MAT: 9.37, 38.

Then saith he unto his Disciples, The harvest truely is plenteous, but the Labourers are few. Pray the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth Labourers into his harvest.

2 TIM: 2.2.

And the things that thou hast heard of me, among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithfull men, who shall be able to teach others also.


¶ Printed by WILLIAM SMITH for Richard Plummer, and are to be sold at his house in Corke.


§. 1. THe worke of the Ministry is, as well of per­petuall necessity, as of spirituall advantage to the Church-Militant; To restraine, 2 Cron: 24.2. To call, 2. Thes: 2.14. To convert, Act: 26.16, 17, 18. To expound the Divine will, Act: 8.31. To make known the manifold wisdom of GOD, Eph: 3.7, ad verse 10, and heart secrets of men, Heb: 4.12. To minister the Spirit, 2. Cor: 3.8. Gal: 3.2, 5; which is not promised to teach any thing but what CHRIST hath spoken before, Iohn. 14.26; and Iohn makes it to be the infallible examen, or tri­all of the Spirits, whether they be of GOD, or not, That they consent that CHRIST is come in the flesh, 1 Iohn. 4.1, 2, 3, and heare, that is, obey his word by his appointed Ministry, which he profess­edly determines to be of GOD, verse 6. To worke Faith, Rom: 10, 14. 1 Cor: 3.5. Ioh: 17.20. To sanctify, Ioh: 17.17. To establish, Eph: 4.14. To [Page 3]seale, Eph: 1.13. To come with; and convey much assurance, with evidence of Divine Election, 1 Thes: 1.4, 5, & joy in the Holy GHOST, v: 6. To convince Gain-sayers, and stop the Mouths of Deceiv­ers, Tit: 1.9, 11, whereunto the Church Militant is in all Ages obnoxious, 2 Pet: 2.1. 1 Tim: 4.2. Elect Ones shall (if is were possible) be deceived (Math: 24.24) by the uncertaine sound of Schismes brazen Trumpets, 1 Cor: 14.8: Zions Silver ones are needfull to call her Assemblies, Numb, 10.7, and alarum her Sons to battel, v, 9. Every Hereticke, and de­ceiver, will in these last, and perilous times be pointing at CHRIST, with a Loe here, Loe there is CHRIST, is if he were there in sober sadness, Math: 24.23, 24: There is a necessity of the conti­nuance of these Philips to lead doubting Nathaniels un­to JESVS, Ioh: 1.46: ignorant Eunuchs to a right un­derstanding of the word, Act: 8.30. to v. 35, & to a due participation of the Sacraments, v: 36, 37, 38. The world lyes in wickedness, 1 Ioh: 5.19, in thicke, gross, Egyptian darkness, Ioh: these Lights must flame on the hill, Math: 5.14: in the Candle­stick v. 15: to dispell, and breake it, v: 16. False Apostles, will fill their hands, or consecrate them selves, 1 Kings 13.33: these Ephesine Angels must try them, Rev: 2, 2. Jezabel will make hereselfe a Prophetess to teach, and to seduce: these Thyatirian Angels must prohibit her, Rev: 2.20. Diotrephes's, men loving preheminence, will exercise arbitrary power in the Churches; Others shall not be Minist­ers; They will be Masters: there must be a succession of authorized Iohns to remember their deeds, and [Page 4]silence their pratings. 3 Ioh: v: 9, 10. Consusiōs will multiply in the Church of Corinth, till there be neither measure, nor end of them, unless some Pauls be in being & carefull to set things in order when they come, 1. Cor: 11.34. Many Children will want their food; and allowance, if at any time there be none in Office, Stewards of the Mysteries, and ma­nifold wisdome of GOD, 1 Cor: 4.1. 1 Pet: 4.10. CHRISTS cōming can not be as it was in the dayes of Noah, Math: 24.37, unless some Preacher of righteousness be then living, 2 Pet: 2.5, to warne the sinfull world of their wickedness, and danger. The purest graine hath its chaffe, 1. Ioh: 1.8, 10. Pro: 20.9: the best need this Fanne to cleanse them, Math: 3.12. Sheep are apt to wander, Psal: 119.176. Esa: 53.6: the best need a Nathan to reduce them, 2 Sam: 12.7. All flesh is liable to Fly-blows, Eccl: 7.20: the best neede this salt to preserve them, Math: 5.13. Where grace is not, the worke of the Ministry is necessary to beget it, 1 Cor: 4.15. Jam: 1.18: where grace is, the worke of the Mi­nistry is necessary to continue it, 1 Thes: 5.19, 20. to increase it, Act: 20 28. 1 Pet. 2.2. As long as there is one Sinner to be converted, one Saint to be per­fected, one member in the body of CHRIST to be edified, one Christian militant to be made tri­umphant, the worke of the Ministry is necessary, Math: 28.19, 20. Eph: 4.11, 12. Act: 20.32.

Office-power perpetually necessary to the work of the Ministry.

§. 2.AS much as the Ability, or Gift is in order to the Office, or Administration: So much is the Office in order to the Worke, or Operation, 1 Cor: 1 The worke of labouring in the word, and Doctrine, is the distinctive character of Pa­stours. 1 Tim: 5.17. Eph: 4.12. 2 Those only are gifted for the worke of the Ministry, for whom CHRIST received, to whom CHRIST gave Gifts; & these in the Holy GHOSTS Register, are only gifted Church-Officers, Eph: 4.11, 12, 13. Psal: 68.18. 3 Office-power is so essentiall, that if the Office-worke may be done by others then instituted Officers, 1 Positive acts of Religion neede not an af­firmative warrant. 2 The institution of Officers had been superfluous. 3 GODS Judgments against In­truders, had been unjust; (absie) Nor was that, which the Scripture makes to be the extreame of Jeroboams Apostacy, any so great matter, 1. Kings 12.31. cap: 13.33. Nor that sad threatning of the Church of Jsrael by the Prophet Hosea any thing at all, Hos: 4.9. Read also and consider Jer: 23.21. 1 Sam: 13.13. 2 Sam: 6.7.

The distinction of the Ministeriall-Office.

§. 3.TO run without Office-power, argues presumption; to stand still with it, laziness: The former, be­cause the Ministry is a distinct Office: The latter, be­cause it impowers for distinct Workes, 1 Tim: 3.1. 1 The Persons impower'd distinct; some, Eph: 4.11: not all, 1 Cor: 11.29; and in relation to their Office, [Page 6]distinguished from other Saints. Heb: 13.24. 2 The Office, & Office-titles distinct; 1 Tim: 3.1. Ier: 3.15. Math: 9.36, 37, 38. 1 Cor: 2 Cor: Act: 20.28. Rev: 1.16, 20. 3 distinct promises are made to Church-Officers, Mat: 1 Tim: 4.16. 1 Pet: 5.4. Dan. 12.3. 4 distinct gifts, and qualifi­cations required in them, 1 Tim: 3.2. Tit: 1.7, 8, 9. 5 distinct duties imposed on them concerning others, 1 Pet: 5.2, 3. 1 Tim: 4.13, 14, 15. 2 Tim: 4.2. Heb: 13.17: the neglect whereof procures Woe peculiarly to them, 1 Cor: 9.16; is reproved peculiarly in them, and for the observance, they peculiarly approved, Rev: 2. cap: 3. 6 distinct Duties imposed on others concerning them, 1 Cor: 16.10, 11, 15, 16, 17, 18. 2 Cor: 8.23, 24. 1 Cor: 9. Gal: 6.6. 1 Thes: 5.12, 13. 1 Tim: 5.17. Heb: 13.7. Phil: 2.29: the observ­ance wherof in the lowest measure is kindly accepted by CHRIST, Math: 10.40. Ioh: 13.20: the neg­lect condemned as the worst of Sins, 2 Cron: 36.15, 16. Lu: 10.16. Hos: 4.4: Resisters of them are said to resist the Holy GHOST: Act: 7.51, 52: dispisers of them are said to be despisers of GOD, 1 Thes: 4.8: to judge themselves unworthy of eternall life. Act: 13.46: to reject the counsell of GOD against themselves, Lu: 7.30: punnished with the worst of judgments, 2 Cron: 36.16, 17. 1 Thes: 2.16. 2 Kings. 2.24. Amos. 2.12, to v. 16. The Apostle Jude, v. 11. taxeth the primitive Hereticks with three horrid crimes against Christianity, 1 Cruelty against their Brethren, as Cain. 2 Vassalling Religion under covetousness, as Ba­laam. 3 Opposition to the ministerial Function, as [Page 7] Core: and adjoines perishing as the necessary product of that contradiction. To this Sin, temporall punnish­ments are often consequent, 2 Cron: 36.17. Amos. 2.12, to v. 16. 2 Kings. 2.24; Spirituall alwaies. That dreadfull judgment threatned Isai: 6.9, 10, and so of­ten repeated in the new Testament,Mat: 13. Mar: 4.12. Lu: 8.10. Ioh: 12.40. Act: 28.26. Rom. 11.8. (where Gods dispensations, both in mercies, and judgements, are especially spirituall) in each of the Evangelists, in the Acts, and in the Epistles, is the speciall fruit of this impiety. When those who are antiministeriall, reele so fast to Atheisine, and a sottish insensibility, let none imagine that GOD leaves them unpunished.

The distinct ministeriall-werke, and Office proved by Reason.

§. 4.THough grace doth unbeast us: yet it doth not un­man us. The will of GOD therefore discovered by right reason, binds our observance: and right reason gives in its suffrage to the distinct worke, and Office of the Ministry, as 1 From the nature of Re­ligious Ordinances, which are 1 High, and diffi­cult; such as require the whole time, 1 Tim: 4.15: yea more than the whole man, 2 Cor: 2.16. 2 Myste­rious, and excellent: mysterious, because religious (of inward grace as well as outward rites) excellent be­cause mysterious; And the difficulty, Act: 6.2, ex­cellency, Heb: 5.4, and mysteriousness, 1 Cor: 4.1. 1 Tim. 3.16, as of every Employment: so especially of that which is sacred, distinguisheth Persons to at­tend it. 2 From the manner of religious duties; A worke done in religion is not done, if the man­ner of doing confutes the matter of the thing done, [Page 8]1 Cor: 11.17, 20. Hos: 7.14: But such as are regard­less, Who performes religious cuties, are cōmonly re­gardless whether, alwaies regardless how, they are per­formed. 1 Kings. 12.31, 32. 3 From the end of Re­ligion, the deligne whereof is GODS glory; i.e. the manifestation of divine excellency. 1 GODS Being is manifested, when as in the darker glass of the world: so in the clearer glass of the Church (re­presenting more lively GODS Image, 2 Cor: 3.18) by this dependance. of one on another, we are led to him the originall of all. 2 GODS Power is manifested, when by such neake distinct Instruments of divine appointment, 1 Nations propossessed with enmity, and prejudice, are subdued to owne the way of Reli­gion, 1 Cor: 1.27, 28. 2 The heart (which is GODS privy-chamber) is reached: Paul a prisoner at the barre, makes Felix, a Judge on the bench to tremble, Act: 24.25. Agrippa becemes almost a Christian at one of the same prisoner-preachers Sermons, Act: 26.28. 3. Supernaturall treatures are conveyed by earthen ves­sells; the power therfore is of GOD, 2 Cor: 4.7: upon which account the Apostle puts Faith, wrought by Gospell-preaching in the first ranke of the ad­mirable things of the great day, 2 Thes: 1.10. 3 GODS universall Soveraignty is manifested by our united services, (as sociable creatures), which are required of us, Heb: 10.25: and can not be perform­ed by us, without distinct Ordinances, nor those orderly administred, without distinct Officers; And as GOD is the GOD of order in the whole Universe: so especially in the Churches of the Saints. 4 GODS goodness is manifested by imploying 1 such distinct [Page 9]Iustruments, as are symbolicall, and therfore most probable to be effectuall, Ex: 20.19. 2 Such as may in their lives exemplify, what in their doctrines they teach, Phil: 3.17 1 Tim: 4.12. 1 Pet: 5.3. 3 such as have their adventurers in the same vessell, 2 Cor: 1.6, 8: So that they can not deceive others, but they must deceive themselves, Math 15.14. 5 GODS wisdome is manifested, in the institution of this dist­inct double witness Ioh: 15.26, 27; double meanes; 1 Cor: 3.9; inward, and outward. GOD is a Spirit, his conveyances of himselfe must be spirituall: we are Bodies, our present receptiōs must be corporeall; so the infinite wisdome of our GOD, that suits his institutes to both; to the former by the Spirit of his grace; to the latter by the Ministry of Man.

That it is, GOD, who calls to the Office­worke, and power ministeriall.

§. 5.BUt all meanes ought to be proportioned to their proper ends. The Streame can not rise higher then the spring-head; As therfore the ends so like­wise the institution of the Ministry is supernaturalls Not to speake of the Poiest-hood, before, and under Mosaicall Paedagogie; GOD promiseth, Esa: 66.21, to single, or take out from the rest of beleevers un­der the Gospell; some for Priestes,) and Levites, [...]es New-Testament Officers, set forth in old Testament characters: And according to this promise, GOD sets such in the Church, 1 Cor. 12.28, 29, 2 Cor: 5, 18.19. Christ [...] gives them to the Church, Ephe 4.11 1 Tim. 1.11 12 The Holy GHOST seperates them for the Church, Act:

Ordinary Ministers.

§. 6.THis truth reacheth, not only Apostles, Prop hets and Evangelists (extraordinary): but Past ours and Teachers also (ordinary) Church-officers: Thus Apollo, 1 Cor: 3.5. Epaphras, Col: 1.7. Archippus, Col: 4.17. Silvanus, 1 Thes: 1.10, with cap: 2.4. Tychicus, Col: 4.7. Eph: 6.21, ordinary Ministers, received their Ministry from the LORD.

And mediately by Ministers.

§. 7.ANd as it is perpetually necessary, that those, who minister in the things of GOD, should be there­to seperated by GOD: so is it perpetually necessary, that by some externall act, it might appeare, who are thus separated. This Express under the Gospell, Christ at first determined, either by personall, or mi­raculous signation. Personall, during his humiliatiō, as the 12 Apostles, Math: 10: Miraculous, after his ascension, as Matthias by Lot Act: 1.26. Paul & Bar­nabas by vision, Act: 13.2. Timothy by prophesy, 1 Tim: 4.14. But though Miracles cease, yet the Gos­pell-ministration, and Ministry must continue (2 Cor: 3.11,) in regard that the Churches neede of it, (as Sect: 1.), & GODs care to supply it, is the same to the end, Math: 16.18. & 24.14. Esa: 30.20. There­fore doth CHRIST send Gospell-Ministers, as the FATHER sent him, Ioh: 20.21: & authorizeth them (acting under him, and in his stead, 2 Cor: 5.20.) to authorize others, 2 Tim: 2.2. And as their worke & office shall continue to the end of the world: so he promiseth his presence with them alwaies, even to the end of the world, Mith: 28.18, 19, 20.

By the way of Ordination.

§. 8.THe Ministers of the Gospell thus separated and authorized to separate and authorize others; are herein directed to Gospel Ordination; as GODS institution for this end and purpose. Thus Paul; though immediately chosen by GOD, even to an A­postolate, must be ordained, Act: 13.1.2: and the Seven, though [...]mediately chosen by the multitude of disciples, but even a Deaconship, must be ordained, Act: 6.3, 6. Paul and Barnabas goe from place to place, to ordaine Presbyters in every City. Act: 14.23. Titus is left at Crete to ordaine Presbyters, Tit: 1.5: all which had been nedless, if qualifications, or popu­lar election (without ordination) had been authori­tative mission. Timothy received his cōmission by the laying on of the hands of the Presbytery, 1 Tim: 4.14: and though in the negative, he be forbad to lay hands sudenly on any man: yet thereby in the affirmative, he is cōmanded to lay on hands, i. e. or­daine Ministers, 1 Tim: 5.22.

Gospell-Ministers (in the County of Corke) excited to ordaine Ministers.

1 By Sence of Duty.

§. 9.VVE doe not, we dare not apologize for all, or any the infirmities, errors, offences, scandalls &c, of any in the Ministry. It is (the LORD knows) a cause of sadness, and heart-search­ing to us, as often as we thinke of them; and the rather, considering how prodigiously provoking, [Page 12]and of what dangerous, destructive consequence, the excesses and obliquities of the Sons of Levi are, which the LORD hath been wont to prosecute with flaming expressions of an hot displeasure, Mal: 2.8, 9: Yet since the unbeleife & miscarriages of men can not make the faith of GOD of none effect in any thing that he hath promised to his Church, Rom: 3.3. 2 Tim: 2.13: and since, even in the deepest defection of the Aaronicall Priest-hood, which was to give place in time to the Evangelicall, GOD tooke care, ere he threw out one, to provide for the substitution of ano­ther (as if he would thereby acquaint us, that it is some part of the mystery of his waies, to be angry with men in Office, and well pleased with the institu­tion and Office it selfe at one and the same time as we may see in that famous portion of Scripture, 1 Sam: 2.27 ad fin: Yea, especially, since we are incompassed with such a cloud of Scripture-testimonies already expressed, That GOD will not leave his Church at any time, after the manifestation and re­surrection of his Son, destitute of Pastours, accord­ing to his own heart, which shall to the end of the world teach, and make Disciples out of all Nations; unto whom our LORD JESVS hath annexed a Loe of his being present with them alwaies, or every day, Math: 28.20; which word and phrase, in our judg­ment imports a promise of a clear, and daily mani­festation of what a CHRIST present can discover, and hand forth unto them: We have therefore resolv­ed through GODS assistance (being confidently & comfortably perswaded of the promised presence of our MASTER with us) to put forth that power, wher­with [Page 13]the LORD hath (in this instance) intrusted us; That in this part of CHRISTS Church, 1 A Gospell-Ministry may be regularly continued. 2 In­truders prevented. 3 CHRISTS Flocke preserved, as well from dispersion, as infection.

2 By experience of divers sad consequents of non-ordination.

§. 10.COntraries are best illustrated by their Contra­ries. We shall therefore particularize some of the sad cōsequents, which by experience we have ob­served to arise from entrance into the Ministry by o­ther waies than GODS way of Ordinatiō. 1 The most of those, who take upon them the Ministry, with­out ordination, are far from having such gifts, as are necessarily required in those that are instructours to others. 2 Those Congregations, who give this liberty to persons unordained, are incompetent Judges of their gifts. 3 Conversion-worke went on more live­ly, when Ministeriall-worke was wholly in the hands of ordained men, and Church-Guides. 4 Such con­fident Intruders are seldome without their consider­able errours, not only in discipline, but doctrine. 5 Popery, & Apostacy have little prevailed, but where and when, either such as pretended to be Ministers, laboured not in the word and doctrin; or such as pretended to labour in the word and doctrine, were not Ministers. 6 Enthusiasmes in such we see often pretended to, and no wonder, when Learning, which in an ordinary way, should furnish with abilities, is wanting. 7 Though this Gangrene begins at the foote; yet it suddenly cates to the heart: we seldome see [Page 14]any who are against Ordinances, Sabbaths of Scrip­tures, CHRIST, but such as were first against or­dained Ministers. Some of them who without ordination pretended to be prime Preachers of CHRIST, doe now themselves protend to be CHRIST. 8 In such unordained men is easily dis­cernable, not only the bublings up, but the flowings over of a Spirit of pride, & selfe-confidence. 9 They who exclaime against Ministers, as preaching for Tithes, have given shrewd cause of suspition, that themselves preached for places and employments, 10 Such unordained persons cōmonly divide and breake insunder such Congregations, in which they have liberty to exercise. 11 They ordinarily obtrude themselves on such Congregations, as are conscien­tiously scrupled, and professedly unsatisfied with them. 12 Many or them neglect the duties of their particular and generall Calling; and whilst they pretend to teach whole Congregations, they omit to instruct their Children and Servants. 13 Be­cause of such wild and: irregular practises, the Ordinances of the Gospell come to be contemned, and the offering of the LORD to be abhorred. 14 Men of learning and ability, whose labours might have been of singular and signall advantage, have by this meanes been slighted, excluded. 15 Even by naturall conscience the prophane are convinced that duties of Religion ought to be performed, and distinct Per­sons attend them when therefore they see such as pretend to the power of Religion, to despise the forme (which is the utmost their Capacities can reach) they are easily induced by the old Serpent to over value [Page 15]the forme, and despise the power; and when they see other prophane ones, prize what they prize, and those that pretend to the power, despise the same (by making it cōmon, and of ordinary address) they are rootedly hardned in their prophaness 16 The Irish and Papists are alienated from the Pro­testant Religion.

1 Ignorance is the mother of Popish devotion; they therefore respect more the persons of teachers than the things taughts and where these are contem­ned, they are apt to repute Religion denied:

2 Order and Unity are essentiall properties (in the Papists opinion) of the true Church; but disor­der and Schisme are the naturall consequents of un­ordained Intruders; and where these are, the Papists doe readily conclude that Religion is not.

3 Many Papists, though so ignorant in the choise principles of Christianity, that their faith is impli­cate; yet in many things (especially Popish controver­sied) they clearly discover a greater ignorance and weakness in these Intruders; the discovery whereof, together with the admiration of their own dark So­phisters, confirmes them in their perswasions against the Protestant Religion; whereof they judge rather by the weakness and pretences of such Intruders, than by the true grounds of Protestant Religion.

4 These various unordained Intruders are often contradictory, not only to each other, but to them­selves; the observance whereof confirmes the Papists, that as there is out one truth, so these contrary waies can not be that truth.

5 Scripture being wrested by these unstable intru­ders [Page 16]to patronize their own conceptions, the Papists are confirmed, that Scripture is a Judge insufficient, and unlawfull for cōmon use, as being liable to abuse, and if Scripture-adjudication be once rejected, carnall reason will invite to set the highest value on Popish politie.

6 These unordained Intruders doe usually revile Gospell-Ministers, and the owners of the Gospell-Ministry as Anti-Christian: Now when that guilt is charged by these on the Protestants, which the Protes­tants charge on the Papists, the Papists are thereby confirmed, as if they were as innocent as their pro­fessed Opposites and Reprovers.

7 Vice may be nourished with the milke of ver­tue. The Gospell-Ministers are constrained by the distracting disturbances of these Intruders to lay out so much of their time and sweate in the prevention of the evil consequences before instanced, that the Papists (who are opposite in the other extreame) gaine ground by this diversion, and are easily per­swaded to thinke the better of themselves, even on this occasion.

8 Many doctrines delivered by these Intruders are expressely Popish; which some of them deliver because of their ignorance and inability to distin­guish betwixt what is Popish, and what not; others out of designe to introduce Popery without noise or discovery.

Many of these consequences (we beleeve) arise from the nature of unscripturall intrusion into the worke of the Ministry without ordination; though possibly others of them arise from the frequent dis­temper [Page 17]and irregularity of them, who dare be such Intruders; by instance whereof we intend not to justi­fie the distorted illations made by Papists, and pro­phane persons; but to discover the advantage, which by this occasion is ministred to the slye and subtle in­sinuations of the crooked Serpent, and the Church-shattering, Soule-indangering improvement he makes of that advantage; which jointly with the sence of our speciall duty, inforceth us to the dis­charge thereof, in ordaining Ministers.

More, than others.

§. 11.THat we herein begin, will be no temptation (we hope) of prejudice to any Brethren; for 1. Some must begin. 2. England affords many prece­dents. 3 of all, in this County, we apprehend the opportunity to associate is most, because the Mini­sters are most and nearest: the necessity most, because the Congregations are most and greatest; and many members of them rationally judge, that those intend to climbe over the Wall, who refuse to enter in by the Doore.

More, than formerly.

§. 12.THat we rather ingage in this duty at present, than formerly, hath these inducements. 1. The Protestant Inhabitants were necessitated formerly to live in, or nigh Garrisons; and so might be sup­plied by such ordained Ministers, as GOD had there set: but at present, they disperse themsel­ves into the Country; wherefore to attend them, the increase of the number of Ministers, becomes [Page 18]necessary; and to that end (by GODS institution) ordi­nation is necessary.More Gospell-Ministers sett­led in Ireland, since the LORD HENRY-CROMVVELL arriv­ed here, and owned the public Ordinances of Christ, than in 15 years precedent. Thinke up­on him O God for good, accord­ing to all be hath done for thy People. 2 Through the LORDS goodness, & the benigne aspect of our Magist­rates, Gospell-Ministers are in­couraged, and we finde, that both the harvest is great, and the Labourers not so few as for­merly; who (in GODS way) must either seeke ordination from our Brethren, the Scots in Vlster; the inconveniences whereof (the present State of affaires considered) are too obvious to need our instances: or from our Brethren in England; But 1 They may probably want meanes of support for such a journy. 2 Certificates from persons at this distance, may possibly be counterfeited, or if true; discredited, because the Subscribers unknown: by the former, unfit persons may be ordained; by the latter, fit persons discouraged, if not rejected: by both, the Church of CHRIST prejudiced, and the worke of the Gospell obstructed.

More, than to other acts of discipline.

§. 15.NEither doe we thinke the procedure proposte­rous, to ingage in the duty of Ordination, before other acts of Ecclesiasticall discipline; for 1 Here­in we walke in the same method, as the reverend Assembly late at Westminster, in their advice propoun­ded. 2. Ordination of Ministers, properly and pe­culiarly belongs to Ministers. 3 Severall particu­lars (urged by many, under this Head of discipline) [Page 19]are to us very darke: but ordination of Ministers by Ministers, is to all of us a clear duty: those there­fore are fittest for further debate; this for present observance. 4 Many acts of discipline are only ne­cessary to the well-being of the Church visible: but ordination of Ministers to its very being. (At least considered as orgainz'd, or as continuing.) 5 We have mutually ingaged our selves to the LORD, and to each other, to improve the advantage of our fre­quent meetings, in wrestling with the LORD by prayer; and considering and admonishing each o­ther; both in relation to our particular walking, and in relation to the Flock of CHRIST, over which the HOLY GHOST hath made us Overseers.

VVE conclude with a few words of advice to the Readers of this Account of our Princi­ples, and intended Practise; and especially to our People, and the severall Congregations comitted to our charge; whose spirituall improvement, flou­rishing growth, & eternall welfare in the Heavens, our very Soules doe pantingly breath after.

1 Let that which was the Bereans cōmendation, (Act: 17.11.) be yours, Search the Scriptures daily. Many places and passages in sacred Writ you will sinde quoted by us, which we intreat you to turne to, & examine: A passing over them in hast, & with a transient glance, may not gaine a steady consent, but leave you hesitant & dubious; at least in some of the instanted particulars. It's a narrow search, and curi­ous inquisition that tends to; & terminates in a clear conviction & full satisfaction. It's of grand concern­ment, that you be well grounded in this main Head [Page 20]of Divinity. The Gospell-Ministry (which is in­deed the Divells smarting eye-sore, being the great Engine designed by CHRIST to Batter down the Wails of the Kingdome of darkness) is on all hands beleaguer'd, assaulted, struck at; though from some quarters, & regions, the storme be more violent and impetuous than from others. An huge dust is raised by Objectors, & men by great heapes loose themsel­ves in a mist of dangerous mistakes; & all for want of pondering & weighing things in the Ballance of the Sanctuary: However, this we may depend on, & comfort our selves with, That it shall contmue till the second cōming of our LORD, maugre all com­bined & boisterous opposition in order to its subversi­on & abolition. When Ordinances shall cease, then Ministers shall be no more, & not till then. Particu­lar Ministers (like boughs) may be, & have been lopt off by the hand of violēce; but Ministry (like a migh­ty Tree (whose fruit the LORD hath appointed for the healing of the Nations) is too deeply & firmely rooted, to be blowne cowne. In vaine is that Port assaulted, that hath a promise of CHRISTS pre­sence and powerfull assistance, Math: 28.20. This is an Age abounding with suggestions & insinua­tions of severall shapes; which, if obtruded under the notion of a clearer light, & an higher way of Com­munion, have a potent and captivating influence on persons, whose Hearts are better than their Heads, and who have warme Affections, and but feeble In­tellectualls. It will be your wisdome (abhorring all easy; yeelding, corrupt compliances upon the wretch­ed, unworthy account of promoting or securing an [Page 21] interest in the World) to have recourse to the Law & to the Testimony, confidently concluding, that if they speake not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them, what ever sparkling & beamy bright­ness may be pretended to, Esa: 8.20.

2 And since it is a duty incumbent on the people to pray for their Pastors, 2 Thes: 3.1: And since there is a great doore and effectuall opened, but not with out the waspish activity, and retarding obstructions of maligning adversarias, 1 Cor: 16.9: And since we are but men, subject to the same passions and infirmities with your selves; and knowing only in part, 1 Cor: 13.9; & our Strength no way proportionable to the weigh­tiness of that worke that lies upon us, 1 Cor: 2.16: we shall earnestly intreate, that in your addresses to the Throne of Grace, you would frequently & affect­ionately make mention of us, & importuaately pray unto the Father of Lights, that he would inlighten us with his truth, and shew us the way that he would have us to walke in, and teach us how we ought to behave our selves at such a time as this is; That he would incourage our hearts, & strengthen our hands in his owne way and worke; That he would bless the sincere, though feeble indeavours of his Servants for the propagating of the Gospell, and promoting of the interest of his SON; & that out of tender regard unto his Churches wellfare, he would blow upon and blast all anti-ministeriall designes. The Harvest is great, the Labourers few: O pray unto the LORD of the Harvest, that he would send forth painfull Labourers into his Harvest, Math: 9.37; 38; and make them suceessfull for the bringing of many sheaves into [Page 22]CHRISTS barne. Our motions are slow, because not furthered and assisted by your prayers, which should serve as oile unto our Chariot wheeles, to make them run the more smoothly and swiftly. The time that many spend in whispering, complaining, back­biting, quarrelling, contending, exclaiming, censuring, doe you spend in praying. The LORD forbid that we should sin, in ceasing to pray for you, whom we expect to be our glory, and crown of rejoicing in the presence of our LORD JESVS CHRIST at his com­ming: And the LORD forbid that you should sin, in ceasing to pray for us, who watch for your Soules, as those that must give an account; and are willing to spend, and to be spent for the Church­es good.


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