw visions, and sons and daughters did prophesie: Now the case was altered; and the disci­ples themselves start up Doctors, and women prayed and prophesied, and Priscilla sate in the Chair with her husband Aquila, and Apollos sate at their feet; and now all was common again: and therefore although [Page 12] the commission went out first to the Apostles; yet, when by miracle God dispensed great gifts to the Laity, and to women, he gave probati­on that he intended that all should prophesie and preach, lest those gifts should be to no purpose. This must be considered.

1. These gifts were miraculous verifications of the great Promise of 5 the Father, of sending the holy Ghost, and that all persons were capable of that blessing in their several proportions, and that Christianity did descend from God were ex abundanti proved by those extraregular dis­pensations: so that here is purpose enough signified, although they be not used to infer an indistinction of Officers in this ministery.

2. These gifts were given extra-regularly: but yet with some diffe­rence of persons: for all did not prophesie, nor all interpret, nor all 6 speak with tongues: they were but a few that did all this: we find but the daughters of one man only, and Priscilla, among all the nations of the Jews that ever did prophesie, of the women: and of Lay-men I re­member not one, but Aquila and Agabus: and these will be but too straight an argument to blend a whole Order of men in a popular and vulgar indiscrimination.

3. These extraordinary gifts were no authority to those who had them, and no other commission, to speak in publick. And therefore 7 S. Paul forbids the women to speak in the Church, and yet it was not denied but some of them might have the spirit of prophesie. Speaking in the Church was part of an ordinary power, to which not only ability but authority also and commission are required. That was clearly one separation; women were not capable of a clerical imployment, no not so much as of this ministery of preaching. And by this we may take speedier account concerning Deaconesses in the Primitive Church; de Diaconissâ ego Bartholomaeus dispono; O Episcope, impones ei manus praesentibus Presbyteris, Diaconis & Diaconissis, & dices, Respice super Lib. 8. c. 26. hanc famulam tuam; so it is in the constitutions Apostolical under the name of S. Clement: By which it should seem they were ordained for some Ecclesiastical ministery; which is also more credible by those words of Tertullian, Quantae igitur & quae in Eccles [...]is ordinari solent, In exhort. ad castitatem. Lib. 4. c. 9. quae Deo nubere maluerunt? And Sozomen tells of Olympias, Hanc enim, cum genere esset nobilissimo, quamvis juvenculam, ex quo vidua facta erat, quia ex praescripto Ecclesiae egregiè philosophatur, in Ministram Nectari­us ordinat: and such a one it was, whom Saint Basil called impollutam sacerdotem. Whatsoever these Deaconesses could be, they could not Lib. de virg. speak in publick, unless they did prevaricate the Apostolical rule, gi­ven to the Corinthian and Ephesian Churches: And therefore though Olympias was an excellent person, yet she was no preacher; she was a Philosopher, not in her discourse, but in her manner of living and belie­ving: Philosophata ex Ecclesiae praescripto, and that could not be by preaching: but these Deaconesses after the Apostolical age, were the same with the [...], the good women, that did domestick offices and minister to the temporal necessity of the Churches in the days of the Apostles; Such a one was Phebe of Cenchrea: but they were not admitted to any holy or spiritual Office: So we have certain testimony from Antiquity, whence the objection comes. For so the Nicene Council expresly: [...], &c. [...]. Deaconesses are to be rec­koned C. 19. in the Laity, because they have no imposition of hands, viz. for any [Page 13] spiritual office. For they had imposition of hands in some places to tem­poral administrations about the Church, and a solemn benediction, but nothing of the [...]; the same were the [...], Haeres. 79. the Presbyteresses, who were the [...], or the Governesses of women, in order to manners and religion; but these, though (as Ter­tullian affirms, and Zonaras, and Balsamo confess) they were solemnly ordained and set over the women in such offices, yet pretended to no­thing [...]. In 1 Tim. 3. of the clerical power or the right of speaking in publick. So Epi­phanius: There is an order of deaconesses in the Church, but not to meddle, or to attempt any of the holy Offices. And in this sence it was, that S. Ambrose reckons it amongst the Heresies of the Cataphrygians, that they ordained their Deaconesses, viz. to spiritual ministeries; but those women that desire to be medling, are not moved with such discourses; they care for none of all these things; therefore I remit them to the precept of the Apostle. But I suffer not a woman to teach, but to be in si­lence. 1 Tim. 2. 12.

And as for the men who had gifts extraordinary of the Spirit, al­though 8 they were permitted at first in the Corinthian Church (before there was a Bishop, or a fixed Colledge of Clergy) to utter the inspired dictates of the Spirit, yet whether they were Lay or Clergy is not there expressed; and it is more agreeable to the usual dispensation that the prophets of ordinary ministery, though now extraordinarily assisted, should prophesie in publick; but however, when these extra­ordinaries did cease, if they were common persons, they had no pre­tence to invade the Chair (nor, that we find, ever did:) for an ordinary ability to speak was never any warrant to disturb an order; unless they can say the words of S. Paul [Whereunto I am ordained a Preacher,] they might not invade the office. To be able to perform an office, though it may be a fair disposition to make the person capable to re­ceive it orderly, yet it does not actually invest him; every wise man is not a Counsellor of State, nor every good Lawyer a Judge. And I doubt not but in the Jewish religion there were many persons as able to pray as their Priests, who yet were wiser than to refuse the Priests advocation apud Deum, and reciting offices in behalf of the people: Orabit pro eo sacerdos was the order of Gods appointing, though himself were a devout person and of an excellent spirit. And it had need be something extraordinary that must warrant an ordina­ry person to rise higher than his own evenness; and ability or skill is but a possibility; and must be reduced to act by something that transmits authority, or does establish order, or distinguish persons, and separate professions. And it is very remarkable, that when Iudas had miscarried and lost his Apostolate, it was said, that it was necessa­ry for some body to be chosen to be a witness of Christs Resurrection. Two were named, of ability sufficient, but that was not all: they must chuse one, to make up the number of the twelve, a distinct separate person; which shews that it was not only a work (for that, any of them might have done) but an office of ordinary ministery. The abi­lity of doing which work although all they that lived with Iesus, might either have had, or received at Pentecost, yet the authority and grace was more: the first they had upon experience, but this only by divine election: which is a demonstration that every person that can do offices clerical is not permitted to do them; and that, besides the knowledge and natural or artificial abilities, a divine qualification is necessary.

[Page 14] And therefore God complains by the Prophet, I have not sent them, and yet they run; and the Apostle leaves it as an established rule, How shall 9 they preach except they be sent? Which two places, I shall grant to be meant concerning a distinct and a new message; Prophets must not offer any doctrine to the people, or pretend a doctrine for which they had not a commission from God. But which way soever they be expounded, they will conclude right in this particular. For if they signifie an ordina­ry mission, then there is an ordinary mission of preachers, which no man must usurp unless he can prove his title certainly and clearly, derivative from God; which when any man of the Laity can do, we must give him the right hand of fellowship, and wish him good speed. But if these words signifie an extraordinary case, and that no message must be pretended by Prophets, but what they have commission for, then must not ordi­nary persons pretend an extraordinary mission to an ordinary pur­pose: for, besides, that God does never do things unreasonable, nor will endure that order be interrupted to no purpose, he will never give an extraordinary Commission unless it be to a proportionable end; who­soever pretends to a licence of preaching by reason of an extraordinary calling, must look that he be furnished with an extraordinary mes­sage, lest his Commission be ridiculous; and when he comes, he must be sure to shew his authority by an argument proportionable; that is, by such a probation without which no wise man can reasonably believe him; which cannot be less than miraculous and divine. In all other cases he comes under the curse of the non missi, those whom God sent not; they go on their own errand, and must pay themselves their wa­ges.

But, besides that the Apostles were therefore to have an immediate 10 mission, because they were to receive new inctructions: these inctructi­ons were such as were by an ordinary, and yet by a distinct ministery to be conveyed, for ever after; and therefore did design an ordinary, suc­cessive, and lasting power and authority. Nay our blessed Lord went one step further in this provision, even to remark the very first successors and partakers of this power, to be taken into the lot of this ministery, and they were the Seventy-two whom Christ had sent (as probationers of their future preaching) upon a short errand into the Cities of Iudah: But by this assignation of more persons than those to whom he gave im­mediate Commission, he did declare that the office of preaching was to be dispensed by a separate and peculiar sort of men, distinct from the people, and yet by others than those who had the commission extraor­dinary; that is, by such who were to be called to it by an ordinary vo­cation.

As Christ constituted the office and named the persons, both extraor­dinary 11 and ordinary, present and successive; so he provided gifts for them too, that the whole dispensation might be his, and might be ap­parent. And therefore Christ when he ascended up on high gave gifts to men, to this very purpose; and these gifts coming from the same Spirit made separation of distinct ministeries under the same Lord. So S. Paul testifies expresly; Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit, [...], there are different administrations [differences 1 Cor. 12. 4. of ministeries;] it is the proper word for Church-offices; the ministery distinguished by the gift; It is not a gift of the ministery, but the mi­nistery it self is the gift, and distinguished accordingly. An extraor­dinary Ministery needs an extraordinary and a miraculous gift; [Page 15] that is a miraculous calling and vocation and designation by the holy Ghost; but an ordinary gift cannot sublime an ordinary person to a supernatural imployment; and from this discourse of the differing gifts of the Spirit, Saint Paul without any further artifice, concludes that the Spirit intended a distinction of Church-officers for the work of the ministery; for the conclusion of the discourse is, that God hath set some in the Church, first Apostles, secondarily Prophets, thirdly Teachers; and, lest all God's people should usurp these offices, which Verse 28. God by his Spirit hath made separate and distinguished, he adds, Are all Apostles? are all Prophets? are all Teachers? If so, then were all the body one member, quite contrary to nature, and to God's Oeco­nomy.

And that this designation of distinct Church-officers is for ever, S. Paul also affirms as expresly as this question shall need; He gave some Apostles, 12 some Prophets, and some Evangelists, and some Pastors and Teachers, [...] Ephes. 4. 11. [...], for the work of the ministery, till we all arrive at the unity of faith, which as soon as it shall happen, then cometh the end. Till the end be, the [...], the work of the Ministery must go for­wards, and is incumbent upon the Pastors and Teachers; this is their work, and they are the ministers, whom the holy Ghost designed.

1. For, I consider that either to preach requires but an ordinary or an extraordinary ability; if it requires an extraordinary, they who are illi­terate 13 and unlearned persons are the unfittest men in the world for it: if an ordinary sufficiency will discharge it, why cannot they suppose the Clergy of a competency, and strength sufficient to do that which an or­dinary understanding, and faculties can perform? what need they enter­meddle with that, to which no extraordinary assistance is required? or else why do they set their shoulder to such a work, with which no strength but extraordinary, is commensurate? in the first case it is need­less; in the second it is useless; in both vain and impertinent. For ei­ther no man needs their help; or, if they did, they are very unable to help. I am sure they are, if they be unlearned persons; and if they be learned, they well enough know, that to teach the people, is not a pow­er of speaking, but is also an act of jurisdiction and authority, and in which, order is, at least, concerned in an eminent degree: Learned men are not so forward; and those are most confident who have least reason.

2. Although as Homilies to the people are now used according to the smallest rate, many men more preach than should, yet besides that to 14 preach prudently, gravely, piously, and with truth, requires more abilities than are discernable by the people, such as make even a plain work reasonable to wise men, and useful to their hearers, and acceptable to God; besides this, I say, the office of teaching is of larger extent than making Homilies, or speaking prettily enough to please the common and undiscerning auditors. They that are appointed to teach the people must Respondere de jure, Give account of their faith in defiance of the nume­rous armies of Hereticks; they must watch for their flock, and use ex­cellent arts to arm them against all their weaknesses from within, and hostilities from without; they must strengthen the weak, confirm the strong, compose the scrupulous, satisfie the doubtful, and be ready to answer cases of Conscience; and I believe there are not so little as 5000 cases already started up among the Casuists; and for ought I know; there may be 5000 times 5000. And there are some cases of Conscience [Page 16] that concern Kings and kingdoms in the highest mysteriousness, both of State and Religion, and they also belong to Pastors for the interests of Religion, and Teachers to determine or advise in. [...] [...]ustat [...]. in Iliad. [...]. [...]. The Preachers were always Messengers between God and men, being Mediators by their sacrifices, and they were interested in their counsels, and greater causes; And if religion can have influences into counsels of Princes, and publick interest of king­doms, and that there can be any difficulty, latent sences, intricacy of question, or mysteriousness in Divinity, it will be found that there are other parts of the Preachers office, besides making Homilies: and that when so great skill is required, it will not be easie to make pretences to invade it; unless a man cannot be an excellent Lawyer without twenty years skill and practice, besides excellency of natural indowments, and yet can be an excellent Teacher and Guide in all cases of Conscience, meerly with opening his mouth, and rubbing his forehead hard. But God hath taken order that those whom he hath appointed teachers of the people, should make it the work and business of their lives, that they should diligently attend to reading, to exhortation, and to doctrine, that they may watch over their flock, over whom the holy Ghost hath made them overseers. The inconvenience that this discourse is like to meet withall is, that it concerns those men who are sure not to understand it: for they that have not the wisdom of Prophets and wise men, cannot easily be brought to know the degrees of distance between the others wisdom and their own ignorance. To know that there is great learn­ing beyond us, is a great part of learning: but they that have the con­fidence in the midst of their deepest ignorance to teach others, want both modesty and understanding too, either to perceive or to con­fess their own wants: they never kissed the lips of the wife, and therefore think all the world breathes a breath as fenny and moorish as themselves.

3. Besides, the consideration of the ability that a separate number of 15 men should be the teachers, and it be not permitted promiscuously to every person of a confident language and bold fancy, is highly neces­sary in the point of prudence and duty too. Of Prudence, because there can be no security against all the evil doctrines of the world in a pro­miscuous unchosen company of Preachers. For if he be allowed the pretence of an extraordinary, he shall belie the holy Spirit, to couzen you, when he hath a mind to it: If you allow him nothing but an ordinary spirit, that is, abilities of art and nature; there cannot in such discourses be any compensation for the disorder, or the danger, or the schisms, and innumerable Churches, when one head and two members shall make a distinct body, and all shall pretend to Christ, without any other common term of union. And this which is disorder in the thing, is also dishonourable to this part of religion; and the divine messages shall be conveyed to the people by common Curriers or rather messengers by chance, and as they go by; whereas God sent at first Embassadors extra­ordinary, and then left his Leigers in his Church for ever. But there is also a duty too to be secured; for they that have the guiding of souls must remember that they must be [...], must render an account; and that cannot be done with joy, when it shall be indifferent to any man to superseminate what he please: and (by the way) I suppose, they who are apt to enter into the Chair of Doctors and Teachers, would [Page 17] be unwilling to be charged with a cure of souls. If they knew what that means, they would article more strictly before they would stand charged with it; and yet it is harder to say that there is no such thing as the cure of souls; that Christ left his flock to wander and to guide themselves, or to find shepherds at the charges of accident and chance. Christ hath made a better provision, and after he had with the greatest earnestness committed to S. Peter the care of feeding his lambs and sheep, S. Peter did it carefully, and though it part of the same duty to provide other shepherds, who should also feed the flocks by a continual provision and attendance; The Presbyters which are among you, I who also am a Presbyter exhort, feed the flock of God which is among you, [...] 1 Pet. 5. 1. 2. [...], doing the office of Bishops over them, taking supravisi­on or oversight of them willingly and of a ready mind. The Presbyters and Bishops, they are to feed the flock, there was [...] a flock to be distinguished from the [...], the shepherds, the elders, [...], and the flock among you, distinguished by a regular office of teaching, and a re­lation of shepherds and sheep.

But this discourse would be unnecessary long, unless I should omit many arguments, and contract the rest. I only shall desire it be consi­dered, 16 concerning the purpose of that part of Divine providence, in gi­ving the Christian Church Commandments concerning Provisions to be made for the Preachers; Let the Elders that rule well have a double ho­nour, 1 Tim. 5. an elder brother's portion at least, both of honour and mainte­nance, especially if they labour in the word and doctrine; and the reason is taken out of Moses Law, but derived from the natural, Bovi tritu­ranti non ligabis os. For God hath ordained that those that labour in the Gospel should live of the Gospel. This argument will force us to distin­guish persons, or else our purses will; and if all will have a right to preach the Gospel that think themselves able, then also they have a right to be maintained too.

I shall add no more, 1. God hath designed persons to teach the people, 2. charged them with the cure of souls, 3. given them commis­sion to go into all the world, 4. given them gifts accordingly. 5. charged the people to attend and to obey, 6. hath provided them maintenance and support, and 7. separated them to reading, to exhortation, and to doctrine, from the affairs of this world, that they may attend to these, by the care of the whole man. If any man in charity or duty will do any ghostly offices to his erring or weak brother, he may have a reward of charity: for in this sence it is that Tertullian says, that in remote and barbarous countries the Laity do Sacerdotio aliquatenus fungi. But if he invades the publick chair, he may meet with the curse of Corah, if he in­tends maliciously; or if he have fairer, but mistaken purposes, the gent­ler sentence passed upon Uzzah may be the worst of his evil portion.


I Instance next in the case of Baptism, which indeed hath some diffi­culty and prejudice passed upon it; and although it be put in the 1 same Commission, intrusted to the same persons, be a sacred mini­stery, a Sacrament and a mysterious rite, whose very Sacramental and [Page 18] separate nature, requires the solemnity of a distinct order of persons for its ministration: yet if the laity may be admitted to the dispensa­tion of so sacred and solemn rites, there is nothing in the calling of the Clergy that can distinguish them from the rest of Gods people, but they shall be holy enough, to dispense holy offices without the charges of paying honour and maintenance to others to do what they can do them­selves.

In opposition to which, I first consider, that the ordinary minister of 2 Baptism is a person consecrated; the Apostles and their successors in the office Apostolical, and all those that partake of that power; and it needs no other proof, but the plain production of the Commission; they who are teachers by ordinary power, and authority, they also had command to baptize all Nations: and baptism being the solemn rite of initiating disciples, and making the first publick profession of the Institution, it is in reason and analogy of the mystery to be ministred by those who were appointed to collect the Church, and make Dis­ciples. It is as plain and decretory a Commission, as any other mysteri­ousness of Christianity; and hath been accepted so for ever as the do­ctrine of Christianity, as may appear in Epist. ad Hieron. Ignatius, Lib. de Bapt. Tertullian, Epist. 1. c. 9 S. Gelasius, Haeres. 79. S. Epiphanius, and Dial. adv. Lucifer. S. Hierom; who affirm in va­riety of sences, that Bishops, Priests and Deacons only are to baptize; some by ordinary right, some by deputation; of which I shall afterwards give account; But all the Ius ordinarium they intend to fix upon the Clergy according to divine institution and commandment. So that in case lay-persons might baptize [...], & [...], upon urgent ne­cessity, yet this cannot upon just pretence invade the ordinary ministery, because God had dispensed the affairs of his Church, so that cases of ne­cessity do not often occur to the prejudice and dissolution of publick or­der, and ministeries; and if permissions being made to supply necessities, be brought further than the case of exception gives leave, the permission is turned into a crime, and does greater violence to the rule, by how much it was fortified by that very exception, as to other cases not excepted. And although in case of extreme necessity every man may preach the Gospel, as to dying Heathens, or unbelieving persons, yet if they do this without such, or the like necessity, what at first was charity, in the other case is schism and pride, the two greatest enemies to charity in the world.

But now for the thing it self, whether indeed any case of necessity can transmit to lay persons a right of baptizing, it must be distinctly 3 considered. Some say it does. For Ananias baptized Paul, who yet (as it is said) was not in holy Orders; and that the 3000 Converts at the first Sermon of S. Peter were all baptized by the Apostles, is not ea­sily credible, it being too numerous a body for so few persons to baptize; and when Peter had preached to Cornelius and his family, he caused the brethren that came along with him to baptize them; and whether Hands had been imposed on them or no, is not certain: And in pursuance of the instance of Ananias, and the other probabili­ties, the Doctors of the Church have declared their opinions [...], In cases of necessity, a lay-person may baptize. So Tertullian in his book of Baptism, Alioqui & Laicis jus est baptizandi. Quod enim ex aequo ac­cipitur, Dial. adv. Lucifer. ex aequo dari potest. The reason is also urged by S. Hierom to the same purpose, only requiring that the Baptizer be a Christian, suppo­sing whatsoever they have received they may also give; but because the reason concludes not, because (as themselves believe) a Presbyter [Page 19] cannot collate his Presbyterate, it must therefore rest only upon their bare authority; if it shall be thought strong enough to bear the weight Can. 30. of the contrary reasons. And the Fathers in the Council of Eliberis de­termined, Peregrè navigantes, aut si Ecclesia in proximo non fuerit, posse Ruffin. lib. 10. c. 14. fidelem, qui lavacrum suum integrum habet, nec sit bigamus, baptizare in necessitate infirmitatis positum Catechumenum; it a ut si supervixerit, ad Epis­copum eum producat, ut per manûs impositionem proficere possit. The Sy­nod, held at Alexandria under Alexander their Bishop, approved the baptism of the children by Athanasius, being but a boy; and the Nicene Fathers ratifying the baptism made by hereticks (amongst whom they could not but know in some cases, there was no true Priesthood or legi­timate ordination) must by necessary consequence suppose baptism to be dispensed effectually by lay-persons. And S. Hierome is plain, Baptizare, si necessitas cogat, scimus etiam licere Laicis; the same almost with the Canon of the fourth Council of Carthage, Mulier baptizare non praesumat Can. mulier de consecr. dist. li. 4. se [...]t. dist. 6. nisi necessitate cogente: though, by the way, these words of [cogente neces­sitate] are not in the Canon, but thrust in by Gratian and Peter Lombard. And of the same opinion is S. Ambrose, or he who under his name wrote the Commentaries upon the fourth to the Ephesians, Epist. 1. P. Gelasius, Lib. 2. Contr. Epist. Parmen. c. 13. S. August. and Lib. 2. de di­vin [...]ffic. 4. Isidor, and generally all the Scholars after their master.

But against this doctrine were all the African Bishops for about 150 4 years; who therefore rebaptized persons returning from heretical con­venticles; Because those heretical Bishops being deposed and reduced into Lay-communion, could not therefore collate baptism for their want of holy Orders: as appears in S. Basils Canonical Epistle to Amphilochius, where he relates their reason, and refutes it not. And however Firmi­lian and S. Cyprian might be deceived in the thinking hereticks quite lost their orders; yet in this they were untouched, that although their sup­position was questionable, yet their superstructure was not medled with, viz. That if they had been Lay persons, their Baptizations were null and invalid.

I confess, the opinion hath been very generally taken up in these last ages of the Church, and almost with a Nemine contradicente; the first 5 ages had more variety of opinion: and I think it may yet be considered anew upon the old stock. For since absolutely, all the Church affixes the ordinary ministery of Baptism to the Clergy; if others do baptize, do they sin, or do they not sin? That it is no sin, is expresly affirmed in the 16 Canon of Nicephorus of C. P. If the own father baptizes the child, or any other Christian man, it is no sin. Lib. 2. Contr. Epist. Parmen. c. 13. S. Augu­stine is almost of another mind, & si Laicus necessi­tate [...]. compulsus baptismum dederit, nescio an pie quis­quam dixerit, Baptismum esse repetendum: Nullâ enim cogente necessitate si fiat, alieni muneris usurpatio est; si autem necessitas urgeat, aut nullum, aut veniale de­lictum est. And of this mind are all they, who by frequent using of that saying have made it almost proverbial, Factum valet, fieri non debet. If they do not sin, then women and Lay-men have as much right from Christ to baptize as Deacons or Presbyters; then they may upon the same stock and right do it as Deacons do, for if a Bishop was present it was not lawful for Deacons, as is expresly affirmed by S. Ignatius in his Epistle to Hare. 19. Heron the Deacon; and S. Epiphanius with the same words denies a jus baptizandi, to women and to Deacons, and both of them affirm it to be proper to Bishops. Further yet, Tertullian and S. Hierom deny a power to De bapt. adv. Lucifer. [Page 20] Presbyters to do it without Episcopal dispensation. Now if Presbyters and Deacons have this power only by leave and in certain cases, then it is more than the women have: only that they are fitter persons to be in­trusted with the deputation; a less necessity will devolve it upon Pres­byters than upon Deacons, and upon Deacons than Lay-men; and a less yet will cast it upon Lay-men than women: and this difference is in re­spect of humane order and positive constitution, but in the nature of the thing according to this doctrine all persons are equally receptive of it: And therefore to baptize is no part of the Grace of Orders, no fruit of the holy Ghost, but a work which may be done by all, and at some times must: and if baptism may, then it will be hard to keep all the other rites from the common inrodes, and then the whole office will perish.

But if Lay-persons baptizing, though in case of necessity, do sin, as S. Augustine seems to say they do, then it is certain, Christ never gave 6 them leave so much as by insinuation; and then neither can the Church give leave; for she can give leave for no man to sin: and, besides such a deputation were to no purpose; Because no person shall dare to do it, for evil is not to be done, though for the obtaining the greatest good: and it will be hard to state the question, so that either the child shall pe­rish, or some other must perish for it; for he that positively ventures upon a sin for a good end, worships God with a sin, and therefore shall be thank'd with a damnation, if he dies before repentance; but if the child shall not perish in such case of not being baptized, then why should any man break the rule of institution, and if he shall perish without being baptized, then God hath affixed the salvation of the child upon the con­dition of another mans sin.

3. And indeed the pretence of cases of necessity may do much to­wards 7 the excusing an irregularity in an exterior rite, though of divine institution, [...]. But it will not be easily proved that God hath made any such necessities: it is certain that for Eurip. persons having the use of reason God hath provided a remedy that no lay-person should have need to baptize a Catechumen; for his votum or desire of baptism shall serve his turn. And it will be unimaginable that God hath made no provision for infants, and yet put it upon them in many cases with equal necessity, which without breach of a divine institution cannot be supplied.

4. If a Lay-person shall baptize, whether or no shall the person bap­tized 8 receive benefit, or will any more but the outward act be done? for that the Lay-person shall convey rem Sacramenti, or be the minister of sacramental grace, is no where revealed in Scripture, and is against the De captivit. Babyl. c. de or­dine, & in l. de instituendis ministris ad Senatum Pra­gensem, in l. de missâ abrogan­d [...], in l. de no­tis Ecclesia. Analogy of the Gospel; for the verbum reconciliationis, all the whole mi­nistery of reconciliation is intrusted to the Priest, Nobis, (saith S. Paul) to us who are Embassadors. And what difference is there, if cases of ne­cessity be pretended in the defect of other ministeries, but that they also may be invaded? and cases of necessity may by other men also be numbered in the other sacrament: and they have done so; and I know, who said that no man must consecrate the Sacrament of the Lords Supper but he that is lawfully called, except there be a case of necessity; and that there may be a case of necessity for the blessed Sacrament, there needs no other testimony than the Nicene Council; which calls the Sa­crament in the article of death, [...], viaticum, the most necessary provision for our journey: and if a Lay-person Absolves, there is as much promise of the validity of the one as the other, unless it be [Page 21] said, that there may be absolute necessity of Baptism, but not so of Ab­solution; which the maintainers of the other opinion are not apt to pro­fess. And therefore S. Augustine did not know whether baptism admi­nistred by a lay-person be to be repeated or no; Nescio anpiè quisquam dixerit, he knew not; neither do I. But Simon of Thessalonica is con­fident, [...], No man baptizes but he that is in holy orders. The baptism is null: I cannot say so; nor can I say, [...]; Let it be received. Only I offer this to consideration; if a Dea­con can do no ministerial act with effect, but a lay-person may do the same with effect upon the person suscipient, What is that supernatural grace and inherent and indelible character which a Deacon hath recei­ved in his ordination? If a Deacon can do no supernatural act which were void and null, if done by him that is not a Deacon, he hath no character, no spiritual inherent power: and that he is made the ordina­ry minister of it, is for order sake: but he that can do the same thing, hath the same power and ability. By this ground a Lay-person and a Deacon are not distinguished by any inherent character, and therefore they who understand the spiritual powers and effects of ordination in the sence and expression of an inherent and indelible character, will find some difficulty in allowing the effect of a lay-baptism.

But I consider that the instances of Scripture brought for the lawful­ness of lay-administration, if they had no particular exceptation, yet are 9 impertinent to this question; for it is not with us pretended in any case to be lawful, but in extreme necessity: And therefore, Saint Peters de­puting the brethren who came with him to Cornelius to baptize his family, is nothing to our purpose, and best answers it self: for ei­ther they were of the Clergy, who came with them; or else lay-per­sons may baptize by the right of an ordinary deputation, without a case of necessity; for here was none: Saint Peter might have done it him­self.

And as for Ananias, he was one of the Seventy two: and if that be nothing, yet he was called to that ministration about Paul, as Paul him­self 10 was to the Apostleship, even by an immediate vocation, and mission from Christ himself. And if this answer were not sufficient (as it is most certainly) the argument would press further than is intended: for Ana­nias tells him, he was sent to him that he might lay his hands on him that he might receive the holy Ghost: and to do that, was more than Philip could do; though he was a Deacon, and in as great a necessity, as this was: And yet besides all this, this was not a case of necessity, unless there was never a Presbyter or Deacon in all Damascus, or that God durst not trust any of them with Paul, but only Ananias, or that Paul could not stay longer without baptism, as many thousand converts did in descending ages.

And for the other conjecture it is not considerable at all: for the Apostles might take three or four days time to baptize the three thou­sand: 11 there was no hurt done if they had stayed a week: the text insi­nuates nothing to the contrary; The same day about three thousand were ad­ded to the Church; then they were added to the Church, that is, by vertue and efficacy of that Sermon, who it may be, considered some-while of S. Peters discourse, and gave up their names upon mature deliberation and posi­tive conviction. But it is not said, they were baptized the same day; and yet it was not impossible for the twelve Apostles to do it in one day, if they had thought it reasonable.

[Page 22] For my own particular, I wish we would make no more necessities than God made, but that we leave the administration of the Sacraments 12 to the manner of the first institution, and the Clerical offices be kept within their cancels, that no Lay-hand may pretend a reason to usurp the sacred Ministery: and since there can be no necessity for unbaptized per­sons of years of discretion, because their desire may supply them, it were well also if our charity would find some other way also, to under­stand Gods mercy towards infants; for certainly, he is most merciful and full of pity to them also: and if there be no neglect of any of his own appointed ministeries, so as he hath appointed them, methinks it were but reasonable to trust his goodness with the infants in other cases: for it cannot but be a jealousie and a suspicion of God, a not daring to trust him, and an unreasonable proceeding beside, that we will rather ven­ture to dispense with divine institution, than think that God will; or that we should pretend more care of children than God hath: when we will break an institution, and the rule of an ordinary Ministery of Gods appointing, rather than cast them upon God, as if God loved this ce­remony better than he loved the child; for so it must be, if the child perished for want of it: and yet still methinks according to such doctrine, there was little or no care taken for infants; for when God had ap­pointed a ministery, and fixed it with certain rules and a proper deputa­tion: in reason (knowing in all things else how merciful God is, and full of goodness) we should have expected that God should have given express leave to have gone besides the first circumstances of the Sacra­ment, if he had intended we might or should: and that he should have told us so too rather than by leaving them fast tyed without any express cases of exception, or marks of difference, permit men to dispute and stand unresolved between a case of Duty and a point of Charity: for al­though God will have mercy rather than sacrifice, yet when both are commanded, God takes order they shall never cross each other, and sa­crifice is to be preferred before mercy, when the Sacrifice is in the com­mandment, and the Mercy is not: as it is in the present question. And if it were otherwise in this case, yet because God loves mercy so well, Why should we not think, that God himself will shew this mercy to this Infant, when he hath not expressed his pleasure that we should do it? We cannot be more merciful than He is.

The Church of England hath determined nothing in this particular, 13 that I know of; only when in the first Liturgy of King Edward the Sixth, a Rubrick was inserted permitting Midwives to baptize in cases of extreme danger, it was left out in the second Liturgies, which is at least an argument she intended to leave the question undetermined; if at least that omission of the clause, was not also a rejection of the Article: Only this Epiphanius objects against the Marcionites, and Tertullian against the Gnosticks, that they did permit women to baptize: I cannot say De praescript. har [...]s. 42. but they made it an ordinary imployment, and a thing besides the case of necessity: I know not whether they did or no. But if they be permitted, it is considerable whither the example may drive: Pe­tulans mulier quae usurpavit docere, an non utique & tingendi jus sibi pa­riet? Tertullian de baptismo. that I may turn Tertullians Thesis into an Interrogative. The wo­men usurp the office of teaching, if also they may be permitted to bap­tize, they may in time arrogate and invade other ministeries; or if they do not, by reason of the natural and political incapacity of their persons, yet others may upon the same stock: for necessity consists not [Page 23] in a Mathematical point, but hath latitude which may be expounded to inconvenience; and that I say truth and fear reasonably, I need no other testimony than the Greek Church, for amongst them a [ [...]] the absence of the Priest is necessity enough for a woman to bap­tize; for so sayes Tractat. de sacramento cap. de baptismo, [...]. Gabriel Philadelphiensis. In the absence of a Priest, a Christian Laick may baptize, whether it be man or woman, either may do it; and whether that be not only of danger in the sequel, but in it self a very dissolution of all discipline, I leave it to the Church of England to determine as for her own particular, that at least the Sacra­ment be left intirely to Clerical dispensation according to divine com­mandment.

Onething I offer to consideration; that since the keyes of the King­dom of Heaven be most notoriously and signally used in Baptism, in 14 which the Kingdom of Heaven the Gospel, and all its promises, is opened to all Believers, and though as certainly yet less principally in reconci­ling penitents, and admitting them to the communion of the faithful; it may be of ill consequence, to let them be usurped by hands to whom they were not consigned. Certain it is, S. Peter used his Keyes, and opened the Kingdom of Heaven first, when he said, Repent and be bap­tized every one of you in the name of Iesus Christ, for the remission of sins, Acts 2. 38. and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. However as to the main question, we have not only the universal Doctrine of Christendom, but also express authority and commission in Scripture, sending out Apostles and Apostolical men, persons of choice and special designation to baptize all Nations, and to entertain them into the services and institution of the holy Jesus.


I Shall instance but once more, but it is in the most solemn, sacred and divinest mystery in our Religion; that in which the Clergy in their 1 appointed ministery do [...], stand between God and the people, and do fulfil a special, and incomprehensible ministery, which the Angels themselves do look into with admiration, to which the people if they come without fear, cannot come without sin; and this of so sacred and reserved mysteriousness, that but few have dared to offer at with un­consecrated hands: some have. But the Eucharist is the fulness of all the mysteriousness of our Religion; and the Clergy, when they officiate here, are most truly in the phrase of Saint Paul, Dispensatores mysteriorum Dei, dispensers of the great mysteries of the Kingdom. For (to use the 1 Cor. 4. 1. words of Saint Cyprian) Iesus Christ is our high Priest, and himself become our Sacrifice which he finished upon the Cross in a real performance, and now Ad Caecil. Ep. 63. St Iesus Chri­stus dominus & Deus [...] ipse est [...] sa­cerdos Dei Pa­tris, & sacrifi­cium Patri s [...]ipsum primus obtulis, & hoc fieri in sui commemorationem praecepit; utique ille sacerdos vice Christi verè fungi­tur, qui id quod Christus fecit, imitatur: & sacrificium verum & plenum tunc offert in Ecclesia Deo Patri, si incipat [...] secund [...]m quod ipsum Christum vid [...]at obtul [...]se. in his office of Mediatorship makes intercession for us by a perpetual exhibiti­on of himself, of his own person in Heaven, which is a continual actually re­presented argument to move God to mercy to all that believe in, and obey the Holy Iesus.

[Page 24] Now Christ did also establish a number of select persons, to be Ministers of this great Sacrifice, finished upon the Cross; that they also should 2 exhibit and represent to God (in the manner which their Lord appoint­ed them) this Sacrifice, commemorating the action and suffering of the great Priest; and by way of prayers and impetration, offering up that acti­on in behalf of the people, [...], [...]rat. 11. (as Gregory Nazianzen expresses it) sending up Sacrifices to be laid up­on the Altar in Heaven, that the Church might be truly united unto Christ their Head, and, in the way of their ministery, may do what he does in Heaven; for he exhibits the sacrifice, that is, himself, actually and presentially in Heaven: the Priest on earth commemorates the same, and by his prayers represents it to God in behalf of the whole Catholick Church; presentially too, by another and more mysterious way of pre­sence; but both Christ in Heaven, and his Ministers on Earth do actuate that Sacrifice, and apply it to its purposed design by praying to God in the vertue and merit of that Sacrifice; Christ himself, in a high and glorious manner; the Ministers of his Priesthood (as it becomes Ministers) hum­bly, sacramentally, and according to the energy of humane advocation and intercession; This is the sum and great mysteriousness of Christia­nity, and is now to be proved.

This is expresly described in Scripture; that part concerning Christ is the Doctrine of S. Paul, who disputes largely concerning Christ's Priest­hood; 3 affirming that Christ is a Priest for ever; he hath therefore an un­changeable Priesthood, because he continueth for ever, and he lives for ever to make intercession for us; this he does as Priest, and therefore it must be by offering a Sacrifice, [for every high Priest is ordained to offer Gifts and Heb. 7. 23, &c. And 8. ver. 2, 3, &c. Sacrifices] and therefore it is necessary he also have something to offer, as long as he is a Priest, that is, for ever, till the consummation of all things; since therefore he hath nothing new to offer, and something he must con­tinually offer, it is evident, he offers himself as the medium of advocation, and the instance and argument of a prevailing intercession; and this he calls a more excellent Ministery] and by it, Iesus is a Minister of the San­ctuary, and of the true Tabernacle, that is, He, as our high Priest officiates in Heaven, in the great office of a Mediator, in the merit and power of his Death and Resurrection. Now what Christ does alwayes in a proper and most glorious manner, the Ministers of the Gospel also do in theirs: commemorating the Sacrifice upon the Cross, giving thanks, and celebra­ting a perpetual Eucharist for it, and by declaring the death of Christ, and praying to God in the vertue of it, for all the Members of the Church, and all persons capable; it is in genere orationis a Sacrifice, and an in­strument of propitiation, as all holy prayers are in their several propor­tions.

And this was by a precept of Christ; Hoc facite, Do this in remem­brance of me. Now this precept is but twice reported of in the new 4 Testament, though the institution of the Sacrament, be four times. And it is done with admirable mystery; to distinguish the several interests, and operations which concern several sorts of Christians in their distinct capacities: S. Paul thus represents it; [Take eat—This do in remem­brance of me] plainly referring this precept to all that are to eat and drink the Symbols: for they also do in their manner enunciate, declare, or represent the Lords death till he come. And Saint Paul prosecutes it with instructions particular to the [...] to them that do com­municate, as appears in the succeeding cautions against unworthy [Page 25] manducation, and for due preparation to its reception. But S. Luke re­ports it plainly to another purpose, [and he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave it unto them, saying: This is my body which is given for you; Hoc facite, This] do in remembrance of me: [This] cannot but relate to accepit, gratias egit, fregit, distribuit: Hoc facite. Here was no manducation expressed, and therefore Hoc facite concerns the Apostles in the capacity of Ministers; not as receivers, but as Consecrators and givers; and if the institution had been represented in one scheme with­out this mysterious distinction, and provident separation of imployment, we had been eternally in a cloud, and have needed a new light to guide us; but now the Spirit of God hath done it in the very first fountains of Scripture.

And this being the great mystery of Christianity, and the only rema­nent Express of Christ's Sacrifice on earth, it is most consonant to the 5 Analogy of the mystery, that this commemorative Sacrifice be presented by persons as separate, and distinct in their ministery, as the Sacrifice it self is from and above the other parts of our Religion.

Thus also the Church of God hath for ever understood it without any variety of sence or doubtfulness of distinguishing opinions. It was the great 6 excellency and secret mystery of the Religion, to consecrate and offer the holy Symbols and Sacraments: I shall transcribe a passage out of Iustin Martyr giving the account of it to Antoninus Pius in his Oration to him; and it will serve in stead of many; for it tells the Religion of the Chri­stians in this mystery, and gives a full account of all the Ceremony. [...] Vide etia [...] Iustin. i [...] Apol. 2. [...], &c. ‘When the prayers are done, then is brought to the President of the Brethren [the Priest] the Bread, and the Chalice of Wine mingled with Water; which being received, he gives praise and glory to the Father of all things, and presents them in the name of the Son and the Holy Spirit, and largely gives thanks, that he hath been pleased to give us these gifts: and when he hath finish­ed the prayers and thanksgiving, all the people that is present, with a joyful acclamation, say Amen. Which when it is done by the Presi­dents and people, those which amongst us are called Deacons and Mini­sters, distribute to every one that is present, that they may partake of him, in whom the thanks were presented, the Eucharist, Bread, Wine, and Water; and may bear it to the absent. Moreover this nourishment is by us called the Eucharist, which it is lawful for none to partake, but to him who believes our Doctrine true, and is washed in the Laver for the remission of sins, and regeneration, and that lives so as Christ de­livered. For we do not take it as common bread and common drink; but as by the Word of God Jesus Christ the Saviour of the world was made flesh, and for our salvation sake, had flesh and blood: after the same manner also we are taught that this nourishment, in which by the prayers of his word, which is from him the food in which thanks are given, or the consecrated food by which our flesh and blood by mutation or change are nourished, is the flesh and blood of the incarnate Jesus. For the Apostles in their Commentaries which they wrote, which are called the Gospels, so delivered, as Jesus commanded. For when he had given thanks and taken Bread, he said, Do this in remembrance of me; This is my body; And likewise taking the Chalice, and having given thanks, he said, [This is my blood,] and that he gave it to them alone.]’ This one Testimony I reckon as sufficient: who please to see more, may [Page 26] observe the tradition full, testified and intire, in Epist. ad [...]. Ignatius, Lib. 1. c. 31. & lib. 8. c. ult. Clemens Romanus, or whoever wrote the Apostolical Constitutions in his name, De. prae­script. Tertullian, Lib. 1. Ep 2. & 9. & l. 3. Epist. 15. S. Cyprian, Apol. 2. cum de Ischriâ ra­tionem reddit eum [...]lice sacro uti non potuisse. & 83. in Matth. & Hom. 6. ad pop. Antioch. 150. 9. 2. S. Athanasius, Haeres. 79. Epiphanius, Lib. 2. de bapt. c. 8. S. Basil, Lib. 3. & 6. de sac [...]rd. Homil. 51. & 85. ad Evagrium & ad Hedito. S. Chrysostom (almost every where,) Con [...]r. Lucifer. & Ep. 1. ad [...]. S. Hierom, Lib. 20. de Civ. c. 10. S. Augustine; and indeed we cannot look in vain, into any of the old Writers: The sum of whose Doctrine in this particular, I shall represent in the words of the most ancient of them, S. Ignatius, saying, that he is worse than an Infidel that offers to officiate about the holy Altar, unless he be a Bishop or a Priest.

And certainly, he could upon no pretence have challenged the Ap­pellative of Christian, who had dared either himself to invade the holy 7 Rites within the Chancels, or had denyed the power of celebrating this dreadful mystery to belong only to sacerdotal ministration. For either it is said to be but common Bread and Wine, and then, if that were true, indeed any body may minister it; but then they that say so, are blasphe­mous, they count the blood of the Lord [...], (as S. Paul calls it, in imitation of the words of institution) the blood of the Covenant, or New Testament, a prophane or common thing; they discern not the Lord's Heb. 10. 20. body; they know not that the Bread that is broken is the communication of Christ's body: But if it be a holy, separate, or divine and mysterious thing, who can make it (ministerially, I mean) and consecrate or sub­lime it from common and ordinary Bread, but a consecrate, separate, and sublimed person? It is to be done either by a natural power, or by a su­pernatural. A natural cannot hallow a thing in order to God; and they only have a supernatural, who have derived it from God, in order to this ministration; who can shew that they are taken up into the lot of that Deaconship, which is the type and representment of that excellent mini­stery of the true Tabernacle where Jesus himself does the same thing, in a higher and more excellent manner.

This is the great Secret of the Kingdom, to which in the Primitive Church, many who yet had given up their names to Christ by designati­on, 8 or solemnity were not admitted, so much as to the participation; as the Catechumeni, the Audientes, the Poenitentes, Neophytes, and Children: and the ministery of it was not only reserved for sacred persons, but also performed with so much mysterious secrecy, that many were not permit­ted so much as to see. This is that Rite, in which the Priest intercedes for, and blesses the people; offering in their behalf, not only their prayers, but applying the Sacrifice of Christ to their prayers, and representing them with glorious advantages, and titles of acceptation, which because it was so excellent, celestial, sacred, mystical and supernatural, it raised up the persons too; that the ministeriael Priesthood in the Church, might, accord­ing to the nature of all great imployments, pass an excellency and a va­lue upon the Ministers.

And therefore according to the natural Reason of Religion, and the devotion of all the world, the Christians, because they had the 9 greatest reason so to do, did honour their Clergy with the greatest ve­neration and esteem. It is without a Metaphor, regale Sacerdotium, a royal Priesthood, so S. Peter; which although it be spoken in general 1 Pet. 2. 9. of the Christian Church, and, in an improper large sence, is verified of the people; yet it is so to be expounded, as that parallel place of the Books of Moses, from whence the expression is borrowed, Ye shall be a Exod. 19. 3. [Page 27] Kingdom of Priests, and an holy Nation; which plainly by the sence and Analogy of the Mosaick Law, signifies a Nation blessed by God with Rites and Ceremonies of a separate Religion; a Kingdom, in which Priests are appointed by God, a Kingdom, in which nothing is more honourable than the Priesthood; for it is certain, the Nation was famous in all the world, for an honourable Priesthood; and yet the people were not Priests in any sence, but of a violent Metaphor. And therefore the Chri­stian Ministery having greater priviledges, and being honoured with at­trectation of the body and blood of Christ, and offices serving to a better Covenant, may with greater argument be accounted excellent, honoura­ble and royal; and all the Church be called a royal Priesthood, the deno­mination being given to the whole, from the most excellent part; be­cause they altogether make one body under Christ the head, the medium of the union being the Priests, the collectors of the Church, and instru­ment of adunation; and reddendo singula singulis, dividing to each his portion of the expression; the people is a peculiar people, the Clergy a holy Priesthood: and all in conjunction, and for several excellencies a chosen Nation: so that [...] is the same with [...], the Priesthood of the Kingdom, that is, the ministery of the Gospel: for in the new Testament, the Kingdom] signifies the Gospel: and [...] is the same with [...] Kingly, is of, or belonging to the Gospel: for therefore it is observable, it is not [...] but [...], not well rendered by the vulgar Latine regale sacerdotium; as if Kingly were the Appellative or Epithete of this Priesthood; it is regium, a Priest­hood appertaining to the Kingdom of the Gospel; and the Priest being enumerated distinctly from the people, the Priests of the Kingdom, and the people of the Kingdom, are all holy and chosen; but in their several man­ner: the Priests of the Kingdom, those, the people of the Kingdom, these; to bring or design a spiritual Sacrifice, the Priest to offer it; or all together to sacrifice; the Priest by his proper Ministery, the people by their assent, conjunction and assistance, chosen to serve God, not on­ly in their own forms, but under the ministration of an honourable Priest­hood.

And in all the descent of Christian Religion it was indeed honourable, [...], saith 10 Saint Chrysostom, the Christian Priesthood does its ministery and is perfected Lib. 3. de sacer: Apud. Euseb. hist. lib. 5. c. 25. De script. in Iacob. Haeres. 78. on earth, but hath the beauty, order, and excellency of the heavenly hosts: so that I shall not need to take notice of the Lamina aurea which Poly­crates reports S. Iohn to have worn in token of his royal Priesthood, a Wreath of Gold; (so also did Saint Iames Bishop of Ierusalem, as Saint Hierom and Epiphanius report) nor the exemption of the Clergy from Tribute, their authority with the people, their great donatives and titles of secular advantage, these were accidental to the Ministery▪ and relyed upon the favour of Princes, and devotion of the people; and if they had been more, yet are less than the honours God had bestowed upon it; for certainly, there is not a greater degree of pow­er in the world, than to remit and retain sins, and to consecrate the Sa­cramental Symbols into the mysteriousness of Christ's body and blood; nor a greater honour, than that God in Heaven should ratifie what the Priest does on earth; and should admit him to handle the Sacrifice of the world, and to present the same which in Heaven is presented by the eternal Jesus.

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So Gregory Nazianzen describes the honour and mysteriousness of the Priest's power: They minister the spiritual and unbloody sacrifice, they are honourable Guardians of souls, they bear the work of God in their hands. And S. Hierom speaking of these words of S. Paul, I am ordained a Prea­cher and an Apostle: Quod Paulus ait, [Apostolus Iesu Christi] tale mihi vi­detur [...]m. 1. 3. quasi dixisset, Praefectus praetorio Augusti Caesaris, Magister exercitus Tiberii Imperatoris. And a little after, Grandem inter Christianos sibi vindicans dignitatem, Apostolorum se Christi titulo praenotavit, ut ex ipsa lecturos nominis authoritate deterreret, indicans omnes qui Christo crede­rent, debere esse sibi subjectos. And therefore S. Chrysostome sayes, it is the trick of Hereticks, not to give to Bishops titles of their eminency and ho­nour, which God hath vouchsafed them: Ut Diabolus, ita etiam quilibet facit haereticus vehementissimus in tempore persecutionis, loquens cum Pon­tifice, nec eum vocat Pontificem, nec Archiepiscopum, nec Religiosissimum, nec sanctum, sed quid? Reverentia tua &c. nomina illi adducit communia, ejus negans authoritatem: Diabolus hoc tunc, fecit in Deo: It is [...] and [...], A separating and purifying order of men, so Diony­sius calls it: but Nazianzen speaks greater and more glorious words yet, and yet what is no more than a sober truth: for he calls the Priest [...] ­ Orat. 1. [...] He stands with Angels, and is magnified with Archangels; he sends Sacrifices to a celestial Altar, and is consecrated in the Priesthood of Christ, a divine person, and an instrument of making others so too. I shall add no more as to this particular. The express precepts of 1 Tim. 5. 17. Heb. 13. 17. 2 Cor. 2. 9. 1 Thes. 5. 12. Gal. 6. 1. God in Scripture are written in great characters, there is a double honour to be given to the Ecclesiastical Rulers. Rulers that also labour in the word and doctrine: There is obedience due to them, obedience in all things, and estimation, and love, [...], very abundantly; esteem such very highly for their works sake; a communicating to them in all [...]. good things; and their offices are described to be great, separate, busie, eminent and profitable, they are Rulers, Presidents, set over us in the Lord, taking care for us, labouring in doctrine, spiritual persons, restorers of them that were overtaken in a fault, curates of souls, such as must give an account for them, the salt, the light of the world, shepheards; and much more, signifying work, and rule, and care, honour. But next to the words of Scripture, there can no more be said concerning the honour of the Sacred Order of the Clergy, than is said by Saint Chrysostome in his books De sacerdotio, and Saint Ambrose, De dignitate sacerdotali; and no greater thing can be supposed communicated to men than to be the Ministers of God, in the great conveyances of grace, and instruments of God in the pardon of sins, in the consecration of Christ's Body and [...]. Blood, in the guidance and conduct of souls. And this was the stile of the Church, calling Bishops and Priests according to their respective ca­pacity, Stewards of the grace of God, leaders of the blind, a light of them that sit in darkness, instructors of the ignorant, teachers of babes, stars in the world, amongst whom ye shine as lights in the world, and that is Scripture too; stars in Christ's right hand, lights set upon the Can­dlesticks: And now supposing these premisses, if Christendome had not [Page 29] paid proportionable esteem to them, they had neither known how to value Religion, or the mysteries of Christianity. But that all Christendom Can. 14. [...]. ever did pay the greatest reverence to the Clergy and Religious venera­tion, is a certain argument that in Christian Religion the distinction of the Clergy from the Laity, is supposed as a praecognitum, a principle of the institution. I end this with the words of the seventh General Council: It is manifest to all the world, that in the Priesthood, there is order and distin­ction; and to observe the Ordinations and Elections of the Priesthood with strictness and severity, is well pleasing to God.


AS soon as God began to constitute a Church, and fix the Priesthood, which before was very ambulatory, and dispensed into all Fami­lies, but ever officiated by the Major domo, God gives the power, and de­signs the person. And therefore Moses consecrated Aaron, agitatus à Deo consecrationis Principe, saith Dionysius, Moses performed the external rites Eccles. Hie­rarch. of designation, but God was the Consecrator, [...]. Moses appointed Aaron to the Dionys. ibid. Priesthood, and gave him the Order, but it was only as the Minister and De­puty of God, under God the chief consecrator. And no man taketh upon him this honour, but he that was called of God, as was Aaron, saith S. Paul. For in every Priesthood, God designed and appointed the Ministery, and collates a power, or makes the person gracious: either gives him a spi­ritual ability of doing something which others have not, or if he be only imployed in praying and presenting Sacrifices of Beasts for the people; yet that such a person should be admitted to a nearer address, and in be­half of the people, must depend upon God's acceptation, and therefore upon divine constitution: for there can be no reason given in the nature of the thing, why God will accept the intermediation of one man for ma­ny, or why this man, more than another, who possibly hath no natural or acquired excellency beyond many of the people, except what God him­self makes, after the constitution of the person. If a spiritual power be necessary to the ministration, it is certain, none can give it but the foun­tain and the principle of the Spirits emanation. Or if the graciousness and aptness of the person be required, that also being arbitrary, preternatural and chosen, must derive from the Divine election: For God cannot be prescribed unto by us, whom he shall hear, and whom he shall entertain in a more immediate address, and freer entercourse.

And this is divinely taught us by the example of the high Priest him­self: who, because he derived all power from his Father, and all his 2 graciousness and favour, in the Office of Priest and Mediator, was also personally chosen and sent, and took not the honour but as it descended on him from God, that the honour and the power, the ability, and the ministery, might derive from the same fountain. Christ did not glori­fie Heb. 5. 5. himself to become high Priest. Honour may be deserved by our selves, but alwayes comes from others: and because no greater honour than to be ordained for men in things pertaining to God, every man must say as [Page 30] our blessed High Priest said of himself: If I honour my self, my honour is nothing: it is God that honoureth me: For Christ being the Fountain of Evangelical Ministery, is the measure of our dispensations, and the Rule of Ecclesiastical Oeconomy: and therefore we must not arrogate any power from our selves, or from a less authority than our Lord and Master did: and this is true and necessary in the Gospel, rather than in any Mi­nistery or Priesthood that ever was, because of the collation of so many excellent and supernatural abilities which derive from Christ upon his Ministers, in order to the work of the Gospel.

And the Apostles understood their duty in this particular, as in all things else; for when they had received all this power from above, they 3 were careful to consign the truth, that although it be [...], it is [...], a divine grace in a humane ministery, and that although [...] [...]. [...] yet [...], that is, He that is ordained by men, yet receives his power from God; not at all by himself; and Heb. 5. from no man as from the fountain of his power: And this, I say, the Apo­stles were careful to consign in the first instance of Ordination in the case of Matthias, Thou Lord, shew which of these two, thou hast chosen: God Acts 1. 24. was the Elector, and they the Ministers; and this being at the first be­ginning of Christianity, in the very first designation of an Ecclesiastical person, was of sufficient influence into the Religion for ever after; and taught us to derive all clerical power from God; and therefore by such means and Ministeries which himself hath appointed, but in no hand to be invaded, or surprized in the entrance, or polluted in the execution.

This descended in the succession of the Churches Doctrine for ever. Receive the Holy Ghost, said Christ to his Apostles, when he enabled them 4 with Priestly power; and S. Paul to the Bishops of Asia said, The Holy Ghost hath made you Bishops or Overseers; because no mortal man, no Angel, or Chrysost. lib. 3. de sacerdot. Quippe non mortalis quispi­am non Ange­lus non Archan­gelus, non alia quaevis creata potentia, sed ip­se Paracletus ordinem ejus­modi disposuit. Archangel, nor any other created power, but the Holy Ghost alone hath consti­tuted this Order, saith S. Chrysostome. And this very thing, besides the matter of fact, and the plain donation of the power by our blessed Sa­viour, is intimated by the words of Christ other-where; Pray ye there­fore the Lord of the Vineyard, that he will send Labourers into his Harvest. Now his mission is not only a designing of the persons, but enabling them with power; because he never commands a work, but he gives abilities to its performance: and therefore still in every designation of the per­son, by whatsoever ministery it be done, either that ministery is by God constituted to be the ordinary means of conveying the abilities, or else God himself ministers the grace immediately. It must of necessity come from him some way or other.


Saint Iames hath adopted it into the Family of Evangelical truths; [...], and therefore [...], Every perfect James 1. 17. gift, and therefore every perfecting gift, which in the stile of the Church is the gift of Ordination, is from above, the gifts of perfecting the persons of the Hierarchy, and ministery Evangelical; which thing is further intima­ted by Saint Paul. Now he which stablisheth us with you [ [...]] in or­der 2 Cor. 1. 21. to Christ [and Christian Religion] is God, and that his meaning be understood concerning the [...] of establishing him [Page 31] in the ministery, he adds [...] and he which anointeth us is Vers. 22. God, and hath sealed us with an earnest of his Spirit [unction] and consig­nation] and [establishing by the holy Spirit:] the very stile of the Church for Ordination [...], it was said of Christ, Him hath the Father sealed, that is, ordained him, the Priest and Prophet of the John 6. 27. world, and this he plainly spoke as their Apostle and President in Religion, [...], &c. Not as Lords over your faith, but fellow-workers; he spake of himself and Timothy, concerning whose Ministery in order to them, he now gives ac­count: [...], God anoints the Priest, and God consigns him with the holy Ghost; that is the principale quaesitum, that is the main question.

And therefore the Author of the Books of Ecclesiastical Hierarchy, giving the rationale of the Rites of Ordination, sayes that the Priest is 5 made so [...] by way of proclaiming and publication of the person, signifying, That the holy man that consecrates, is but the proclaimer of the divine election, but not by any humane power or proper grace does he give the perfect gift and consecrate the person. And N="*" [...]. In Orat. in lau­dem sui patris. [...]. Nazianzen, speaking of the rites of Ordination hath this expression, with which the Divine grace is proclaimed: (And Billius renders it ill by superinvoca­tur.) He makes the power of consecration to be declarative; which in­deed is a lesser expression of a fuller power, but it signifies as much as the whole comes to; for it must mean, God does transmit the grace [at] or [by] or [in] the exteriour ministery, and the Minister is [ [...] a declarer] not by the word of his mouth, distinct from the work of his hand: But by the ministery, he declares the work of God, then wrought in the person suscipient. And thus in absolution the Priest de­clares the act of God pardoning, not that he is a Preacher only of the pardon upon certain conditions, but that he is not the principal agent; but by his ministery declares and ministers the effect and work of God. And this interpretation is clear in the instance of the blessed Sacrament, where not only the Priest but the people do [...] declare the Lords death, not by a Homily, but by vertue of the mystery which they participate. And in the instance of this present question, the consecrator does declare power to descend from God upon the person to be or­dained.

But thus the whole action being but a ministery, is a declaration of the effect and grace of Gods vouch safing; and because God does it not imme­diately, 6 and also because such effects are invisible and secret operations, God appointing an external rite and ministery, does it▪ that the private working of the Spirit may become as perceived as it can be, that is, that it may by such rites be declared to all the world what God is doing, and that man cannot do it of himself; and besides the reasonableness of the thing, the very words in the present allegation do to this very sence ex­pound themselves: for [...], and [...], are the same thing, and expressive of each other; the consecrator declares, that is, he doth not do it by collation of his own grace or power, but the grace of God and power from above.

And this Doctrine we read also in S. Cyprian towards the end of his Epistle to Cornelius; ut Dominus qui Sacerdotes sibi in Ecclesia sua elige­re Epist. 45. & constituere dignatur, electos quoque & constitutos sua voluntate at­que opitulatione tueatur: It is a good prayer of Ordination, [that the Lord who vouchsafes to chuse and consecrate Priests in his Church, would also be pleased by his aid and grace to defend them whom he [Page 32] hath so chosen and appointed] Homo manum imponit, & Deus largitur gratiam: Sacerdos imponit supplicem dextram, Deus benedicit potenti dex­tra, Dedignit. Sa­cer. c. 5. & in comment. in 1. Tom. c. 2. & in 1 Cor. 12. in illud [Divisi­ones gratia­rum.] saith Saint Ambrose, Man imposes his hand but God give the grace: the Bishop lays on his hand of prayer, and God blesses with his hand of power. The effect of this discourse is plain; the grace and power that enables men to minister in the mysteries of the Gospel is so wholly from God, that whosoever assumes it without Gods warrant, and besides his way, ministers with a vain, sacrilegious, and ineffective hand, save only that he disturbs the appointed order, and does himself a mischief.


BY this ordination the persons ordained are made Ministers of the Gospel, Stewards of all its mysteries, the Light, the Salt of the 1 earth, the Shepherd of the flock, Curates of souls; these are their of­fices, or their appellatives (which you please:) for the Clerical ordina­tion is no other but a sanctification of the person in both sences; that is, 1. A separation of him to do certain mysterious actions of religion: which is that sanctification by which Ieremy, and S. Iohn the Baptist were sanctified from their mothers wombs. 2. It is also a sanctification of the person, by the increasing or giving respectively to the capacity of the suscipient, such graces as make the person meet to speak to God, to pray for the people, to handle the mysteries, and to have influence upon the cure.

The first sanctification of a designation of the person; which must of 2 necessity be some way or other by God: because it is a nearer approach to him, a ministery of his graces, which without his appointment, a man must not, cannot any more do, than a messenger can carry pardon to a condemned person, which his Prince never sent. But this separation of the person, is not only a naming of the man, (for so far the separation of the person may be previous to the ordination: for so it was in the or­dinations of Matthias, and the seven Deacons; The Apostles [...] they appointed two, before God chose by lot; and the whole Church chose the seven Deacons before the Apostles imposed hands;) but the separation, or this first sanctification of the person, is a giving him a power to do such offices, which God hath appointed to be done to him and for the people, which we may clearly see and understand in the Job 42. 8. instance of Iob and his friends: For when God would be intreated in behalf of Eliphaz and his companions, he gave order that Iob should make the address; Go to my servant, he shall pray for you, and him will I accept; this separation of a person for the offices of advocation, is the same thing which I mean by this first sanctification; God did it, and gave him a power and authority to go to him, and put him into a place of trust and favour about him, and made him a Minister of the Sacrifice, which is a power and eminency above the persons for whom he was to sacrifice, and a power or grace from God to be in near­ness to him. This I suppose to be the great argument for the necessity of separating a certain order of men for Ecclesiastical ministeries: And it relies upon these propositions. 1. All power of ordination descends [Page 33] from God, and he it is who sanctifies and separates the person. 2. The Priest by God is separate to be the gratious person to stand between him and the people. 3. He speaks the word of God, and returns the prayers and duty of the people, and conveys the blessings of God, by his prayer, and by his ministery. So that although every Christian must pray and may be heard, yet there is a solemn person appointed to pray in publick: and though Gods Spirit is given to all that ask it, and the promises of the Gospel are verified to all that obey the Gospel of Jesus, yet God hath appointed Sacraments and Solemnities, by which the promises and blessings are ministred more solemnly, and to greater effects. All the ordinary devotions the people may do alone; the solemn, ritual and publick, the appointed Minister only must do. And if any man shall say, because the Priest's ministery is by prayer, every man can do it, and so, no need of him; by the same reason he may say also that the Sacraments are unnecessary, because the same effect which they produce, is also in some degree the reward of a private piety and de­votion. But the particulars are to be further proved and explicated as they need.

Now what for illustration of this Article I have brought from the in­stance of Iob, is true in the Ministers of the Gospel, with the superaddi­tion 3 of many degrees of eminency. But still in the same kind, for the power God hath given is indeed mystical; but it is not like a power operating by way of natural or proper operation; it is not vis but facul­las, not an inherent quality that issues out actions by way of direct ema­nation, like natural or acquired habits, but it is a grace or favour done to the person, and a qualification of him in genere politico, he receives a politick, publick, and solemn capacity, to intervene between God and the people; and although it were granted that the people could do the exter­nal work, or the action of Church ministeries, yet they are actions to no purpose; they want the life and all the excellency, unless they be done by such persons whom God hath called to it, and by some means of his own hath expressed his purpose to accept them in such ministrati­ons.

And this explication will easily be verified in all the particulars of the Priests Power, because all the ministeries of the Gospel are in genere ora­tionis 4 (unless we except preaching, in which God speaks by his servants to the people) the Minister by his office is an Intercessor with God, and the word used in Scripture for the Priests officiating signifies his praying [ [...]] as they were ministring or doing their Liturgy, the work of their supplications and intercession; and therefore the Apostles positively included all their whole ministery in these two: [but we will give our selves to the word of God, and to prayer;] the prayer of conse­cration, the prayer of absolution, the prayer of imposition of hands: they had nothing else to do but pray and preach. And for this reason it was, that the Apostles in a sence nearest to the letter, did verifie the precept of our Blessed Saviour; Pray continually, that is, in all the offices, acts, parts and ministeries of a daily Liturgy.

This is not to lessen the power, but to understand it: for the Priests ministery is certainly the instrument of conveying all the blessings of the 5 people, which are annexed to the ordinary administration of the Spirit. But when all the office of Christs Priesthood in Heaven is called interces­sion for us, and himself makes the sacrifice of the Cross, effectual to the salvation and graces of his Church, by his prayer, since we are Ministers [Page 34] of the same Priesthood, can there be a greater glory than to have our ministery like to that of Jesus? not operating by vertue of a certain num­ber of syllables, but by a holy, solemn, determined and religious prayer, in the several manners and instances of intercession: according to the analogy of all the religions in the world, whose most solemn mystery, was their most solemn prayer: I mean it in the matter of sacrificing; which also is true in the most mysterious solemnity of Christianity in the holy Sacrament of the Lords Supper, which is hallowed and lifted up from the Cap. ult. de Ec­cles. Hier. [...]. common bread and wine by mystical prayers and solemn invocations of God. And therefore S. Dionysius calls the forms of Consecration [...], prayers of Consecration, and S. Cyril in his third mystago­gique Catechism sayes the same. The Eucharistical bread [after the invo­cation of the holy Ghost] is not any longer common bread, but the body of Christ.

For although it be necessary that the words which in the Latin Church have been for a long time called the words of Consecration 6 (which indeed are more properly the words of Institution) should be repeated in every consecration, because the whole action is not complea­ted according to Christs pattern, nor the death of Christ so solemnly enunciated without them, yet even those words also are part of a my­stical prayer; and therefore as they are not only intended there [...], by way of history or narration (as Cabasil. mistakes;) so also Im Eposit. Liturg. in the most ancient Liturgies, they were not only read [...], or as a meer narrative, but also with the form of an address, or invocation: Fiat hic panis corpus Christi, & fiat hoc vinum sanguis Christi, Let this bread be made the body of Christ, &c. So it is in S. Iames his Liturgy, S. Clements, S. Marks, and the Greek Doctors: And in the very recitation of the words of institution, the people ever used to answer [Amen] which in­timates it to have been a consecration in genere orationis, called by S. Paul benediction, or the bread of blessing, and therefore S. Austin expound­ing those words of S. Paul [Let prayers and supplications and interces­sions and giving of thanks be made] saith, Eligo in his verbis hoc intelligere, Epist. 59. q. 5. quod omnis vel paene omnis frequentat ecclesia, ut [precationes] accipiamus dictas quas fecimus in celebratione sacramentorum antequam illud quod est in Donini mensâ accipiat benedici: [orationes] cum benedicitur, & ad distribuendum comminuitur quam totam orationem paene omnis ecclesia Do­minicâ oratione concludit. The words and form of consecration he calls by the name of [orationes] supplications; the prayers before the conse­cration [preces], and all the whole action [oratio:] and this is accord­ing to the stile and practice, and sence of the whole Church or very near the whole. And S. Basil saith, that there is more necessary to consecra­tion than the words recited by the Apostles and by the Evangelists. Cap. 27. de Spi. S. [...]. ‘The words of Invocation in the shewing the bread of the Eucharist, and the cup of blessing, Who of all the Saints have left to us? For we are not content with those which the Apostle and the Evangelists mention: but before and after, we say other words having great power towards the mystery, [...] which we have received by tradition.’ These words set down in Scripture they retained as a part of the mystery co-o­perating to the solemnity, manifesting the signification of the rite, the glo­ry of the change, the operation of the Spirit, the death of Christ, and the [Page 37] memory of the sacrifice: but this great work which all Christians knew to be done by the Holy Ghost, the Priest did obtain by prayer and so­lemn invocation: according to the saying of Proclus of C. P. speaking of the tradition of certain prayers used in the mysteries, and indited by the Apostles (as it was said,) but especially in S. Iames his Liturgy: By these prayers (saith he) they expected the coming of the holy Ghost, that his divine presence might make the bread and the wine mixt with water to be­come the body and blood of our blessed Saviour.

And S. Iustin Martyr very often calls the Eucharist, food made Sacra­mental 7 and Eucharistical by prayer: and Origen, Apol. 2. pro Christianis li. 8. contra Cels. [...]. Matth. 15. We eat the bread holy, [...]. and made the body of Christ by prayer: Verbo Dei & per obsecrationem san­ctificatus, bread sanctified by the word of God, and by prayer, viz. the prayer of consecration: Prece mystica is S. Austins expression of it: Lib. 3. de Tri. cap. 4. Corpus Christi & sanguinem dicimus illud tantum, quod ex fructibus terrae acceptum, & prece mystica consecratum ritè sumimus. That only we call the body and blood of Christ which we receive of the fruits of the earth, and being consecrated by the mystical prayer, we take according to the rite. And S. Hierom chides the insolency of some Deacons towards Priests upon this ground. Quis pati­atur ut m [...] ­sarum & vi­duarum mini­ster supra [...]os si tumidius effe­rat, ad quorum preces, Christi corpus sanguisque conficitur? Who can suffer that the ministers of wid­dows and tables should advance themselves above those [at whose prayers] the body and blood of Christ are exhibited or made presential? I add only the words of Damascen. Lib. 4. de fide, cap. 14. [...]. Vide Optat. Milevit. lib. 6. contra Parmenian. The bread and wine are changed into the body and blood of Christ supernaturally by invocation, and coming of the Holy Ghost.

Now whether this consecration by prayer, did mean to reduce the 8 words of institution to the sence and signification of a prayer, or that S. Cyprian lib. st. c. [...]lt. Eusebi­ [...] Emissen. Serm. 5. de Pascat. they mean, the consecration was made by the other prayers annexed to the narrative of the institution according to the several sences of the Greek and Latin Church, yet still the ministery of the Priest, whether in the words of consecration, or in the annexed prayers, is still by way of prayer. Nay further yet, the whole mystery it self is operative in the way of prayer, saith Cassander, in behalf of the School and of all the Roman Church; and indeed S. Ambrose, and others of the Fathers, in behalf of the De Iteration [...] in consultat. Church Catholick. Nunc Christus offertur, sed offertur quasi homo, quasi re­cipiens passionem, & offert seipsum quasi Sacerdos ut peccata nostra dimittat hic in imagine [ibi in veritate, ubi apud Patrem quasi advocatus intervenit.] So that what the Priest does here, being an imitation of what Christ does in Heaven, is by the sacrifice of a solemn prayer, and by the repre­senting the action and passion of Christ, which is effectual in the way of prayer, and by the exhibiting it to God by a solemn prayer, and advo­cation, in imitation of, and union with Christ. All the whole office is an of­fice of intercession, as it passes from the Priest to God, and from the peo­ple to God; And then for that great mysteriousness, which is the sacra­mental change, which is that which passes from God unto the peo­ple by the Priest, that also is obtained and effected by way of prayer.

For since the holy Ghost is the consecrator, either he is called down by the force of a certain number of syllables, which that he will verifie, him­self 9 hath no where described; and that he means not to do it, he hath fairly intimated, in setting down the Institution in words of great vici­nity to express the sence of the mystery, but yet of so much difference and variety, as will shew, this great change is not wrought by such certain and [Page 38] determined words, [The blood of the New Testament] so it is in Saint Matthew and S. Mark, [The new Testament in my blood] so S. Paul and S. Luke, My body which is broken, My body which is given, &c. and to think otherwise, is so near the Gentile Rites, and the mysteries of Zoroastes, and the secret operations of the Enthei, and Heathen Priests, that unless God had declared expresly such a power to be affixed to the recitation of such certain words, it is not with too much forwardness to be supposed true in the spirituality of the Gospel.

But if the spirit descends not by the force of syllables, it follows He is called down by the prayers of the Church, presented by the Priests, 10 which indeed is much to the honour of God and of Religion, an endear­ment of our duty, is according to the analogy of the Gospel, and a pro­per action or part of spiritual sacrifice, that great excellency of Evange­lical Religion.

For what can be more apt and reasonable to bring any great blessing from God than prayer, which acknowledges him the fountain of blessing, 11 and yet puts us into a capacity of receiving it by way of moral predis­position, that holy graces may descend into holy vessels, by holy mini­steries, and conveyances; and none are more fit for the employment than prayers, whereby we bless God▪ and bless the symbols, and ask that God may bless us, and by which every thing is sanctified, viz. by the word of God and Prayer, that is, by God's benediction and our impetration; according to the use of the word in the saying of our blessed Saviour, Man lives [by every word] that proceeds out of the mouth of God: that is, by God's blessing; to which, prayer is to be joyned, that we may co­operate with God in a way most likely to prevail with him; and they are excellent words which De iteratione, Atque hinc a­deò credo Apo­stolicas ipsas jam inde ab initio Ecclesias aliquas, hujus­modi preces ad mysteriorum celebrationem ad bibuisse; i [...]ò Christum ip­sum non solâ verborum reci­tatione, sed eti­am eulogiâ an­te ipsam myste­riorum confe­ctionem, & [...] hymno u­sum fuisse ma­nifestum est. Cassander hath said to the purpose; Some Apo­stolical Churches from the beginning used such solemn prayers to the celebrati­on of the mysteries; and Christ himself, beside that he recited the words (of Institution) he blessed the Symbols before and after, sung an Ecclesia­stical hymn. And therefore the Greek Churches which have with more severity kept the first and most ancient forms of consecration, than the Latin Church; affirm that the Consecration is made by solemn invoca­tion alone, and the very recitation of the words spoken in the body of a prayer are used for argument to move God to hallow the gifts, and as an expression and determination of the desire. And this, [...]. Gabriel of Philadelphia observes out of an Apostolical Liturgy, The words of our Lord [ [...]] antecedently, and by way of institution, and incentive are the form, together with the words which the Priest afterwards recites according as it is set down in the divine Liturgy. It is supposed he means the Liturgy reported to be made by S. Iames, which is of the most an­cient use in the Greek Church, and all Liturgies in the world in their several Canons of communion, do now, and did for ever, mingle solemn prayers together with recitation of Christ's words; The Church of Eng­land does most religiously observe it according to the custom and sence of the primitive Liturgies; who always did believe the consecration not to be a natural effect, and change, finished in any one instant, but a divine alteration consequent to the whole ministery: that is, the solemn prayer and invocation.

Now if this great ministery be by way of solemn prayer, it will easier be 12 granted that so the other are. For absolution and reconciliation of peni­tents Lib. 3. de bapt. coner. Donat. cap. 16. I need say no more, but the question of S. Austin, Quid est aliud Manûs Impositio, quàm oratio super hominem? And the Priestly absolu­tion is called by S. Leo, Sacerdotum supplicationes, The prayers of Epist. 92. [Page 39] Priests; and in the old Ordo Romanus, and in the Pontifical, the forms of reconciliation were [Deus te absolvat] the Lord pardon thee, &c. But whatsoever the forms were (for they may be optative, or indicative, or declarative,) the case is not altered as to this question: for whatever the act of the Priest be, whether it be the act of a Judge, or of an Embassa­dor, or a Counsellor, or a Physician, or all this; the blessing which he ministers, is by way of a solemn prayer, according to the exigence of the present Rite: and the form of words doth not alter the case; for Ego benedico, & Deus benedicat] is the same, and was no more when God commanded the Priest in express terms to bless the people; only the Church of late, chuses the indicative form, to signifie, that such a person is by authority and proper designation appointed the ordinary minister of be­nediction. For in the sence of the Church and Scripture, none can give blessing but a Superior, and yet every person may say in charity, God bless you; He may not be properly said to bless, for the greater is not blessed of the lesser by Saint Paul's Rule; the Priest may bless, or the Father may, and yet their benediction, (save that it signifies the authority, and so­lemn deputation of the person to such an ordinary Ministery) signifies but the same thing; that is, it operates by way of prayer; but is there­fore prevalent and more effectual, because it is by persons appointed by God. And so it is in Absolution, for he that ministers the pardon, be­ing the person that passes the act of God to the penitent, and the act of the penitent to God; all that manner that the Priest interposes for the penitent to God is by way of prayer, and by the mediation of intercessi­on; for there is none else in this imaginable; and the other of passing God's act upon the penitent is by way of interpretation and enunciation, as an Embassador, and by the word of his ministery; In persona Christi condonavi, I pardon in the person of Christ, saith S. Paul: in the first, he is [...]; in the second he is [...]; in both, a minister of divine benediction to the people, the anointing from above descends upon Aaron's beard, and so by degrees to the skirts of the people; and yet in those things which the Priest or the Prophet does but signifie by divine appointment he is said to do the thing, which he only signifies and makes publick as a Minister of God: thus God sent Ieremy, He set him over the Nations to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, to throw down, and to build, and to plant; Jer. 1. 10. and yet in all this, his ministery was nothing but Prophetical: and he that converts a sinner is said to save him, and to hide a multitude of sins; that is, he is instrumental to it and ministers in the imployment; so that here also, Verbum est oratio, the word of God and prayer do transact both the parts of this office. And I understand, though not the degree and excellency, yet the truth of this manner of operation in the instance of Isaac blessing Iacob, which in the several parts was expressed in all forms, indicative, optative, enunciative; and yet there is no question but it was intended to do Iacob benefit by way of impetration; so that although the Church may express the acts of her ministery in what form she please, and with design to make signification of another Article, yet the manner of procuring blessings and graces for the people is by a mi­nistery of interpellation and prayer, we having no other way of address or return to God but by Petition and Eucharist.

17. I shall not need to instance any more. S. Austin summs up all 13 the Ecclesiastical ministeries in an expression fully to this purpose; Si ergo ad hoc valet quod dictum est in Evangelio, Deis peccatorem non audit, Lib. 31. de bapt. con. Donat. c. 20. aut, Per peccatorem sacramenta non celebrentur, Quomodo exaudit— [Page 40] deprecantem vel super aquam baptismi, vel super oleum, vel super Eucharisti­am, vel super capita eorum super quibus manus imponitur? with S. Austin, praying over the Symbols of every Sacrament, and Sacramental, is all one with celebrating the mystery. And therefore in the office of Con­secration in the Greek Church, this power passes upon the person or­dained, That he may be worthy to ask things of thee for the salvation of the people, that is, to celebrate the Sacraments, and Rites, and that thou [...]. in consecra. Episc. [...]. wilt hear him: which fully expresses the sence of the present discourse, that the first part of that grace of the holy Spirit which consecrates the Priest, the first part of his sanctification, is a separation of the person to the power of intercession for the people, and a ministerial mediation, by the ministration of such rites and solemn invocations which God hath appointed or designed.

And now this sanctification which is so evident in Scripture, tradition and reason, taken from proportion and analogy to Religion, is so far 14 from making the power of the holy man less than is supposed, that it shews the greatness of it by a true representment; and preserves the sa­credness of it so within its own cancels, that it will be the greatest sa­criledge in the world to invade it; for, whoever will boldly enter with­in this vail, nisi qui vocatur sicut Aaron, unless he be sanctified as is the Priest, who is [...], as Nazianzen calls him, a Minister co-operating with Christ, he does without leave call himself a man of God, a Mediator between God and the people under Christ, he boldly thrusts himself into the participation of that glorious mediation which Christ officiates in Heaven; all which things as they are great honours to the person, rightly called to such vicinity and endearments with God, so they depend wholly upon divine dignation of the grace and vocation of the person.

2. Now for the other part of spiritual emanation or descent of graces in sanctification of the Clergy, that is in order to the performance of 15 the other, [...]; that's the sence of it, that God who is the lover of souls may grant a pure and unblameable Priesthood; and certainly they who are honoured with so great a grace as to be called to officiate in holy and useful Ministeries have need also of other graces to make them persons holy in habit and disposition, as well as holy in Calling, and therefore God hath sent his Spirit to furnish his Emissaries with excellencies pro­portionable to their need and the usefulness of the Church. At the be­ginning of Christianity, God gave gifts extraordinary, as boldness of spirit, fearless courage, freedom of discourse, excellent understanding, discerning of spirits, deep judgment, innocence and prudence of deport­ment, the gift of tongues; these were so necessary at the institution of the Christian Church, that if we had not had testimony of the matter of fact, the reasonableness of the thing would prove the actual dispensa­tion of the Spirit; because God never fails in necessaries: But afterward, when all the extraordinary needs were served, the extraordinary stock was spent, and God retracted those issues into their fountains, and then the graces that were necessary for the well discharging the [...], the Priestly function, were such as make the person of more bene­fit to the people, not only by being exemplary to them, but gracious and loved by God: and those are spiritual graces of sanctification.

And therefore Ordination is a collation of holy graces of sanctifica­tion; of a more excellent Faith, of fervent Charity, of Providence and 16 paternal care: Gifts which now descend not by way of miracle, as upon [Page 41] the Apostles, are to be acquired by humane industry, by study and good letters, and therefore are presupposed in the person to be ordained: to which purpose the Church now examines the abilities of the man, be­fore she lays on hands: and therefore the Church does not suppose that the Spirit in Ordination descends in gifts, and in the infusion of ha­bits, and perfect abilities, though then also, it is reasonable to believe that God will assist the pious and careful endeavours of holy Priests, and bless them with special aids and co-operation: because a more extraor­dinary ability is needful for persons so designed. But the proper and great aid which the Spirit of Ordination gives, is such instances of assi­stance which make the person more holy.

And this is so certainly true, that even when the Apostle had ordained Timothy to be Bishop of Ephesus, he calls upon him to stir up the gift of 17 God, which was in him by the putting on of his hands, and that gift is a Rosa­ry of graces; what graces they are, he enumerates in the following words: God hath not given us the spirit of Fear, but of Power, of Love, [...], and of a modest and sober mind (and these words are made part of the form of collating the Episcopal order in the Church of England.) Here is all that descends from the Spirit in Ordination, [...], Power, that is, to officiate and intercede with God in the parts of ministery: and the rest are such as imply duty, such as make him fit to be a Ruler in pa­ternal and sweet government, Modesty, Sobriety, Love; And therefore in the forms of Ordination of the Greek Church (which are therefore highly to be valued, because they are most ancient, have suffered the least change, and been polluted with fewer interests) the mystical prayer of Ordination names graces in order to holiness. We pray thee that the grace of the ever holy Spirit may descend upon him, [...]. Fill him full of all faith and love and power and sanctification by the illumination of thy holy and life­giving Spirit: and the reason why these things are desir'd, and given, is in order to the right performing his holy offices, [...]. That he may be worthy to stand without blame at thy Altar, to preach the Gospel of thy Kingdom, to minister the words of thy truth, to bring to Thee gifts, and spiritual Sacrifices, to renew the people with the Laver of Regenerati­on.

And therefore Gratiam Apostolis à Christo colla­tam, qua san­ctificarentur: ut per spiritum Sanctum à propriis peccatis absolverentur. Lib. 12. in Io. cap. 56. S. Cyril says that Christ's saying, Receive ye the Holy 18 Ghost, signifies grace given by Christ to the Apostles, whereby they were sanctified: that by the holy Ghost they might be absolved from their sins, saith Homil. in 8va. Paschae. Haymo; and Lib. 2. cap. ult. de adulter. conjug. S. Austin says, that many persons that were snatch­ed violently to be made Priests or Bishops, who had in their former pur­poses determined to marry and live a secular life, have in their Ordination received the gift of continency. And therefore there was reason for the greatness of the solemnities used in all ages in separation of Priests from the world, insomuch that whatsoever was used in any sort of sanctification of solemn benediction by Moses law, all that was used in Consecration of the Priest, who was to receive the greatest measure of sanctification. Ea­dem item vis etiam Sacerdotem, augustum & honorandum facit, novitate be­nedictionis à communitate vulgi segregatum. Cum enim heri unus è plebe esset, repente redditur praeceptor, praeses, Doctor pietatis, mysteriorum latentium Praesul &c. Invisibili quadam vi, ac gratia invisibilem animam in melius transforma­tam gerens, that is, improved in all spiritual graces; which is highly expres­sed by Soz. lib. 7. cap. 10. Martyrius who said to Nectarius; Tu, ô beate, recens baptizatus & purificatus, & mox insuper sacerdotio auctus es; utraque autem haec peccato­rum expiatoria esse Deus constituit: which are not to be expounded as if Ordination did confer the first grace, which in the Schools is understood [Page 42] only to be expiatorious; but the increment of grace, and sanctification; and that also is remissive of sins, which are taken off by parts as the ha­bit decreases; and we grow in God's favour, as our graces multiply or grow.

Now that these graces being given in Ordination, are immediate ema­nations of the holy Spirit, and therefore not to be usurped or pretend­ed 19 to by any man, upon whom the Holy Ghost in Ordination hath not descended, I shall less need to prove, because it is certain upon the for­mer grounds, and will be finished in the following discourses; and it is in the Greek Ordination given as a Reason of the former prayer, [...]. [For not in the imposition of my hands, but in the overseeing providence of thy rich mercies, grace is given to them that are worthy.] So that we see, more goes to the fitting of a person for Ecclesiastical Ministeries than is usually supposed; together with the power, a grace is specially collated, and that is not to be taken up and laid down, and pretended to by every bolder person. The thing is sa­cred, separate, solemn, deliberate, derivative from God, and not of hu­mane provision, or authority, or pretence, or disposition.


THe Holy Ghost was the first Consecrator, that is made evident; and the persons first consecrated were the Apostles, who received 1 the several parts of the Priestly order, at several times; the power of consecration of the Eucharist, at the institution of it; the power of re­mitting and retaining sins in the Octaves of Easter; the power of bapti­zing and preaching, together with universal jurisdiction, immediately before the Ascension, when they were commanded to go into all the world preaching and baptizing. This is the whole office of the Priesthood; and nothing of this was given in Pentecost when the holy Spirit descended and rested upon all of them; the Apostles, the brethren, the women: for then they received those great assistances which enabled them who had been designed for Embassadors to the world, to do their great work: and others of a lower capacity had their proportion, as the effect of the promise of the Father, and a mighty verification of the truth of Christi­anity.

Now all these powers which Christ hath given to his Apostles, were by some means or other to be transmitted to succeeding persons, because 2 the several Ministeries were to abide for ever. All Nations were to be converted, a Church to be gathered and continued, the new Converts to be made Confessors, and consigned with Baptism, sins to be remitted, flocks to be fed and guided, and the Lords death declared, represented, exhibited, and commemorated until his second Coming. And since the powers of doing these offices, are acts of free and gracious concession, emanations of the holy Spirit, and admissions to a vicinity with God, it is not only impudence and sacriledge in the person, falsly to pretend, that is, to bely the Holy Ghost, and thrust into these Offices, but there is an impossibility in the thing, it is null in the very deed doing, to handle these mysteries without some appointment by God; unless he calls and points out the person, either by an extraordinary or by an ordinary Vo­cation; Of these I must give a particular account.

[Page 43] The extraordinary calling was first, that is, the immediate; for the first beginning of a lasting necessity, is extraordinary, and made ordi­nary 3 in succession, and by continuation of a fixed and determined Mi­nistery. The first of every order hath another manner of constitution, than all the whole succession. The rising of the spring is of greater wonder, and of more extraordinary and latent reason, than the descent of the current; and the derivation of the powers of the Holy Ghost that make the Priestly order, are just like the Creation: the first man was made with God's own hands, and all the rest by God, co-operating with a humane act; and there is never the same necessity as at first, for God to create man. The species or kind shall never fail, but be preserved in an ordinary way: And so it is in the designation of the Ministers of Evangelical Priesthood; God breathed into the Apostles [...], the breath of the life-giving spirit; and that breath was to be continued in a perpetual, univocal production; they who had re­ceived, they were also to give: and they only could.

Grace cannot be conveyed to any man, but either by the fountain, or by the channel: by the Author, or by the Minister. God only is the 4 fountain and Author: and he that makes himself the Minister whom God appointed not, does in effect make himself the Author: for he un­dertakes to dispose of grace which he hath not received, to give God's goods upon his own authority: which he that offers at, without God's warrant, does it only upon his own. And so either he is the Author, or an Usurper, either the fountain, or a dry cloud, which in effect calls him either blasphemous, or sacrilegious.

But the first and immediate derivation from the fountain, that only I affirm to be miraculous, and extraordinary: as all beginnings of essen­ces 5 and graces of necessity must: those persons who receive the first is­sues, they only are extraordinarily called: all that succeed are called or designed by an ordinary vocation, because whatsoever is in the suc­cession is but an ordinary necessity, to which God hath proportioned an ordinary Ministery; and when it may be supplied by the common pro­visions, to look for an extraordinary calling, is as if a man should expect some new man to be created, as Adam was; it is to suppose God will multiply beings and operations without necessity. God called at first, and if he had not called, man could not have come to him in this nearness of a holy Ministery; he sent persons abroad, and if he had not sent, they could not have gone; but after that he had appointed by his own desig­nation persons who should be Fathers in Christ, he called no more, but left them to call others: He first immediately gives the [...], the grace, and leaves this as a Depositum to the Church, faithfully to be kept till Christ's second coming; and this Depositum is the doctrine and disci­pline of Jesus: he opens the door, and then left it open, commanding all to come in that way, into the Ministery and tuition of the flock, cal­ling all that came in by windows, and posterns, and oblique ways, thieves and robbers. And it is observable, that the word vocation or calling in Scripture, when it is referred to a designation of persons to the Ministe­ry, Acts 13. 2. 16. 10. it always signifies that which we term, calling extraordinary; it al­ways signifies, an immediate act of God; which also ceased when the great necessity expired, that is, when the fountain had streamed forth abundantly, and made a current to descend without interruption. The purpose of this discourse is, that now no man should in these days of or­dinary Hob. 5. 4. 5, 10. Ministery, look for an extraordinary calling, nor pretend in or­der to vainer purposes any new necessities.

[Page 44] They are fancies of a too confident opinion, and over-valuing of our selves, when we think the very being of a Church is concerned in our 6 mistakes; and if all the world be against us, we are not ashamed of our folly, but think truth is failed from among the children of men, and the Church is at a loss, and the current derived from the first emanati­ons is dried up, and then he that is boldest to publish his follies, is also as apt to mistake his own boldness for a call from God, as he did at first his own vain opinion for a necessary truth; and then he is called extraordi­narily, and so ventures into the secrets of the Sanctuary. First, he made a necessity more than ever God made, & then himself finds a remedy that God never appointed. He that thinks every shaking of the Ark is ab­solute ruine to it, when peradventure it was but the weakness of his own eyes that made him fancy what was not, may also think he hears a call from above to support it, which indeed was nothing but a noise in his own head: And there is no cure for this, but to cure the man, and set his head right. For he that will pretend any thing that is beyond ordinary, as he that will say he hath two reasonable Souls within him, or three Wills, is not to be confuted but by Physick, or by the tying him to abjure his folly till he were able to prove it.

But God by promising that his Church should abide for ever, and that 7 the gates of Hell should not prevail against it, but that himself would be with her to the end of the world; hath sufficiently confuted the vanity of those men, who that they might thrust themselves into an office, pre­tend the dissolution of the very being of the Church: For if the Church remains in her being, let her corruptions be what they will, the ordi­nary Prophets have power to reform them; and if they do not, every man hath power to complain, so he does it with peace, and modesty, and truth, and necessity.

2. And there is no need of an extraordinary calling to amend such 8 things which are certain, foreseen events; and such were heresies and corruption in doctrine and manners, for which God appointed an ordi­nary Ministery to take cognizance and make a remedy; for which him­self when he had told us, Heresies must needs be, yet made no provisions extraordinary, but left the Church sufficiently instructed by her Rule, and guided by her Pastors.

3. When Christ means to give us a new Law, then he will give us a 9 new Priesthood, a new Ministery: One will not be changed without the other; God now no more comes in a mighty rushing wind, but in a still voice, in the gentle Homilies of ordinary Prophets; and now that the Law, by which we are to frame our understandings and our actions, is established, we must not expect an Apostle to correct every abuse; for if they will not hear Moses and the Prophets, if one should come from the dead, or an Angel come from Heaven, it is certain they will not be entertained, but till the wonder be over, and the curiosity of news be satisfied.

Against this, it is pretended that Christ promised to be with his Church 10 for ever, upon condition the Church would do their duty; but they Volkell. lib. 6. cap. 18. being but a company of men, have power to chuse, and they may chuse amiss; and if all should do so, Christs promises may fail us, though not fail of their intentions; and then in this case the Church failing, either there must be an extraordinary calling of single persons, or else any man may enter into the ordinary way, which is all one with an extraordina­ry: for it is extraordinary that common persons should by necessity be drawn into an imployment, which by ordinary vocation, they are not to meddle with.

[Page 45] Against this we can (thanks be to God for it) pretend the experience 11 of sixteen Ages; for hitherto it hath ever been in the Christian Churches, that God hath preserved a holy Clergy in the same proportion as he hath preserved a holy people; never yet were the Clergy all Antichristian, in the midst of Christian Churches; and we have no reason to fear it will be so now, after so long an experience to expound the promises of our Lord to the sence of a perpetual Ministery, and a perpetual Church, by the means of Ordinary ministrations.

And how shall the Church be supposed to fail, since God hath made no provisions for its restitution? For by what means should the Church be 12 renewed, and Christianity restored? Not by Scripture; for we have Ibid. cap. 19. no certainty that the Scriptures which we have this day, are the same which the Apostles delivered, and shall remain so for ever; but only 1. The reputation and testimony of all Christian Churches, (which also must transmit the same by a continual successive testimony to the follow­ing, or else they will be of an uncertain faith,) and 2. The confidence of the divine providence and goodness, who will not let us want what is fit for us, that without which we cannot attain the end to which in mercy he hath designed us. Now the same Arguments which we have for the continuation of Scripture, we have for the perpetuity of a Chri­stian Clergy, that is, besides the so long actual succession and continu­ance, we have he goodness and unalterable sweetness of the Divine mercies, who will continue such Ministeries which himself hath made the ordinary means of salvation; he would not have made them the way to Heaven and of ordinary necessity, if he did not mean to preserve them. Indeed, if the ordinary way should fail, God will supply another way to them that do their duty; but then Scripture may as well fail as the or­dinary succession of the Clergy: they both were intended but as the ordinary ministeries of salvation, and if Scripture be kept for the use of the Church, it is more likely the Church will be preserved in its ne­cessary constituent parts than the Scripture; because Scripture is pre­served for the Church, it is kept that the Church might not fail. For as for the fancy, that all men being free agents may chuse amiss: sup­pose that; but then, may they not all consent to the corruption or de­stroying of Scripture? yea, but God will preserve them from that, or will over-rule the event: yea, but how do they know that? what re­velation have they? yet grant that too, but why then will he not also over-rule the event of the matter of universal Apostasie? for both of them are matter of choice.

But then that all the Clergy should consent to corrupt Scripture, or to lose their Faith, is a most unreasonable supposition; for supposing 13 there is a natural possibility, yet it is morally impossible; and we may as well fear that all the men of the world will be vitious upon the same reason; for if all the Clergy may, then all the People may, and you may as well poison the Sea, as poison all the Springs; and it is more likely all the Ideots, and the ordinary persons in the world should be couzened out of their Religion, than that all the wise men and Antistites, the Teachers, Doctors, and publick Ministers of Religion should. And when all men turn Mariners, or Apothecaries, or that all men will live single lives, and turn Monks, and so endanger the species of mankind to pe­rish, (for there is a great fear of that too;) that is, when all the world chuse one thing (for if two men do, two thousand may do it if they will, and so may all upon this ground:) then also we may fear that all the Governours of the Church may fail, because some do, and more have, [Page 46] and all may; till then, there will be no need of an extraordinary Com­mission; but the Church shall go on upon the stock of the first calling, and designation, which was extraordinary. The Spirit issued out at first miraculously, and hath continued running still in the first channels by ordinary conduct, and in the same conveyances it must run still, or it cannot without a miracle derive upon us, who stand at infinite distance from the fountain. Since then, there is now no more expectation of an extraordinary calling (and to do so were an extraordinary vanity) it remains that the derivation of the ministerial power be by an ordinary conveyance.

The Spirit of God in Scripture hath drawn a line, and chalked out the path that himself meant to tread, in giving the graces of Evangelical mi­nistrations. 14 At first, after that Christ had named twelve (one whereof was lost) they, not having an express command for the manner of Ordi­nation, took such course as Reason and Religion taught them. They named two persons, and prayed God to chuse one, and to manifest it by Lot; which was a way less than the first designation of the other eleven; and yet had more of the extraordinary in it, than could be reasonably continued in an ordinary succession. The Apostles themselves had not as yet received skill enough how to officiate in their ordinary ministery, because the Holy Ghost was not as yet descended.

But when the Holy Ghost descended, then the work was to begin; the Apostles wanted no power necessary for the main work of the Gos­pel; 15 but now also they received Commissions to dispense the Spirit to all such purposes to which He was intended. They before had the office in themselves, but it was not communicable to others, till the Spirit, the Anointing from above, ran over the Fringes of the Priest's garments; they had it but in imperfection and unactive faculties; so saith Theophylact: He breathed, not now giving to them the perfect gift of the Holy Ghost, for Theophylact. in 20. Iohan. [...]. that he intended to give at Pentecost: but he prepared them for the fuller re­ception of it. They had the gift before, but not the perfect consumma­tion of it, that was reserved for the great day; and because the power of Consecration is the [...], or perfection of Priestly order, it was the proper emanation of this days glory; then was the [...], the perfection of what power Christ had formerly consigned. For of all faculties, that is not perfect which produces perfect and excellent actions in a direct line, actions of a particular sort; but that which produ­ces the actions, and enables others to do so too; for then the perfection is inherent, not only formally, but virtually and eminently; and that's the crown of habits and natural faculties. Now besides the reasonableness of the thing, this is also verified by a certainty that will not easily fail us; by Experience, and ex post facto: For as we do not find the Apostles had, before Pentecost, a productive power, which made them call for a Miracle, or a special providence by Lots; so we are sure that immedi­ately after Pentecost they had it: for they speedily began to put it in execution; and it is remarkable, that the Apostles did not lay hands upon Matthias: he being made Apostle before the descent of the Holy Ghost, they had no power to do it, they were not yet made Ministers of the Spirit; which because afterwards presently they did, concludes fairly, that at Pentecost they were amongst other graces made the ordi­nary Ministers of Ordination.

This I say is certain, that the Holy Ghost descending at Pentecost, they instantly did officiate in their ministerial offices, they preached, 16 they baptized, they confirmed and gave the holy Spirit of obsignation, [Page 47] and took persons into the Lot of their Ministery, doing of it by an exter­nal rite and solemn invocation: and now the extraordinary way did cease; God was the fountain of the power, but man conveyed it by an external rite: and of this Saint Paul, who was the only exception from the common way, takes notice; calling himself an Apostle, not of man, nor by man, but by Iesus Christ; implying that he had a special honour done, to be chosen an Apostle in an extraordinary way; there­fore others might be Apostles, and yet not so as he was; for else his ex­pression had been all one, as if one should say, Titus the son of a man, not begotten of an Angel, or Spirit, nor produced by the Sun or Stars, but begotten by a Man of a Woman: the discourse had been ridiculous, for no man is born otherwise; and yet also he had something of the ordinary too; for in an extraordinary manner he was sent to be ordained in an ordinary Ministery. And yet because the ordinary Ministery was set­led, S. Paul was called to an account for so much of it as was extraordi­ry; and was tied to do that which every man now is bound to do, that shall pretend a calling extraordinary, viz. to give an extraordinary proof of his extraordinary calling: which when he had done in the College of Ierusalem, the Apostles gave him the right hand of fellowship, and appro­ved his vocation; which also shews, that now the way of Ordination was fixed and declared to be by humane ministery; of which I need no other proof but the instances of Ordinations recorded in Scripture, and the no instances to the contrary, but of S. Paul, whose designation was as immediate as that of the 11. Apostles, though his Ordination was not. I end this with the saying of Iob the Monk: Concerning the order of Priesthood, it is supernatural and unspeakable. He that yesterday, and Tract. de Sa­crament. [...] the day before, was in the form of Ideots, and private persons, to day by the power of the Holy Ghost, and the voice of the chief Priest, and laying on of hands, receives so great an improvement and alteration, that he handles, and can consecrate the divine mysteries of the holy Church, and becomes (under Christ) a Mediator [Ministerial] between God and man, and ex­alted to hallow himself and sanctifie others: The same almost with the words of Gregory Nyssen, in his book De sancto baptismate.

This is the summ of the preceding discourses. God is the Consecrator; 17 man is the Minister; the separation is mysterious and wonderful; the power great and secret; the office to stand between God and the people, in the ministery of the Evangelical rites; the calling to it ordinary, and by a setled Ministery, which began after the descent of the Holy Ghost in Pentecost.

This great change was in nothing expressed greater, than that Saul up­on 18 his Ordination changed his name, which Saint Chrysostome observing, Homil. 28. in Acta 18. affirms the same of Saint Peter. I conclude, Differentiam inter ordi­nem & plebem constituit Ecclesiae authoritas & honor per ordinis conces­sunt Exhort. ad c [...] ­stitat. sanctificatus à Deo, saith Tertullian. The authority of the whole Church of God hath made distinction between the person ordained and the people, but the honour and power of it is derived from the sanctification of God: It is derived from him, but conveyed by an ordinary Ministery of his appointing: Whosoever therefore with unsanctified, that is, with unconsecrated hands, shall dare to officiate in the ministerial office, sepa­rate by God, by gifts, by graces, by publick order, by an established rite, [Page 48] by the institution of Jesus, by the descent of the Holy Ghost, by the word of God, by the practice of the Apostles, by the practice of sixteen Ages of the Catholick Church, by the necessity of the thing, by Reason, by Analogy to the discourse of all the wise men that ever were in the world; that man, like his predecessor Corah, brings an unhallowed Cen­ser, which shall never send up a right cloud of Incense to God, but yet that unpermitted, and disallowed smoak shall kindle a fire, even the wrath of God which shall at least destroy the Sacrifice: his work shall be consumed, and when upon his repentance himself escapes, yet it shall be so as by fire, that is, with danger, and loss, and shame, and trouble. For our God is a consuming fire.

Remember Corah and all his company.



RULES AND ADVICES TO THE CLERGY OF THE DIOCESSE OF DOWN and CONNOR, For their Deportment in their Personal and Pub­lick Capacities.

GIVEN BY IER. TAYLOR, Bishop of that Diocess, at the Visitation at LISNEGARVEY.

LONDON, Printed for R. Royston, Bookseller to the King's most Ex­cellent Majesty. 1672.


I. Personal Duty.

REmember that it is your great Duty, and tied on you by many Obligations, that you be exemplar in your lives, and I be Patterns and Presidents to your Flocks: lest it be said unto you, Why takest thou my Law into thy mouth, seeing thou hatest to be reformed thereby? He that lives anidle life may preach with Truth and Reason, or as did the Pharisees; but not as Christ, or as one having Authority.

Every Minister in taking accounts of his life, must judge of his Duty by more strict and severer measures, than he does of his People; and he II that ties heavy burthens upon others, ought himself to carry the heavi­est end: and many things may be lawful in them, which he must not suffer in himself.

Let every Minister endeavour to be learned in all spiritual wisdom, III and skilful in the things of God; for he will ill teach others the way of godliness, perfectly, that is himself a babe and uninstructed. An Igno­rant Minister is an head without an eye; and an Evil Minister is salt that hath no savour.

Every Minister, above all things, must be careful that he be not a ser­vant IV of Passion, whether of Anger or Desire. For he that is not a ma­ster of his Passions will always be useless, and quickly will become con­temptible and cheap in the eyes of his Parish.

Let no Minister be litigious in any thing; not greedy or covetous; V not insisting upon little things, or quarrelling for, or exacting of eve­ry minute portion of his dues; but bountiful and easie; remitting of his right, when to do so may be useful to his people, or when the contrary may domischief, and cause reproach. Be not over-righteous, (saith So­lomon) that is, not severe in demanding, or foroing every thing, though it be indeed his due.

Let not the name of the Church be made a pretence for personal VI covetousness; by saying, you are willing to remit many things, but you must not wrong the Church: for though it be true, that you [Page 52] are not to do prejudice to succession, yet many things may be forgiven upon just occasions, from which the Church shall receive no incommo­dity; but be sure that there are but few things which thou art bound to do in thy personal capacity, but the same also, and more, thou art ob­liged to perform, as thou art a publick person.

Never exact the offerings, or customary wages, and such as are al­lowed VII by Law, in the ministration of the Sacraments, nor condition for them, nor secure them before-hand; but first do your office, and minister the Sacraments purely, readily, and for Christs sake; and when that is done, receive what is your due.

Avoid all Pride, as you would flee from the most frightful Apparition, or the most cruel Enemy; and remember that you can never truly VIII teach Humility, or tell what it is, unless you practise it your selves.

Take no measures of Humility, but such as are material and tangible; such which consist not in humble words, and lowly gestures; but what IX is first truly radicated in your Souls, in low opinion of your selves, and in real preferring others before your selves; and in such significations, which can neither deceive your selves nor others.

Let every Curate of Souls strive to understand himself best; and then X to understand others. Let him spare himself least; but most severely judge, censure, and condemn himself. If he be learned, let him shew it by wise teaching, and humble manners. If he be not learned, let him be sure to get so much Knowledge as to know that, and so much Humi­lity, as not to grow insolent, and puffed up by his Emptiness. For ma­ny will pardon a good man that is less learned; but if he be proud, no man will forgive him.

Let every Minister be careful to live a life as abstracted from the Af­fairs of the world, as his necessity will permit him; but at no hand to be XI immerg'd and principally imploy'd in the Affairs of the World: What cannot be avoided, and what is of good report, and what he is oblig'd to by any personal or collateral Duty, that he may do, but no more. Ever remembring the Saying of our Blessed Lord: In the world ye shall have trouble; but in me ye shall have peace: and consider this also, which is a great Truth; That every degree of love to the world, is so much taken from the Love of God.

Be no otherwise solicitous of your Fame and Reputation, but by do­ing your Duty well and wisely; in other things refer your self to God: XII but if you meet with evil Tongues, be careful that you bear reproaches sweetly and temperately.

Remember that no Minister can govern his people well, and prospe­rously, XIII unless himself hath learn'd humbly and chearfully to obey his Superior. For every Minister should be like the good Centurion in the Gospel: himself is under authority, and he hath people under him.

Be sure in all your Words and Actions to preserve Christian simplicity and ingenuity; to do to others, as you would be done unto your self; XIV and never to speak what you do not think. Trust to Truth, rather than to your Memory: for this may fail you, that will never.

Pray much and very servently, for all your Parishioners, and all men XV that belong to you, and all that belong to God; but especially for the Conversion of Souls: and be very zealous for nothing, but for Gods glory, and the salvation of the World, and particularly of your Charges: Ever remembring that you are by God appointed, as the Ministers of Prayer, and the Ministers of good things, to pray for all the World, and to heal all the World, as far as you are able.

[Page 53] Every Minister must learn and practise Patience, that by bearing all XVI adversity meekly, and humbly, and chearfully, and by doing all his Duty with unwearied industry, with great courage, constancy, and Christian magnanimity, he may the better assist his people in the bearing of their crosses, and overcoming of their difficulties.

He that is holy, let him be holy still, and still more holy, and never XVII think he hath done his work, till all be finished by perseverance, and the measures of perfection in a holy Life, and a holy Death: but at no hand must he magnifie himself by vain separations from others, or despi­sing them that are not so holy.

II. Of Prudence required in Ministers.

REmember that Discretion is the Mistress of all Graces; and Humi­lity is the greatest of all Miracles: and without this, all Graces XVIII perish to a mans self; and without that, all Graces are useless unto others.

Let no Minister be governed by the opinion of his People, and de­stroy XIX his Duty, by unreasonable compliance with their humors, lest as the Bishop of Granata told the Governours of Leria and Patti, like silly Animals they take burdens upon their backs at the pleasure of the multi­tude, which they neither can retain with Prudence, nor shake off with Safety.

Let not the Reverence of any man cause you to sin against God; but XX in the matter of Souls, being well advis'd, be bold and confident; but abate nothing of the honour of God, or the just measures of your Duty, to satisfie the importunity of any man whatsoever, and God will bear you out.

When you teach your people any part of their duty, as in paying their debts, their tithes and offerings, in giving due reverence and reli­gious XXI regards, diminish nothing of admonition in these particulars, and the like, though they object, That you speak for your selves, and in your own cases. For counsel is not the worse, but the better, if it be profitable both to him that gives, and to him that takes it. Only do it in simplicity, and principally intend the good of their souls.

In taking accounts of the good Lives of your selves or others, take XXII your measures by the express words of Scripture; and next to them estimate them by their proportion and compliance with the publick measures, with the Laws of the Nation, Ecclesiastical and Civil, and by the Rules of Fame, of publick Honesty and good Report; and last of all by their observation of the Ordinances and exteriour parts of Religion.

Be not satisfied when you have done a good work, unless you have also done it well; and when you have, then be careful that vain-glory, XXIII partiality, self-conceit, or any other folly or indiscretion, snatch it not out of your hand, and cheat you of the reward.

Be careful so to order your self, that you fall not into temptation and XXIV folly in the presence of any of your Charges; and especially that you fall not into chidings and intemperate talkings, and sudden and violent expressions: Never be a party in clamours and scoldings, lest your Cal­ling become useless, and your Person contemptible: Ever remembring that if you cheaply and lightly be engag'd in such low usages with any [Page 54] Person, that Person is likely to be lost from all possibility of receiving much good from your Ministery.

III. The Rules and Measures of Government to be used by Ministers in their respective Cures.

USe no violence to any man, to bring him to your opinion; but by the word of your proper Ministery, by Demonstrations of the Spi­rit, XXV by rational Discourses, by excellent Examples, constrain them to come in: and for other things they are to be permitted to their own liber­ty, to the measures of the Laws, and the conduct of their Governours.

Suffer no quarrel in your Parish, and speedily suppress it when it is begun; and though all wise men will abstain from interposing in other XXVI mens affairs, and especially in matters of Interest, which men love too well; yet it is your Duty here to interpose, by perswading them to friendships, reconcilements, moderate prosecutions of their pretences; and by all means you prudently can, to bring them to peace and bro­therly kindness.

Suffer no houses of Debauchery, of Drunkenness or Lust in your Parishes; but implore the assistance of Authority for the suppressing of all XXVII such meeting-places and nurseries of Impiety: and as for places of pub­lick Entertainment, take care that they observe the Rules of Christian Piety, and the allowed measures of Laws.

If there be any Papists or Sectaries in your Parishes, neglect not fre­quently XXVIII to confer with them in the spirit of meekness, and by the im­portunity of wise Discourses seeking to gain them. But stir up no vio­lences against them; but leave them (if they be incurable) to the wise and merciful disposition of the Laws.

Receive not the people to doubtful Disputations: and let no names XXIX of Sects or differing Religions be kept up amongst you, to the distur­bance of the publick Peace and private Charity: and teach not the peo­ple to estimate their Piety by their distance from any Opinion, but by their Faith in Christ, their Obedience to God and the Laws, and their Love to all Christian people, even though they be deceived.

Think no man considerable upon the point or pretence of a tender Conscience, unless he live a good life, and in all things endeavour to XXX approve himself void of offence both towards God and Man: but if he be an humble Person, modest and inquiring, apt to learn and desirous of information; if he seeks for it in all ways reasonable and pious, and is obedient to Laws, then take care of him, use him tenderly, perswade him meekly, reprove him gently, and deal mercifully with him, till God shall reveal that also unto him, in which his unavoidable trouble and his temptation lies.

Mark them that cause Divisions among you, and avoid them: for such XXXI Persons are by the Scripture called Scandals in the abstract; they are [...]. Vide Rom. 16. 17. [...]. Offenders and Offences too. But if any man have an Opinion, let him have it to himself, till he can be cur'd of his disease by time, and coun­sel, and gentle usages. But if he separates from the Church, or gathers a Congregation, he is proud, and is fallen from the Communion of Saints, and the Unity of the Catholick Church.

He that observes any of his people to be zealous, let him be careful XXXII [Page 55] to conduct that zeal into such channels where there is least danger of in­conveniency; let him employ it in something that is good; let it be press'd to fight against sin. For Zeal is like a Cancer in the Breast; feed it with good flesh, or it will devour the Heart.

Strive to get the love of the Congregation; but let it not degenerate XXXIII into popularity. Cause them to love you and revere you; to love with Religion, not for your compliance; for the good you do them, not for that you please them. Get their love by doing your Duty, but not by omitting or spoiling any part of it: Ever remembring the severe words of our Blessed Saviour, Wo be to you when all men speak well of you.

Suffer not the common people to prattle about Religion and Questi­ons; XXXIV but to speak little, to be swift to hear, and slow to speak; that they learn to do good works for necessary uses, that they work with their hands, that they may have wherewithal to give to them that need; that they study to be quiet, and learn to do their own business.

Let every Minister take care that he call upon his Charge, that they XXXV order themselves so, that they leave no void spaces of their time, but that every part of it be filled with useful or innocent employment. For where there is a space without business, that space is the proper time for danger and temptation; and no man is more miserable than he that knows not how to spend his time.

Fear no mans person in the doing of your Duty wisely, and accord­ing to the Laws: Remembring always, that a servant of God can no XXXVI more be hurt by all the powers of wickedness, than by the noise of a Files wing, or the chirping of a Sparrow. Brethren, do well for your selves: do well for your selves as long as you have time; you know not how soon death will come.

Entertain no Persons into your Assemblies from other Parishes, unless upon great occasion, or in the destitution of a Minister, or by contin­gency XXXVII and seldom visits, or with leave: lest the labour of thy Brother be discouraged, and thy self be thought to preach Christ out of envy, and not of good will.

Never appeal to the judgment of the people in matters of controver­sie; XXXVIII teach them obedience, not arrogancy; teach them to be humble, not crafty. For without the aid of false guides you will find some of them of themselves apt enough to be troublesome: and a question put into their heads, and a power of judging into their hands, is a putting it to their choice whether you shall be troubled by them this week or the next; for much longer you cannot escape.

Let no Minister of a Parish introduce any Ceremony, Rites or Ge­stures, XXXIX though with some seeming Piety and Devotion, but what are commanded by the Church, and established by Law: and let these also be wisely and usefully explicated to the people, that they may under­stand the reasons and measures of obedience; but let there be no more introduc'd, lest the people be burdened unnecessarily, and tempted or divided.

IV. Rules and Advices concerning Preaching.

LEt every Minister be diligent in preaching the Word of God, ac­cording XL to the ability that God gives him: Ever remembring, that to minister Gods Word unto the People is the one half of his great Of­fice and Employment.

Let every Minister be careful that what he delivers be indeed the XLI Word of God: that his Sermon be answerable to the Text; for this is Gods Word, the other ought to be according to it; that although in it self it be but the word of Man, yet by the purpose, truth, and signifi­cation of it, it may in a secondary sence be the Word of God.

Do not spend your Sermons in general and indefinite things, as in Ex­hortations XLII to the people to get Christ, to be united to Christ, and things of the like unlimited signification; but tell them in every duty, what are the measures, what circumstances, what instruments, and what is the particular minute meaning of every general Advice. For Generals not explicated do but fill the peoples heads with empty notions, and their mouths with perpetual unintelligible talk: but their hearts remain em­pty, and themselves are not edified.

Let not the humors and inclinations of the people be the measures of your Doctrines, but let your Doctrines be the measure of their perswa­sions. XLIII Let them know from you what they ought to do; but if you learn from them what you ought to teach, you will give but a very ill account at the day of Judgment, of the souls committed to you. He that receives from the people what he shall teach them, is like a Nurse that asks of her Child what Physick she shall give him.

Every Minister in reproofs of sin and sinners, ought to concern himself XLIV in the faults of them that are present, but not of the absent; nor in re­proof of the times; for this can serve no end but of Faction and Sedition, publick Murmur and private Discontent; besides this it does nothing but amuse the people in the faults of others, teaching them to revile their Betters, and neglect the dangers of their own souls.

As it looks like flattery and design to preach nothing before Magi­strates but the duty of their people and their own eminency; so it is the XLV beginning of Mutiny to preach to the people the duty of their Superiors and Supreme; it can neither come from a good Principle, nor tend to a good End. Every Minister ought to preach to his Parish, and urge their duty: S. Iohn the Baptist told the Souldiers what the Souldiers should do, but troubled not their heads with what was the duty of the Scribes and Pharisees.

In the reproof of sins be as particular as you please, and spare no XLVI mans sin, but meddle with no mans person; neither name any man, nor signifie him, neither reproach him, nor make him to be suspected; he that doth otherwise makes his Sermon to be a Libel, and the Ministry of Repentance an instrument of Revenge; and so doing he shall exaspe­rate the man, but never amend the sinner.

Let the business of your Sermons be to preach holy Life, Obedience, Peace, Love among neighbours, hearty love, to live as the old Christi­ans XLVII did, and the new should; to do hurt to no man, to do good to eve­ry man: For in these things the honour of God consists, and the King­dom of the Lord Jesus.

Press those Graces most that do most good, and make the least noise; XLVIII [Page 57] such as giving privately and forgiving publickly; and prescribe the grace of Charity by all the measures of it which are given by the Apo­stle, 1 Cor. 13. For this grace is not finished by good words, nor yet by good works, but it is a great building, and many materials go to the structure of it. It is worth your study, for it is the fulfilling of the Commandments.

Because it is impossible that Charity should live, unless the lust of the XLIX tongue be mortified, let every Minister in his charge be frequent and se­vere against slanderers, detractors and backbiters; for the Crime of backbiting is the poison of Charity; and yet so common, that it is pass'd into a Proverb, [After a good dinner let us sit down and backbite our neighbours.]

Let every Minister be careful to observe, and vehement in reproving those faults of his Parishioners, of which the Laws cannot or do not L take cognizance, such as are many degrees of intemperate drinkings, gluttony, riotous living, expences above their ability, pride, bragging, lying in ordinary conversation, covetousness, peevishness, and hasty anger, and such like. For the Word of God searches deeper than the Laws of men; and many things will be hard to prove by the measures of Courts, which are easie enough to be observed by the watchful and di­ligent eye and ear of the Guide of Souls.

In your Sermons to the people, often speak of the four last things, LI of Death and Judgment, Heaven and Hell: of the Life and Death of Jesus Christ, of Gods Mercy to repenting sinners, and his Severity against the impenitent; of the formidable Examples of Gods anger pour'd forth upon Rebels, Sacrilegious, Oppressors of Widows and Orphans, and all persons guilty of crying Sins: These are useful, safe and profitable; but never run into Extravagancies and Curiosities, nor trouble your selves or them with mysterious Secrets; for there is more laid before you than you can understand; and the whole duty of man is, To fear God and keep his Commandments. Speak but very little of the secret and high things of God, but as much as you can of the lowness and humility of Christ.

Be not hasty in pronouncing damnation against any man or party in a matter of disputation. It is enough that you reprove an Error; but LII what shall be the sentence against it at the day of Judgment, thou know­est not, and therefore pray for the erring person, and reprove him, but leave the sentence to his Judge.

Let your Sermons teach the duty of all states of men to whom you LIII speak; and particularly take care of Servants and Hirelings, Merchants and Tradesmen, that they be not unskilful, nor unadmonished in their respective duties; and in all things speak usefully and affectionately; for by this means you will provide for all mens needs, both for them that sin by reason of their little understanding, and them that sin because they have evil, dull, or depraved affections.

In your Sermons and Discourses of Religion, use primitive, known LIV and accustomed words, and affect not new Phantastical or Schismatical terms: Let the Sunday Festival be called the Lords day; and pretend no fears from the common use of words amongst Christians. For they that make a business of the words of common use, and reform Religion by introducing a new word, intend to make a change but no amend­ment, they spend themselves in trifles, like the barren turf that sends forth no medicinable herbs, but store of Mushromes; and they give a demonstration that they are either impertinent people, or else of a que­rulous [Page 58] nature; and that they are ready to disturb the Church, if they could find occasion.

Let every Minister in his charge, as much as he can, endeavour to destroy all popular errors and evil principles taken up by his people, LV or others with whom they converse; especially those that directly op­pose the indispensable necessity of a holy life: let him endeavour to un­derstand in what true and useful sence Christs active obedience is impu­ted to us; let him make his people fear the deferring of their Repen­tance, and putting it off to their death-bed; let him explicate the na­ture of Faith, so that it be an active and quickning principle of Charity; let him, as much as he may, take from them all confidences that slacken their obedience and diligence; let him teach them to impute all their sins to their own follies and evil choice, and so build them up in a most holy faith to a holy life; ever remembring that in all ages it hath been the greatest artifice of Satan to hinder the increase of Christs Kingdom, by destroying those things in which it does consist, viz. Peace and Righ­teousness, Holiness and Mortification.

Every Minister ought to be careful that he never expound Scriptures in publick contrary to the known sence of the Catholick Church, and LVI particularly of the Churches of England and Ireland, nor introduce any Doctrine against any of the four first General Councils; for these, as they are measures of truth, so also of necessity; that is, as they are safe, so they are sufficient; and besides what is taught by these, no mat­ter of belief is necessary to salvation.

Let no Preacher bring before the people in his Sermons or Discourses, the Arguments of great and dangerous Heresies, though with a purpose LVII to confute them; for they will much easier retain the Objection than understand the Answer.

Let not the Preacher make an Article of Faith to be a matter of dis­pute; LVIII but teach it with plainness and simplicity, and confirm it with easie arguments and plain words of Scripture, but without objection; let them be taught to believe, but not to argue, lest if the arguments meet with a scrupulous person, it rather shake the foundation by curious inquiry, than establish it by arguments too hard.

Let the Preacher be careful that in his Sermons he use no light, im­modest or ridiculous expressions, but what is wise, grave, useful and LIX for edification; that when the Preacher brings truth and gravity, the people may attend with fear and reverence.

Let no Preacher envy any man that hath a greater audience, or more fame in Preaching than himself; let him not detract from him or lessen LX his reputation directly or indirectly: for he that cannot be even with his brother but by pulling him down, is but a dwarf still; and no man is the better for making his brother worse. In all things desire that Christ's Kingdom may be advanc'd; and rejoyce that he is served, whoever be the Minister; that if you cannot have the fame of a great Preacher, yet you may have the reward of being a good man; but it is hard to miss both.

Let every Preacher in his Parish take care to explicate to the people the Mysteries of the great Festivals, as of Christmas, Easter, Ascension­day, LXI Whitsunday, Trinity Sunday, the Annunciation of the blessed Virgin Mary; because these Feasts containing in them the great Funda­mentals of our Faith, will with most advantage convey the mysteries to the people, and fix them in their memories, by the solemnity and circum­stances of the day.

[Page 59] In all your Sermons and Discourses speak nothing of God but what is LXII honourable and glorious; and impute not to him such things, the con­sequents of which a wise and good man will not own: never suppose him to be author of sin, or the procurer of our damnation. For God cannot be tempted, neither tempteth he any man. God is true, and every man a lyar.

Let no Preacher compare one Ordinance with another; as Prayer LXIII with Preaching, to the disparagement of either; but use both in their proper seasons, and according to appointed Order.

Let no man preach for the praise of men; but if you meet it, instant­ly watch and stand upon your guard, and pray against your own vanity; LXIV and by an express act of acknowledgment and adoration return the praise to God. Remember that Herod was for the omission of this smitten by an Angel; and do thou tremble, fearing lest the judgment of God be otherwise than the sentence of the people.

V. Rules and Advices concerning Catechism.

EVery Minister is bound upon every Lords day before Evening Pray­er, to instruct all young people in the Creed, the Lords Prayer, the LXV Ten Commandments, and the Doctrine of the Sacraments, as they are set down and explicated in the Church Catechism.

Let a Bell be tolled when the Catechising is to begin, that all who LXVI desire it may be present; but let all the more ignorant and uninstructed part of the people, whether they be old or young, be requir'd to be pre­sent: that no person in your Parishes be ignorant in the foundations of Religion: Ever remembring, that if in these things they be unskilful, whatever is taught besides, is like a house built upon the sand.

Let every Minister teach his people the use, practice, methods and benefits of meditation or mental prayer. Let them draw out for them LXVII helps and rules for their assistance in it; and furnish them with materi­als, concerning the life and death of the ever blessed Jesus, the great­ness of God, our own meanness, the dreadful sound of the last Trumpet, the infinite event of the two last sentences at doomsday: let them be taught to consider what they have been, what they are, and what they shall be; and above all things what are the issues of eternity; glories never to cease, pains never to be ended.

Let every Minister exhort his people to a frequent confession of their LXVIII sins, and a declaration of the state of their Souls; to a conversation with their Minister in spiritual things, to an enquiry concerning all the parts of their duty: for by preaching, and catechising, and private enter­course, all the needs of Souls can best be serv'd; but by preaching alone they cannot.

Let the people be exhorted to keep Fasting days, and the Feasts of the Church; according to their respective capacities; so it be done without LXIX burden to them, and without becoming a snare; that is, that upon the ac­count of Religion, and holy desires to please God, they spend some time in Religion, besides the Lords-day: but be very careful that the Lords-day be kept religiously, according to the severest measures of the Church, and the commands of Authority: ever remembring that as they give but little Testimony of Repentance and Mortification, who never fast; so they give but small evidence of their joy in God and Religion, who are unwilling solemnly to partake of the publick and Religious Joys of the Christian Church.

[Page 60] Let every Minister be diligent in exhorting all Parents and Masters to send their Children and Servants to the Bishop at the Visitation, or LXX other solemn times of his coming to them, that they may be confirm'd: And let him also take care that all young persons may by understanding the Principles of Religion, their vow of Baptism, the excellency of Christian Religion, the necessity and advantages of it, and of living ac­cording to it, be fitted and disposed, and accordingly by them presented to the Bishop, that he may pray over them, and invocate the holy Spirit, and minister the holy Rite of Confirmation.

VI. Rules & Advices concerning the Visitation of the Sick.

EVery Minister ought to be careful in visiting all the Sick and Afflict­ed persons of his Parish: ever remembring, that as the Priests lips LXXI are to preserve knowledge, so it is his duty to minister a word of com­fort in the time of need.

A Minister must not stay till he be sent for; but of his own accord and LXXII care to go to them, to examine them, to exhort them to perfect their re­pentance, to strengthen their faith, to encourage their patience, to per­swade them to resignation, to the renewing of their holy vows, to the love of God, to be reconcil'd to their neighbours, to make restitution and amends, to confess their sins, to settle their estate, to provide for their charges, to do acts of piety and charity, and above all things, that they take care they do not sin towards the end of their lives. For if repentance on our death-bed seem so very late for the sins of our life; what time shall be left to repent us of the sins we commit on our death-bed?

When you comfort the afflicted, endeavour to bring them to the true love of God; for he that serves God for Gods sake, it is almost im­possible LXXIII he should be oppressed with sorrow.

In answering the cases of conscience of the sick or afflicted people, consider not who asks, but what he asks; and consult in your answers LXXIV more with the estate of his soul, than the conveniency of his estate; for no flattery is so fatal as that of the Physician or the Divine.

If the sick person enquires concerning the final estate of his soul, he LXXV is to be reprov'd rather than answer'd; only he is to be called upon to finish his duty, to do all the good he can in that season, to pray for par­don and acceptance; but you have nothing to do to meddle with passing final sentences; neither cast him down in despair, nor raise him up to vain and unreasonable confidences. But take care that he be not care­lesly dismiss'd.

In order to these and many other good purposes, every Minister ought frequently to converse with his Parishioners; to go to their houses, but LXXVI always publickly, with witness, and with prudence, lest what is charita­bly intended be scandalously reported: and in all your conversation be sure to give good example, and upon all occasions to give good counsel.

VII. Of ministring the Sacraments, publick Prayers, and other duties of Ministers.

EVery Minister is oblig'd publickly or privately to read the Common Prayers every day in the week, at Morning and Evening; and in LXXVII [Page 61] great Towns and populous places conveniently inhabited, it must be read in Churches, that the daily sacrifice of Prayer and Thanksgiving may never cease.

The Minister is to instruct the people, that the Baptism of their chil­dren LXXVIII ought not to be ordinarily deferr'd longer than till the next Sunday after the birth of the child; lest importune and unnecessary delay, oc­casion that the child die before it is dedicated to the service of God and the Religion of the Lord Jesus, before it be born again, admitted to the Promises of the Gospel, and reckon'd in the account of the second Adam.

Let every Minister exhort and press the people to a devout and pe­riodical LXXIX Communion, at the least three times in the year, at the great Festivals: but the devouter sort, and they who have leisure, are to be invited to a frequent Communion: and let it be given and received with great reverence.

Every Minister ought to be well skill'd and studied in saying his Of­fice, LXXX in the Rubricks, the Canons, the Articles, and the Homilies of the Church, that he may do his duty readily, discreetly, gravely, and by the publick measures of the Laws. To which also it is very useful that it be added, that every Minister study the ancient Canons of the Church, especially the Penitentials of the Eastern and Western Church­es: let him read good Books, such as are approved by publick autho­rity; such which are useful, wise and holy; not the scriblings of un­learned parties, but of men learned, pious, obedient and disinterested; and amongst these, such especially which describe duty and good life, which minister to Faith and Charity, to Piety and Devotion; Cases of Conscience, and solid expositions of Scripture. Concerning which learned and wise persons are to be consulted.

Let not a Curate of Souls trouble himself with any studies but such LXXXI which concern his own or his peoples duty; such as may enable him to speak well, and to do well; but to meddle not with controversies, but such by which he may be enabled to convince the gainsayers in things that concern publick peace and a good life.

Be careful in all the publick administrations of your Parish, that the poor LXXXII be provided for. Think it no shame to beg for Christs poor members; stir up the people to liberal alms by your word and your example. Let a collection be made every Lords-day, and upon all solemn meetings, and at every Communion; and let the Collection be wisely and pi­ously administred: ever remembring, that at the day of Judgment no­thing shall publickly be proclaimed, but the reward of alms and mer­cy.

Let every Minister be sure to lay up a treasure of comforts and advi­ces, LXXXIII to bring forth for every mans need in the day of his trouble; let him study and heap together Instruments and Advices for the promo­ting of every vertue, and remedies and arguments against every vice; let him teach his people to make acts of vertue not only by external ex­ercise, but also in the way of Prayer and internal meditation.

In these and all things else that concern the Ministers duty, if there be difficulty you are to repair to your Bishop for further advice, assistance and information.

A Funeral Sermon, Pr …

A Funeral Sermon, Preached at the OBSEQUIES OF THE Right Reverend Father in God JEREMY Lord Bishop of DOWN: Who deceased at LISBURNE August 13th. 1667.


LONDON, Printed for R. Royston, Bookseller to the King's most Ex­cellent Majesty. 1672.

A Funeral Sermon.

1 JOHN 3. 2.‘It doth not yet appear what we shall be’

GLorious things are spoken in Scripture concerning the future Reward of the Righteous; and all the words that are wont to signifie what is of greatest Price and Value, or can re­present the most enravishing Objects of our desires are made use of, by the Holy Ghost, to recommend unto us this tran­scendent State of Blessedness: Such are these; Rivers of Pleasures, A fountain of living water, A treasure that can never be wasted, nor never taken from us; An inheritance in light, An incorruptible Crown, A Kingdom, the Kingdom of God, and the Kingdom of Christ; The Kingdom of Glory, a Crown of Glory and Life; and Righteousness, and Immortality; The Vision of God; Being fill'd with all the fulness of God, An exceeding eternal weight of Glory, [...], Words strangely Emphatical, that can't be put into English; and if they could, they would not be able to convey to our minds the Notion that they design: for it is too big for any Expressions; and, after all that can be said, we must re­solve with our Apostle, It does not yet appear what we shall be.

At this Distance we cannot make any likely guesses or conjectures at the glory of that future state. Men make very imperfect Descriptions of Countries or Cities, that never were there themselves, nor saw the Pla­ces with their own eyes. It is not for any mortal Creature to make a Map of that Canaan that lies above: It is to all us that live here on the hither-side of Death, an unknown Countrey, and an undiscover'd Land. It may be, some Heavenly Pilgrim, that with his holy thoughts and ardent desires, is continually travelling thitherward, arrives sometimes near the Borders of the promis'd Land, and the Suburbs of the new Ierusalem, and gets upon the top of Pisgah, and there he has an imperfect Prospect of a brave Countrey, that lies afar way off; but he can't tell how to describe it, and all that he hath to say, to satisfie the curious Enquirer, is only this, If he would know the glories of it, he must go and see it. It was believ'd of old, that those places that lie under the Line, were burnt up by the continual heat of the Sun, and were not habitable, either by man or beast: But later Discoveries tell us, that there are the most pleasant Countries that the Earth can shew; insomuch that some have plac'd Paradise it self in that Climate. Sure I [Page 66] am, of all the Regions of the Intellectual World, and the several Lands that are peopled either with Men or Angels, the most pleasant Countries they lie under the Line, under the direct beams of the Sun of Righteous­ness, where there is an eternal Day, and an eternal Spring; where is that Tree of Life, that beareth twelve manner of Fruits, and yieldeth her Fruit every Month: Thus we may use Figures, and Metaphors, and Al­legories, and tell you of fruitful Meads, and spacious Fields, and winding Rivers, and purling Brooks, and chanting Birds, and shady Groves, and pleasant Gardens, and lovely Bowers, and noble Seats, and stately Palaces, and goodly People, and excellent Laws, and sweet Societies; but, this is but to frame little comparisons to please our childish fancies: and, just such discourses as a blind man would make concerning Colours; so do we talk of those things we never saw, and disparage the state whilst we would recommend it. Indeed it requires some Saint or Angel from Hea­ven to discourse upon the Subject; and yet that would not do neither: For though they might be able to speak something of it, yet we should want ears to hear it. Neither can those things be declar'd but in the lan­guage of Heaven, which would be little understood by us, the poor in­habitants of this lower World; they are indeed things too great to be brought within the compass of words. Saint Paul, when he had been rapt up into the third Heaven, he saw [...], things unlawful, or un­possible, to be utter'd; and, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor can it en­ter into the heart of man to conceive, what God hath prepared for them that love him; and, It does not yet appear what we shall be, said that beloved Disciple, that lay in the bosom of our Saviour.

You will not now expect, that I should give you a relation of that which cannot be utter'd, nor so much as conceiv'd; or declare unto you what our Eagle-sighted Evangelist tells us does not yet appear. But, that you may understand, that that which sets this state of Happiness so beyond the reach of all imagination, is only its transcendent excellency; I shall tell you something of what does already appear of it, and may be known concerning it.

First of all we are assur'd that we shall then be freed from all the evils and miseries that we now labour under: Vanity and Misery, they are 1 two words that speak the whole of this present World; the enjoyments of it are dreams, and fancies, and shadows, and appearances; and, if any thing be, it is only Evil and Misery that is real and substantial. Vanity and folly, labour and pains, cares and fears, crosses and disappointments, sick­ness and diseases, they make up the whole of our portion here. This life it is begun in a Cry, and it ends in a Groan; and he that lives most hap­pily, his life is checker'd with black and white, and his dayes are not all Sun-shine, but some are cloudy and gloomy, and there is a Worm at the root of all his joy, that soon eats out the sap and heart of it; and the Gourd in whose shade he now so much pleases himself, by to morrow will be wither'd and gone. But Heaven is not subject to these mixtures and uncertainties; it is a region of calmness and serenity, and the Soul is there gotten above the Clouds, and is not annoyed with those storms and tempests that are here below. All tears shall then be wiped from our Eyes; and though sorrow may endure for the night of this World, yet joy will spring up in the morning of Eternity.

We are sure we shall be freed from this earthly, and cloath'd with [...] heavenly and glorified Body. These bodies of ours they are the graves 2 and sepulchres, the prisons and dungeons of our Heaven-born Souls▪ [Page 67] and though we deck and adorn them, and pride our selves in their beau­ty and comeliness; yet, when all is done, they are but sinks of corrup­tion and defilement: they expose us to many pains and diseases, and incline us to many lusts and passions, and the more we pamper them, the greater burden they are unto our minds; they impose upon our reasons, and by their steams and vapours cast a mist before our understandings; they clog our affections, and like a heavy weight depress us unto this earth, and keep us from soaring aloft among the winged Inhabitants of the upper Regions: But those Robes of light and glory, which we shall be cloath'd withall at the Resurrection of the Just, and those Heavenly Bodies which the Gospel hath then assur'd untous, they are not subject to any of these mischiefs and inconveniencies, but are fit and accommo­date instruments for the Soul in its highest Exaltations. And this is an argument that the Gospel does dwell much upon, viz. the Redemption of our Bodies, that He shall change our vile bodies, that they may be like unto his glorious Body; and we are taught to look upon it as one great piece of our Reward, that we shall be cloath'd upon with our house which is from Heaven; that this corruptible shall put on incorruption, and this mor­tal immortality: that, as we have born the image of the earthly, so we must bear the image of the heavenly Adam: who was [...], of heaven heavenly; as the first man was, [...], of the earth earthy. And therefore, I think, the Schools put too mean a rate upon this great Promise of the Gospel, The Resurrection of our Bodies; and, I believe, it might be demonstrated from the principles of sound Philosophy, That this Article of our Christian Faith, which the Atheist makes so much sport withall, is so far from being chargeable with any absurdity, that it is founded upon the Highest Reason: for, seeing we find by too great an experience, that the Soul has so close and necessary a dependance upon this gross and earthy Mass that we now carry about with us; it may be disputed with some probability, whether it be ever able to act indepen­dently of all matter whatsoever: at least, we are assur'd, that the state of conjunction is most connatural to her; and that, Intellectual pleasure it self is not only multiplied, but the better felt, by its redundancy up­on the body and spirits: and if it be so, then the purer and more defecate the Body is, the better will the Soul be appointed for the exercise of its noblest Operations; and it will be no mean piece of our reward hereaf­ter, that that which is sown [...], an animal, shall be raised a hea­venly body.

We are sure, that we shall then be free from sin, and all those foolish lusts and passions that we are now enslaved unto. The life of a Christi­an, 3 it is a continual Warfare; and he endures many sore conflicts, and makes many sad complaints, and often bemoans himself after such a manner, as this: Wo is me, that I am forc'd to dwell in Meshech, and to have my habitation in the Tents of Kedar; that there should be so many Goliah's within me, that defie the Host of Israel; so many sons of Anak that hinder my entrance into the Land of Promise, and the Rest of God; that I should toil and labour among the bricks, and live in bondage unto these worse than Egyptian Task-Masters. Thus does he sit down by the Rivers of Babylon, and weep over those ruines and desolations that these worse than Assyrian Armies have made in the City, and House of his God. And many a time does he cry out in the bitter­ness of his Soul, Wretched creature that I am! Who shall deliver me from this body of death? And though, through his faith, and courage, and [Page 68] constancy, he be daily getting ground of his Spiritual enemies; yet it is but by inches, and every step he takes, he must fight for it; and living as he does in an Enemies Countrey, he is forc'd alwayes to be upon his Guard; and if he slumber never so little, presently he is surpriz'd by a watchful Adversary. This is our portion here, and our lot is this; but when we arrive unto those Regions of bliss and glory that are above, we shall then stand safely upon the shore, and and see all our enemies, Pharaoh and all his Host, drown'd and destroy'd in the Rea-Sea, and be­ing deliver'd from the World, and the Flesh, and the Devil, Death, and Sin, and Hell, we shall sing the Song of Moses, and of the Lamb, an Epinicion, and Song of eternal Triumph, unto the God of our Sal­vation.

We shall be sure to meet with the best company that Earth or Heaven affords: Good Company it is the great pleasure of the life of 4 man; And we shall then come to the innumerable company of Angels, and the general Assembly of the Church of the First-born, and to the Spi­rits of just men made perfect, and to Iesus the Mediator of the New Co­venant. The Oracle tells Amelius, enquiring what was become of Polinus's soul, that he was gone to Pythagoras, and Socrates, and Plato, and as many as had born a part in the Quire of heavenly love. And I may say to every good man, that he shall go to the Company of Abraham, Isaac, and Iacob; Moses, David, and Samuel; all the Pro­phets and Apostles, and all the holy men of God that have been in all the Ages of the World. All those brave and excellent persons that have been scattered at the greatest distance of time and place, and in their several generations have been the salt of the earth to preserve mankind from utter degeneracy and corruption; These shall be all ga­thered together, and meet in one Constellation in that Firmament of Glory. O Praeclarum diem, cùm ad illud divinorum animorum concili­um coetúmque proficiscar, atque ex hac turba ac colluvione discedam! O that blessed day, when we shall make our escape from this medly and confused riot, and shall arrive to that great Council and general Randevouz, of di­vine and god-like Spirits! But, which is more than all, we shall then meet our Lord Jesus Christ, the Head of our Recovery, whose story is now so delightful unto us, as reporting nothing of him, but the greatest sweetness and innocence, and meekness and patience, and mercy and tenderness, and benignity and goodness, and whatever can render any person lovely or amiable; and who, out of his dear love and deep compassion unto mankind, gave up himself unto the death for us men, and for our salvation. And if Saint Augustine made it one of his Wishes, to have seen Jesus Christ in the flesh; how much more desirable is it, to see him out of his terrestrial weeds, in his robes of Glory, with all his redeemed Ones about him! And this I cannot but look upon, as a great Advantage and priviledge of that future State; for I am not apt to swallow down that Conceit of the Schools, that we shall spend Eternity in gazing upon the naked Deity; for certainly the happiness of man consists in having all his faculties, in their due subordinations, gratified with their proper objects; and I cannot but believe, a great part of Heaven to be the blest Society that is there; Their enravishing beauty, that is to say, their inward life and perfection, flowring forth and raying it self thorow their glo­rified bodies; The rare discourses wherewith they entertain one ano­ther; The pure and chast and spotless, and yet most ardent Love, [Page 69] wherewith they embrace each other; The ecstatick Devotions wherein they joyn together: and certainly every pious and devout soul will readily acknowledge with me, that it must needs be matter of unspeaka­ble pleasure, to be taken into the Quire of Angels and Seraphims, and the glorious Company of the Apostles, and the goodly Fellowship of the Prophets, and the noble Army of Martyrs; and to joyn with them in singing Praises, and Hallelujahs, and Songs of joy, and Triumph unto our great Creator and Redeemer, the Father of Spirits, and the Lover of Souls, unto him that sits upon the Throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

We are sure we shall then have our capacities fill'd, and all our desires answered, They hunger no more, neither thirst any more; for, the Lamb 5 which is in the midst of the Throne shall feed them, and shall lead them un­to living fountains of waters. What vast degrees of perfection and hap­piness the nature of man is capable of, we may best understand, by view­ing it in the person of Christ, taken into the nearest union with Divini­ty, and made God's Vicegerent in the World, and the Head and Go­vernour of the whole Creation. In this our narrow and contracted state we are apt to think too meanly of our selves, and do not understand the dignity of our own Natures, what we were made for, and what we are capable of: but, as Plotinus somewhere observes, We are like Children, from our birth brought up in ignorance of, and at a great distance from, our Parents and Relations; and have forgot the Nobleness of our Ex­traction, and rank our selves and our fortunes among the lot of Beggers, and mean and ordinary persons; though we are the off-spring of a great Prince, and were born to a Kingdom. It does indeed become creatures to think modestly of themselves; yet, if we consider it aright, it will be found very hard, to set any bounds or limits to our own happiness, and say, Hitherto it shall arise, and no further. For that wherein the happi­ness of Man consists, viz. Truth and Goodness, the Communication of the Divine Nature, and the Illapses of Divine Love, it does not cloy, or glut, or satiate; but every participation of them does widen and en­large our Souls, and fits us for further and further Receptions: the more we have, the more we are capable of; the more we are fill'd, the more room is made in our Spirits; and thus it is still and still, even till we ar­rive unto such degrees as we can assign no measures unto.

We shall then be made like unto God, [...]; said the Areopagite, Salvation can no other­wayes be accomplish'd, but by becoming God-like; It does not yet appear what we shall be, but when he shall appear we shall be like him; sayes our Evangelist; for we shall see him as he is. There is no seeing God as he is, but by becoming like unto him; nor is there any injoying of him, but by being transformed into his Image and Similitude. Men usually have very strange Notions concerning God, and the enjoy­ment of him; or rather, these are words, to which there is no corre­spondent conception in their minds: but if we would understand God aright, we must look upon him as Infinite Wisdom, Righteousness, Love, Goodness, and whatever speaks any thing of Beauty and Per­section; and if we pretend to worship him, it must be by loving and adoring his transcendent Excellencies; and if we hope to enjoy him, it must be by conformity unto him, and participation of his Nature. [Page 70] The frame and constitution of things is such, that it is impossible that Man should arrive to happiness any other way. And, if the Soveraignty of God should dispense with our obedience, the Nature of the thing would not permit us to be happy without it: If we live only the Animal Life, we may indeed be happy, as Beasts are happy; but the Happiness that belongs to a Rational and Intellectual Being, can never be attain'd but in a way of holiness and conformity unto the Divine Will: for, such a temper and disposition of mind is necessary unto Happiness, not by ver­tue of any arbitrarious constitution of Heaven, but, the eternal Laws of Righteousness, and immutable respects of things, do require and exact it: Yea, I may truly say, That God and Christ, without us, cannot make us happy: for we are not conscious to our selves of any thing, but only the operations of our own minds; and 'tis not the person of God and Christ, but their Life and Nature, wherein consists our formal Happiness: For, What is the happiness of God himself, but only that pleasure and satis­faction that results from a sense of his Infinite perfections? And how is it possible for a Creature to be more happy, than by partaking of that, in its measure and proportion, which is the happiness of God him­self.

The Soul, being thus prepar'd, shall live in the Presence of God, and lie under the influences and illapses of Divine Love and Goodness; Fa­ther, I will that they whom thou hast given me be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory. They that fight manfully under the Banners of Heaven, and overcome their spiritual Enemies, They shall eat of the hidden Manna, and become Pillars in the Temple of God, and shall go no more out: They shall stand before the Throne of God continually, and serve him Day and Night in his Temple, and he that sitteth on the Throne shall dwell amongst them. God shall put under them his everlasting Arms, and car­ry them in his Bosom, and they shall suck the full Breasts of eternal Goodness: For now there is nothing can hinder the most near and inti­mate conjunction of the Soul with God; for, things that are alike, do ea­sily mingle with one another: but the mixture that is betwixt Bodies, be they never so homogeneal, comes but to an External Touch; for their parts can never run up into one another. But there is no such [...], or resistance, amongst spiritual Beings; and we are estranged from God ( [...]) not by distance of Place, but by difference and diversity of Nature, and when that is remov'd, He becomes present to us, and we to him: [...], &c. like the Magnitudines congruae in the Mathema­ticks, Quando prima primis, media mediis, extrema extremis, partes denique partibus usquequa (que) respondent, Each of whose parts do exactly answer one to the other. This therefore is the Soul's progress from that state of Purga­tion to Illumination, and so to Union. There are several faculties in the Soul of Man, that are conformed to several kinds of objects; and, ac­cording to that Life a man is awaked into, so these faculties do exert themselves: and though whilst we live barely an Animal Life, we con­verse with little more than this outward World, and the objects of our Senses; yet there are faculties within us that are receptive of God, and when we arrive once unto a due measure of Purity of Spirit, the Rayes of Heavenly Light will as certainly shine into our Minds, as the beams of the Sun, when it arises above the Horison, do illuminate the clear and pellucid air: And from this sight and illumination, the Soul proceeds to [Page 71] an intimate union with God, and to a tast and touch of him. This is that [...], that silent touch with God, that fills the Soul with unexpressible joy and triumph: For, if the objects of this ouward world that strike upon our senses do so hugely please and delight us; What infinite pleasure then must there needs be in those Touches and Impres­ses, that the Divine Love and Goodness shall make upon our Souls? But these are things that we may talk of, as we would do of a sixth Sense, or something we have no distinct Notion or Idaea of; but the perfect under­standing of them belongs only to the future state of Comprehension.

Lastly, we shall have our Knowledge, and our Love, which are the most perfect and beatifying Acts of our Minds, employed about their noblest objects in their most exalted Measures; For a Man to resolve himself in some knotty Question, or answer some stubborn Argument, or find out some noble Conclusion, or solve some hard Probleme, what ineffable pleasure does it create many times to a contemplative mind? We know, who sacrific'd a Hecatomb for one Mathematical Demon­stration; and another that upon the like occasion cry'd out, [...], in a kind of Rapture. To have the secrets of Nature disclos'd, and the mysteries of Art reveal'd; but above all, the Riddles of Pro­vidence unfolded, are such Jewels as I know many searching and inqui­sitive Spirits would be willing to purchase at any rate. When we come to Heaven (I will not say, we shall see all things in the mirror of Di­vinity, for that it may be is an Extravagancy of the Schools; nor, that any one true Proposition through the concatenation of Truth, will then multiply it self into the explicit knowledge of all Conclusions whatso­ever, for I belive that a Fancy too, but) our Knowledge shall be strange­ly enlarg'd, and, for ought I can determine, be for ever receiving new Additions, and fresh Accruements; The Clew of Divine Providence will then be unravell'd, and all those Difficulties which now perplex us, will be easily assoyl'd, and we shall then perceive that the Wisdom and Goodness of God, is a vast and comprehensive Thing, and moves in a far larger Sphere than we are aware of in this state of narrowness and imperfection: But there is something greater and beyond all this; and Saint Iohn has a strange Expression, That we shall then see God even as he is; and God, we know, is the well-spring of Perfection and Happi­ness, the Fountain and Original of all Beauty; he is infinitely glorious, and lovely, and excellent; and if we see him as he is, all this Glory must descend into us and become ours: for we can no otherwayes see God (as I said before) but by becoming Deiform, by being changed into the same Glory. But love, that is it, which makes us most happy, and by that we are most intimately conjoyn'd unto God, For he that dwelleth in Love, dwelleth in God, and God in him: And how pleasant beyond all imagination must it needs be, to have the Soul melted into a flame of Love, and that Fire fed and nourish'd by the enjoyment of its Beloved; To be transported into Ecstasies, and Raptures of Love; to be swallow'd up in the embraces of eternal Sweetness; to be lost in the Source and Fountain of Happiness and Bliss, like a spark in the Fire, or a beam in the Sun, or drop in the Ocean.

It may be you will tell me, I have been all this while confuting my Text, and giving you a Relation of that which Saint Iohn tells us, does not yet appear what it is; But my design has been the same with the Holy [Page 72] Evangelist's; and that is, to represent unto you how transcendently great that State of Happiness must needs be; when as, by what way we are able to apprehend of it, it is infinitely the object of our desires; and yet we are assur'd by those that are best able to tell, That the best and greatest part of the Countrey is yet undiscovered, and that we cannot so much as guess at the pleasure of it, till we come to enjoy it: And indeed it is impossible it should be otherwise; for, Happiness being a matter of Sense, all the words in the World cannot convey the Notion of it unto our Minds, and it is only to be understood by them that feel it; [...].

But though it does not yet appear what we shall be; yet so much al­ready appears of it, that it cannot but seem the most worthy Object of our Endeavours and Desires; and by some few Clusters that have been shewn us of this good Land, we may guess what pleasant and delightful Fruit it bears: And if we have but any reverence of our selves, and will but consider the dignity of our Natures, and the vastness of that Happiness we are capable of; me thinks we should be alwayes travelling towards that Heavenly Countrey, though our way lies through a Wilderness: and be striving for this great Prize and immortal Crown; and be clearing our eyes, and purging our sight, that we may come to this Vision of God; shaking off all fond passions, and dirty desires, and breathing forth our Souls in such Aspirations as these:

My Soul thirsteth for thee, O Lord, in a dry and barren Land, where no Water is; O that thou would'st stistil, and drop down the Dew of thy Heavenly Grace into all its secret Chinks and Pores; One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after, That I may dwell in the House of the Lord all the dayes of my Life, and behold his Glory: for a day in thy Courts is better than a thousand, and I had rather be a Door-keeper in the House of the Lord, than dwell in the Tents of Wickedness. All the Kings of the Earth, they are thy Tributaries; the Kings of Tarshish, and of the Isles, bring Presents unto thee; the Kings of Sheba and Seba offer Gifts. O that we could but pay thee, that which is so due unto thee, the tribute of our Hearts! The Heathen are come into thine Inheritance; thy holy Temple have they defil'd: Help us, O God of our Salvation, and deliver us, and purge away our sins from us, for thy Name's sake! O that the Lord whom we seek, would come to his own House, and give Peace there, and fill it with his Glory! Come and cleanse thine own Temple, for we have made it a Den of Thieves, which should have been a House of Prayer! O that we might never give sleep to our eyes, nor slumber to our eye-lids, till we have prepar'd a House for the Lord, and a Tabernacle for the God of Iacob! The Curse of Cain it is fallen upon us, and we are as Vagabonds in the Earth; and wander from one Crea­ture to another. O that our Souls might come at last to dwell in God, our fixed and eternal Habitation! We, like silly Doves, fly up and down the Earth, but can find no rest for the Sole of our feet; O that, after all our weariness and our wandrings, we might return into the Ark; and that God would put forth his hand and take us, and pull us in unto Him­self! We have too long lived upon Vanity and Emptiness, the wind and the whirl-wind; O that we may now begin to feed upon Substance, and delight our selves in Marrow and Fatness! O that God would strike our [Page 73] rocky Hearts, that there might spring up a Fountain in the Wilderness, and Pools in the Desart; that we might drink of that Water, whereof whosoever drinks, shall never thirst more; that God would give us that Portion of Goods that falleth to us, not to waste it with riotous living, but therewith to feed our languishing Souls, left they be weary and faint by the way! We ask not the Childrens Bread, but the Crums that fall from thy Table; that our Baskets may be fill d with thy Fragments: for they will be better than Wine, and sweeter than the Honey, and the Honey-Comb, and more pleasant to us than a Feast of fat things. We have wandred too long in a barren, and howling Desart, where wild Beasts, and doleful Creatures, Owls and Bats, Satyrs and Dragons, keep their haunts; O that we might be fed in green Pastures; and led by the still Waters, that the Winter might be past, and the Rain over and gone, that the Flowers may appear on the Earth, and the time of the singing of Birds may come, and the Voice of the Turtle may be heard in our Land! We have lived too long in Sodom, which is the place that God at last will destroy: O that we might arise and be gone; and, while we are lingring, that the Angels of God would lay hold upon our hands (and be merciful unto us) and bring us forth, and set us without the City; and that we may never look back any more, but may escape unto the Mountain, and dwell safe in the Rock of Ages! Wisdom hath killed her Beasts, she hath mingled her Wine, and furnished her Table; O that we might eat of her Meat, and drink of her Wine which she hath min­gled! God knocks at the doors of our Hearts; O let us open unto him those everlasting Gates, that he may Sup with us, and we with him; for he will bring his Chear along with him, and will feast us with Manna, and Angels food! O that the Sun of Righteousness might arise and melt the Iciness of our Hearts! That God would send forth his Spirit, and with his warmth and heat dissolve our frozen Souls; that God would breath into our minds, those still and gentle Gales of Divine Inspirati­ons, that may blow up▪ and increase in us the flames of heavenly Love! That we may be a whole burnt-Offering, and all the substance of our Souls be consumed by fire from Heaven, and ascend up in Clouds of In­cense? That, as so many sparks, we might be alwayes mounting upward, till we return again into our proper Elements! That, like so many par­ticular Rivulets, we may be continually making toward the Sea, and ne­ver rest till we lose our selves in that Ocean of Goodness, from whence we first came! That we may open our Mouths wide, that God may sa­tisfie them! That we may so perfectly discharge our selves of all strange Desires and Passions, that our Souls may be nothing else but a deep Empti­ness and vast Capacity to be fill'd with all the fulness of God! Let but these be the breathings of our Spirits, and this Divine Magnetism will most certainly draw down God into our Souls, and we shall have some Praelibations of that Happiness; some small glimpses, and little discoveries whereof, is all that belongs to this state of Mortality.

[Page 74] I Have as yet done but the half of my Text: and I have another Text yet to preach upon, and a very large and copious one, The great Person, whose Obsequies we here come to celebrate: His fame is so great throughout the World, that he stands in no need of an Encomium; and yet his worth is much greater than his fame; It is impossible not to speak great things of him, and yet it is impossible to speak what he de­serves; and the meanness of an Oration will but fully the brightness of his Excellencies: But Custom requires that something should be said, and it is a Duty and a Debt that we owe only unto his Memory: and I hope, his great Soul, if it hath any knowledge of what is done here below, will not be offended at the smallness of our Offering.

He was born at Cambridge, and brought up in the Free-School there, and was ripe for the University, afore Custom would allow of his Ad­mittance; but by that time he was Thirteen years old, he was entred in­to Caius-Colledge; and as soon as he was Graduate, he was chosen fel­low. Had he lived amongst the ancient Pagans he had been usher'd into the World with a Miracle, and Swans must have danc'd and sung at his Birth; and he must have been a great Hero, and no less than the Son of Apollo, the God of Wisdom and Eloquence.

He was a Man long afore he was of Age; and knew little more of the state of Childhood, than its Innocency and Pleasantness. From the University, by that time he was Master of Arts, he removed to London, and became publick Lecturer in the Church of Saint Paul's; where he preached to the admiration and astonishment of his Auditory; and by his florid and youthful beauty, and sweet and pleasant air, and sublime and rais'd discourses, he made his hearers take him for some young An­gel, newly descended from the Visions of Glory; The fame of this new Star, that out-shone all the rest of the Firmament, quickly came to the notice of the great Arch-Bishop of Canterbury, who would needs have him preach before him; which he performed not less to his wonder than satisfaction; His discourse was beyond exception, and beyond imitation: yet the wise Prelate thought him too young; but the great Youth humbly begg'd his Grace to pardon that fault, and promised, If he liv d, he would mend it. However the grand Patron of Learning and Inge­nuity, thought it for the advantage of the World, that such mighty Parts should be afforded better opportunities of study and Improvement, than a course of constant preaching would allow of; and to that purpose he placed him in his own Colledge of All-Souls in Oxford; where Love and Admiration still waited upon him: which so long as there is any spark of ingenuity in the breasts of men, must needs be the inseparable Attendants of so extraordinary a worth and sweetness. He had not been long here, afore my Lord of Canterbury bestowed upon him the Rectory of Uphing­ham in Rutland-shire, and soon after preferr'd him to be Chaplain to King Charles the Martyr of blessed and immortal Memory. Thus were prefer­ments heaped upon him, but still less than his deserts; and that not through the fault of his great Masters, but because the amplest Honours and Re­wards were poor and inconsiderable, compar'd with the greatness of his Worth and Merit.

This Great Man had no sooner launch'd into the World, but a fear­ful Tempest arose, and a barbarous and unnatural War disturb'd a long and uninterrupted Peace and Tranquillity, and brought all [Page 75] things into disorder and confusion; but his Religion taught him to be Loyal, and ingag'd him on his Prince's side, whose Cause and Quarrel he alwayes own'd and maintain'd with a great courage and constancy; till at last, he and his little Fortune were shipwrackt in that great Hurricane, that overturn'd both Church and State: This fatal Storm cast him ashore in a private corner of the World, and a tender Providence shrowded him under her Wings, and the Prophet was fed in the Wilderness; and his great worthiness procur'd him friends, that supplied him with bread and necessaries. In this Solitude he began to write those excellent Discour­ses, which are enough of themselves to furnish a Library, and will be fa­mous to all succeeding Generations, for their greatness of Wit, and pro­foundness of Judgment, and richness of Fancy, and clearness of Expressi­on, and copiousness of Invention, and general usefulness to all the purpo­ses of a Christian: And by these he soon got a great Reputation among all persons of Judgment and Indifferency, and his Name will grow greater still, as the World grows better and wiser.

When he had spent some Years in this Retirement, it pleas'd God to visit his Family with Sickness, and to take to himself the dear Pledges of his Favour, three Sons of great hopes and expectations, within the space of two or three Months: And though he had learned a quiet Submissi­on unto the Divine Will; yet the Affliction touch'd him so sensibly, that it made him desirous to leave the Countrey; And going to London, he there met my Lord Conway, a Person of great Honour and Generosity; who making him a kind Proffer, the good man embraced it, and that brought him over into Ireland, and setled him at Portmore, a place made for Study and Contemplation, which he therefore dearly lov'd; and here he wrote his Cases of Conscience: A Book that is able alone to give its Author Immortality.

By this time the Wheel of Providence brought about the King's hap­py Restauration, and there began a new World, and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the Waters, and out of a confused Chaos brought forth Beauty and Order, and all the Three Nations were inspir'd with a new Life, and became drunk with an excess of Joy: Among the rest, this Loyal Subject went over to congratulate the Prince and Peoples Happi­ness, and bear a part in the Universal Triumph.

It was not long ere his Sacred Majesty began the settlement of the Church, and the great Doctor Ieremy Taylor was resolv'd upon for the Bi­shoprick of Down and Conor; and not long after, Dromore was added to it: and it was but reasonable that the King and Church should consider their Champion, and reward the pains and sufferings he under-went in the Defence of their Cause and Honour. With what care and faithful­ness he discharg'd his Office, we are all his Witnesses; what good Rules and Directions he gave his Clergy, and how he taught us the practice of them by his own Example. Upon his coming over Bishop, he was made a Privy-Councellor; and the University of Dublin gave him their Testi­mony, by recommending him for their Vice-Chancellor: which honou­rable Office he kept to his dying day.

During his being in this See, he wrote several excellent Discourses, particularly his Disswasive from Popery (which was receiv'd by a general approbation;) and a Vindication of it (now in the Press) from some impertinent Cavillers, that pretend to answer Books, when there is nothing towards it, more than the very Title-page. This great Pre­late [Page 76] improv'd his Talent with a mighty Industry, and managed his Stew­ardship rarely well; and his Master, when he call'd for his Accounts, found him busie and at his Work, and employed upon an excellent Subject, A Discourse upon the Beatitudes; which, if finisht, would have been of great use to the World, and solv'd most of the Cases of Con­science that occur to a Christian, in all the varieties of states and condi­tions. But the All-wise God hath ordained it otherwise, and hath called home his good Servant, to give him a portion in that Blessedness that Jesus Christ hath promised to all his faithful Disciples and Fol­lowers.

Thus having given you a brief Account of his Life, I know you will now expect a character of his Person; but I fore-see, it will befal him, as it does all Glorious Subjects, that are but disparaged by a commenda­tion; One thing I am secure of, that I shall not be thought to speak Hy­perbole's; for the Subject can hardly be reached, by any expressions: For he was none of God's ordinary works, but his Endowments were so many, and so great, as really made him a Miracle.

Nature had befriended him much in his Constitution; for he was a person of a most sweet and obliging Humour, of great Candour and In­genuity; and there was so much of Salt and fineness of Wit, and pretti­ness of Address in his familiar Discourses, as made his Conversation have all the pleasantness of a Comedy, and all the usefulness of a Sermon: His Soul was made up of Harmony, and he never spake, but he charm'd his Hearer, not only with the clearness of his Reason; but all his Words, and his very Tone, and Cadencies were strangely Musical.

But, That which did most of all captivate and enravish, was, The gaie­ty and richness of his Fancy; for he had much in him of that natural En­thusiasm, that inspires all great Poets and Orators; and there was a ge­nerous ferment in his Blood and Spirits, that set his Fancy bravely a work, and made it swell, and teem, and become pregnant to such degrees of Lux­uriancy, as nothing but the greatness of his Wit and judgment, could have kept it within due bounds and measures.

And indeed it was a rare Mixture, and a single Instance, hardly to be found in an Age: for the great Tryer of Wits has told us, That there is a peculiar and several Complexion, requir'd for Wit, and Iudg­ment, and Fancy; and yet you might have found all these, in this great Personage, in their Eminency and Perfection. But that which made his Wit and Judgment so considerable, was the largeness and freedom of his Spirit, for truth is plain and easie to a mind dis-intangled from Superstition and Prejudice; He was one of the [...], a sort of brave Philosophers that Laertius speaks of, that did not addict them­selves to any particular Sect, but ingeniously sought for Truth among all the wrangling Schools; and they found her miserably torn and rent to pieces, and parcell'd into Rags, by the several contending Parties, and so disfigur'd and mishapen, that it was hard to know her; but they made a shift to gather up her scatter'd Limbs, which as soon as they came together, by a strange sympathy and connaturalness, pre­sently united into a lovely and beautiful body. This was the Spirit of this Great Man; he weighed mens Reasons, and not their Names, and was not scared with the ugly Vizars men usually put upon Persons they hate, and Opinions they dislike; nor affrighted with the Ana­thema's and Execrations of an infallible Chair, which he look'd upon only as Bug-bears to terrifie weak, and childish minds. He considered [Page 77] that it is not likely any one Party should wholly engross Truth to them­selves; that Obedience is the only way to true Knowledge; (which is an argument that he has manag'd rarely well, in that excellent Sermon of his, which he calls, Via Intelligentiae;) that God alwayes, and only teaches docible and ingenuous minds, that are willing to hear, and ready to obey according to their Light; that it is impossible, a pure, humble, resigned, God-like Soul, should be kept out of Heaven, whatever mi­stakes it might be subject to in this state of Mortality; that the design of Heaven is not to fill mens heads, and feed their Curiosities, but to better their Hearts, and mend their Lives. Such Considerations as these, made him impartial in his Disquisitions, and give a due allowance to the Reasons of his Adversary, and contend for Truth, and not for Vi­ctory.

And now you will easily believe that an ordinary Diligence would be able to make great Improvements upon such a Stock of Parts and En­dowments; but to these advantages of Nature, and excellency of his Spirit, be added an indefatigable Industry, and God gave a plentiful Be­nediction: for, there were very few Kinds of Learning, but he was a Mystes, and a great Master in them: He was a rare Humanist, and hugely vers'd in all the polite parts of Learning; and had throughly concoct­ed all the ancient Moralists, Greek and Roman, Poets and Orators; and was not unacquainted with the refined Wits of the later Ages, whether French, or Italian.

But he had not only the Accomplishments of a Gentleman, but so uni­versal were his Parts, that they were proportioned to every thing; and though his Spirit and Humour were made up of Smoothness and Gen­tleness, yet he could bear with the Harshness and Roughness of the Schools; and was not unseen in their Subtilties and Spinosities; and upon occasion could make them serve his purpose; and yet, I believe, he thought many of them very near a kin to the famous Knight of the Man­cha, and would make sport sometimes with the Romantick Sophistry, and phantastick Adventures of School-Errantry. His Skill was great, both in the Civil and Canon Law, and Casuistical Divinity; and he was a rare Conductor of Souls, and knew how to Counsel, and to Advise; to solve Difficulties, and determine Cases, and quiet Consciences. And he was no Novice in Mr. I. S. new Science of Controversie; but could manage an Argument, and Reparties with a strange dexterity; He un­derstood what the several Parties in Christendom have to say for themselves, and could plead their Cause to better advantage than any Advocate of their Tribe: and when he had done, he could confute them too; and shew, That better Arguments than ever they could produce for themselves, would afford no sufficient ground for their fond Opi­nions.

It would be too great a Task to pursue his Accomplishments through the various Kinds of Literature: I shall content my self to add only his great Acquaintance with the Fathers and Ecclesiastical Writers, and the Doctors of the first and purest Ages both of the Greek and Latin Church; which he has made use of against the Romanists, to vindicate the Church of England from the Challenge of Innovation, and prove her to be truly Ancient, Catholick, and Apostolical.

But Religion and Vertue is the Crown of all other Accomplish­ments; and it was the Glory of this great man, to be thought a Chri­stian, and whatever you added to it, he look't upon as a term of dimi­nution: [Page 78] and yet he was a Zealous Son of the Church of England; but that was because he judg'd her (and with great reason) a Church the most purely Christian of any in the World. In his younger years he met with some Assaults from Popery; and the high pretensions of their Religious Orders were very accommodate to his Devotional Temper: but he was alwayes so much Master of himself, that he would never be governed by any thing but Reason, and the evidence of Truth, which engag'd him in the study of those Controversies; and to how good purpose, the World is by this time a sufficient Witness: But the lon­ger, and the more he considered, the worse he lik'd the Roman Cause, and became at last to censure them with some severity; But I confess I have so great an opinion of his Judgment, and the charitableness of his Spirit, that I am afraid he did not think worse of them than they de­serve.

But Religion is not a matter of Theory and Orthodox Notions; and it is not enough to believe aright, but we must practise accordingly; and to master our passions, and to make a right use of that [...], and power that God has given us over our own actions, is a greater glory than all other Accomplishments that can adorn the mind of Man; and therefore I shall close my Character of this great Personage with a touch upon some of those Vertues, for which his Memory will be pre­tious to all Posterity. He was a Person of great Humility; and, notwith­standing his stupendious Parts, and Learning, and Eminency of Place, he had nothing in him of Pride and Humour, but was Courteous and Affable, and of easie Access, and would lend a ready Ear to the com­plaints, yea to the impertinencies, of the meanest persons. His Humi­lity was coupled with an Extraordinary Piety; and, I believe, he spent the greatest part of his time in Heaven; his solemn hours of Prayer took up a considerable portion of his Life; and we are not to doubt, but he had learned of S. Paul to pray continually; and that occasional Ejacula­tions, and frequent Aspirations and Emigrations of his Soul after God, made up the best part of his Devotions. But he was not only a Good Man God-ward, but he was come to the top of S. Peter's gradation, and to all his other Vertues added a large and diffusive Charity: And, who­ever compares his plentiful Incomes, with the inconsiderable Estate he left at his Death, will be easily convinc'd that Charity was Steward for a great proportion of his Revenue. But the Hungry that he fed, and the Naked that he cloath'd, and the Distressed that he supply'd, and the Fatherless that he provided for; the poor Children that he put to Ap­prentice, and brought up at School, and maintained at the University, will now sound a Trumpet to that Charity which he dispersed with his right hand, but would not suffer his left hand to have any knowledge of it.

To sum up all in a few words; This Great Prelate he had the good Humour of a Gentleman, the Eloquence of an Orator, the Fancy of a Poet, the Acuteness of a School-man, the Profoundness of a Philo­sopher, the Wisdom of a Counsellor, the Sagacity of a Prophet, the Reason of an Angel, and the Piety of a Saint: He had Devotion enough for a Cloyster, Learning enough for an University, and Wit enough for a Colledge of Virtuosi; and, had his Parts and Endowments been parcell'd out among his poor Clergy that he left behind him, it would perhaps have made one of the best Dioceses in the World. But alas! Our Father, our Father! the Horses of our Israel, and the Chariot [Page 79] thereof; he is gone, and has carried his Mantle and his Spirit along with him up to Heaven; and the Sons of the Prophets have lost all their beauty and lustre which they enjoyed only from the reflexion of his Excellencies, which were bright and radiant enough to cast a glory upon a whole Order of Men. But the Sun of this our world after many at­tempts to break through the Crust of an earthly Body, is at last swallow­ed up in the great Vortex of Eternity, and there all his Maculae are scat­tered and dissolved, and he is fixt in an Orb of Glory, and shines among his Brethren-stars, that in their several Ages gave light to the World, and turn'd many Souls unto Righteousness; and we that are left behind, though we can never reach his Perfections, must study to imitate his Ver­tues, that we may at last come to sit at his feet in the Mansions of Glory; which God grant for his infinite mercies in Jesus Christ: To whom, with the Father, through the Eternal Spirit, be ascribed all Honour and Glory, Worship and Thanksgiving, Love and Obedience, now and for evermore. Amen.


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