THE ANGEL OF THE Church of Ephesus NO BISHOP OF EPHESVS, Distinguished in Order from, and superior in Power to a PRESBYTER.

As it was lately delivered in a Collation before the Reverend Assembly of Divines.

By Constant Jessop Minister of the Word at Fifeild in Essex.


LONDON, Printed by G. M. for Christopher Meredith at the Signe of the Crane in Pauls Church-yard. 1644.

TO THE RIGHT WORSHIPFVLL WILLIAM TWISSE, Dr in Divinitie, the Reverend & Lear­ned Prolocutor, and to the rest of the Religious and Grave Divines of this present Assembly, summoned by the authoritie of the Lords and Commons in Parliament.

Right Reverend and honoured Fathers and Brethren,

I Never thought or intended to appeare in print in this learned and criticall age, being conscious to my self of mine own insufficiencies: I speak it not in an humble arrogancie, as the Orator observed some did write treatises against vain-glory, and then in a vain-glorious ostentation put their names thereto. Muchlesse should I have pre­sumed to handle this controversie, which hath been so fully agita­ted by others both at home and abroad. Not only by those amongst us, who have distasted the Hierarchicall frame of government, whose arguments have been by the Prelates answered for the most part no other way then by suspensions, silencings, deprivations, and proceedings against them as disturbers of the Churches peace, and contemners of the commands of Authoritie: but also by almost all the Divines of note in the Reformed Churches, in their Pole­micall dissertations against Papists, out of whose Magazine our Hierarchists have borrowed those weapons whereby they defend their own authority, and oppose their enemies; as is evident to any that shall compare the writings of the one and of the other, and (to say nothing of this as objected by the good old Non-con­formitans to the Patrons of Prelacie) is acknowledged by the Pa­pists [Page]themselves, witnesse that short marginall Annotation of the Rhemists,In Iohn 20.17. The Protestants otherwise denying this preemi­nence of Peter, yet to uphold their Archbishops do avouch it against Puritans. The course of my studies when once I became a Smatterer in Divinitie, was bent another way then to the hand­ling of Controversies. My principall and chiefest aime being this, that I might through Gods blessing on mine endevours be fitted for a Pastorall employment, whensoever the Lord in his due time should call me thereunto. Wherein I desire in humility and thank­fulnesse to say with St PAUL, 1 Cor. 15.10. By the grace of God, I am what I am. As for this controversie in particular, though I had some reason to have pried into it, in regard of my fathers suffe­rings more then once under the Prelates, in whose deprivation I and the rest of his posteritie have had our share of sufferings also; yet knowing mine own inabilities to wade through it, wanting time in regard of other studies more necessarie for the fitting of me for that calling wherin I was, and observing my fathers own tēperature & carriage, who forbare discoursing of it in private, or mentioning, much lesse handling of it in publike, meerly on this ground, that he might fulfill his ministery in that remote, barren, (in respect of the Word) rude, and ignorant corner of Wales, to which the Lord by his providence removed him, I did also for­beare the studying of it. The practises of the Prelates which caused such commotions in Scotland at first, and in the issue the abjura­tion of the Prelacie; the proceedings against Dr Bastwick here in England for his Flagellum Latiatium episcoporum, and those high challenges which were made in the Star-chamber Speeches about that time, did first cause me to enquire into that tenure of Divine right, by which our Bishops laid claim to their Preeminence. The Oath in the Canons which came forth after­ward did provoke me to set to the work a little closer; which yet I entred on only for my own private information and satisfaction, and after the considering of some places of Scripture, I addressed [Page]my self to Bishop Halls Treatise on that subject, conceiving that in him, being the latest that did write, and withall a man of note in the Church, I should find the substance, strength and sinewes of all those arguments which could be produced in that cause. Whom when I did peruse, the more I looked into his treatise, the further off I was from receiving satisfaction by him in that Tenure of Divine right, and from subscribing to his assertions. Hereupon for my own private use I set down some short marginall animad­versions (and to speak the truth, as farre as I am able to judge, there is roome enough in the margent to answer the whole booke) divers of which are now at the desire of some godly and learned members of your Assembly presented to publike view. Sundry other Collections I had once, but Sr Arthur Astons upholders of the Protestant Religion, finding my papers, when they rifled my house at Reading of what they could, soon made an end of them by fire, and with them of some Treat ses of my Fathers, in this and other arguments, which (in regard of that employment in the Ministery which lay on me whilst I was in those parts) I had not read over. Being thus driven from my habitation, and by losse of my Papers and Manuscripts disabled from dealing in that con­troversie, I had quite laid aside the thoughts of it, untill that com­ming before a Committee of your Assembly, according to an order of the house of Commons; I was by the Chairman of that Commit­tee appointed to handle before you this Text, and controversie out of it. Which I perswade my selfe was done rather by way of Pro­bation then out of any desire of Information from me, who am far more fit to be informed, and to receive, then to give information or satisfaction. Being thus east on a necessity of reviving my for­mer notions, and reviewing my marginall animadversions with some other observations (which I had left) I undertook the taske, and presented before you those collections and arguments, which you were pleased immediately to call for. Let that I beseech you, Fathers and Brethren, now find a second, which found a former [Page]acceptance at your hands, and unto acceptation vouchsafe to adde a Patronage. Something I have indeed now added which was not in my former papers delivered, which I have done partly by the intimation of him by whose appointment I first did enter on the discussing of this question; partly because I saw the great confi­dence of the Bishop with whom I principally deale in this vexati­ous dispute, whose grounds I held it in some respect necessary to consider and examine. If in these papers there be any thing which may be subservient to the glory of God, and his great work which he hath in hand, I have my desire, and shall therein rejoyce, desi­ring to returne all to him from whom every good gift proceeds. Give me leave to close my Dedication with the same petitions which closed my Sermon in your Assembly. The God and Father of our Lord Iesus Christ the Father of mercies grant that his Spirit of peace and truth may be the President of your Assembly, that the peace of God may rule in your hearts whereunto ye are called in one body, and nothing may be done amongst you through strife, vain-glory or contention, but ye may seek the truth, and speake the truth in love; that so through his blessing on your en­deavours, studies, conferences, meditations, the breaches may be made up which are in the Church, and the Lord in his due time heale the breaches of our Land, Kingdome, and Nation, which are exceedingly shaken; which is the hearty desire, and daily prayer of

The meanest of your Fellow-helpers in the work of the Lord, Constant Jessop.

THE Angel of the Church OF EPHESVS NO BISHOP of Ephesus, &c.

REVEL. 2.1.

To the Angel of the Church of Ephesus, write.

IT is not unknowne unto you, Reverend and beloved Fathers and Brethren, what vexati­ous disputes have been between the Prela­tists and Presbyterians concerning the An­gels mentioned in the Inscription of this, and the other Epistles.Sermon prea­ched at Lam­beth, Apr. 17. 1608. Dr Downham hath undertaken to prove the Angels to be Dio­cesan Bishops, and to justifie their function as lawfull and of divine institution and ap­probation: but hisGersom Bu­cer, dissert. de gub. eccl. An Answer to Dr Downham imprinted, an. 1609. A reply to Dr Downhams de­fence imprin­ted, an 1013. The Diocesans triall by M. Paul Baines, an. 1611. Refuters both in Latine and English have (as I conceive with submission to better judgements) made it evident that notwithstanding the Doctors bold adventure—

Magnis tamen excidit ausis, he hath come short of his undertakings. Yea some of the members of this grave and lear­ned Assembly have vindicated this place from those challenges which the humble Remonstrant made unto it, by it to uphold the tottering cause of Prelacy. A cause which not long agone in Scot­land, and lately in the Parliament of England, and amongst you [Page 2]hath been, and still is causa conclamata. I doubt not but you are sufficiently satisfied in conscience and judgement, otherwise you would not in so solemne a manner have vowed and covenanted with the Lord the extirpation of that Prelaticall forme of Govern­ment. It may be the Prelates themselves see their owne ruine ap­proaching, and that the down-fall of their honour is at hand, in which regard being either not willing, or not able by Scripture and force of argument to uphold it, they will now try whether it may be defended by the dint of sword. As if they were the Suc­cessours of those Prelates mentioned byQuibus adjice novum eleemo­synae modum, quod in mercena­rios m [...]lites, equites & pedites, borum plurima consumuntur ad pugnas inter Christi fideles con­citandas & continuè nutrien­das, [...]t eos suae tandem subjice­re valeant potestati. Defer s. pac. part. 2. cap. 24. pag. 358. Marsilius Patavinus, who found out novum eleemosynae modum, a new kinde of almes to expend those meanes which were given them for hospitalitie and charitie to the poor, in the maintainance of souldiers, troops of horses, and companies of foot, to the raising and prosecuting of warres between Christians, that so they might at length subject them to their tyrannicall power: Or else the sonnes of that Martiall PopeEalaeus in Iul. 2. cited by Dr Abbots 2. part of def. of the Ref. Cathol. p. 11. Julius the second, who finding that his Buls and Excommunications would not prevaile, went in his own person to warre against the French King, and crossing the river Tiberis, cast Peters keyes into the streame with indignation, being resolved to try whether Pauls sword would helpe him.

I am not now to follow them, or lead you into the fields where trumpets sound, troops are mustered, and instruments of death to fly abroad, but to enquire (by your appointment) whether the In­scription of this and other Epistles afford any solid argument for the pretended preeminence and superioritie of a Bishop in Order, Office, and Power of Jurisdiction above a Presbyter. A late Patron of Episcopacie is so confident, that he tels us,Bishop Hall, Episc. by divine right. p. 121. All the shifts in the world cannot elude it; that St John was by the Spirit of God commanded to direct his seven Epistles to the Bishops of those se­ven famous Churches, by the name of so many Angels. And theFranc. à Sanct. clara Apol. ep [...]s c. 5. p 62. Argumentum de­niq [...]isiud apud ortho. loxos non minus frequens quam efficax, de Epistolis Ioaxnis in Apocalypsi, quas ad septem I cclesiarum A siaticarum Angelos, seu Episcopos scripsit, originem saltem Apo­stolicam invictè dabit. Romish Apologist for Bishops is as confident as their English Patron, for he hath very boldly delivered it, that the argument drawn from this place will invin­cibly prove their originall to be at least Apostolicall. [Page 3]You heare their positions. Let us now consider what just ground there is for this their great confidence.

1. The name Angel doth not import any such eminencie of Order or Superioritie of power as our Prelates plead for, and would fain wrest from the words of the Text. You know, Reverend and Beloved, that [...] Angel is a name of Office not of Order, a title importing Dutie not Superioritie in Power. It signifieth a Messenger, and in point of Embassage all that are Gods Ministers (unlesse they have an immediate call from God, and infallible inspi­ration, neither of which I conceive our Prelates will challenge to themselves) are equall. They are all by their place and OfficeMal. 2.7. Mes­sengers of the Lord of hosts. It is their dutie toAct. 20.27, 20. declare the whole counsell of God, and keep back nothing which is profitable: [...],2 Cor. 5.19. We are Embassadours for Christ, saith the Apo­stle of himself, and all those which are entrusted with the dispensa­tion of the Gospel. And from this their function they have their denomination [...] euim utrū (que), significat & senem, & legatum, teste Scapula. [...]. This name of Office, Angel, the Lord is pleased here to make use of rather then any other, for this reason as I conceive; Though the whole Scripture be the Epistle of the Almightie God unto his creature, asRegist. ep. lib. 4. epist. 40. ad Theod. Medi­cum. Gregorie speaks; yet here are now speciall Letters to the Churches from the Lord Jesus Christ, and therefore his Amanuensis St John is commanded to direct them [...], To the Angel or Messenger, to him that is theJer. 15.19. mouth of Jesus Christ to interpret and declare his will. The dire­ction is thus set down indefinitely, not pointing out any singular or individúall person, to give us to understand that whosoever he be that is [...] by his Place and Office, an Angel or Messenger, it is his dutie to declare the will of the Lord Jesus Christ in the follow­ing particulars to the Church. Let this little (which, as hath been observed, sets forth the Function of that Person which is invested with it, not any order in that Function,) be duly considered, and it will cast dirt in the faces of those who so eagerly contend for the appropriation of it to the men of their order. If the Bishop and he alone is the Angel, the Messenger and mouth of Jesus Christ, how bad a case had the Church been in, in these latter dayes, how justly might England have joyned withDicit Aposto­lus Augelū Sa­tanae se trans­figurare in Angelum lucis. Ʋtinam his diehus Angeli lucis non fint transfigurati in Angelos tene­brarum. N [...]c. de Clem. tract. de nov. celebrit. non in stit. p. 157. edit Lugd. Bat. an. 1609. Clement in his desire, Oh [Page 4]that the Angels of light (i. e. those which should have been such) had not been in these dayes transfigured into the angels of dark­nesse. How truly that observation of Espencaeus concerning the Bishops in his time hath been verified of the most of ours, let the world judge;Espenc. digres. in [...]. ad Tim l. 2. c 2. p 7 [...]. ed t Lu [...]et an. 1619. He tels us that heretofore it was accounted a very strange thing to find a non-preaching Bishop, but in these times, saith he, to finde a preaching Bishop plus quàm monstrilicae haberetur, would be esteemed more then monstrous. When thein Apoc. c. 1. v. 20. Rhemists in their annotations on the former Chapter had observed, The Bishops are the starres of the Church: our learned Fulke returnes them this answer, St John by the Angels of the Churches meaneth not all that should weare Myters on their heads and hold Crozier staves in their hands like dead idols, but them that are the faithfull Mes­sengers of the Lords Word, and utter and declare the same. Had the Inscription been [...] how would our Prelaticall men have vaunted? you should have heard the same from them—Invento populus quod clamat Osyri: We have found it, we have found it, when from a metaphoricall notion, and such a denomination as is common to all Ministers, because used in the singular number, they doe thus triumph. Yet they are not, I perswade my selfe, ignorant that not onlyAngelus, i. e. nuncius Sacer­dos Deiverissi­mè dicitur, quia Dei & hominis sequester est, ejusque ad po­pulum nuntiat voluntatem, in Mal 2. Hierome (their back friend, as they conceive) doth, as I have done before, interpret this denomination Angel, and gives his reason for it; but that withMoral. in Iob. lib. 34. c. 7. edit. Basil an. 1564. Gregorie the Great, a Bishop and Pope of Rome, The Inscription Angelis Ecclesiarum, To the An­gels of the Churches, is expounded thus, Praedicatoribus populorum, To the Preachers of the people. So that in the judgement of these Divines the Inscription comprehends all those who are sharers in this title of Office, and are by it differenced, not one from the other joyned in the same Commission of Embassage, but from the Church or people unto whom in the name of the Lord they are to performe the Office of Angels or Messengers. Thus much is indeed granted by our Hierarchists, though with some additionall fancies of their own; for they tell us, thatEpisc by div. right p. 122. All the Presbyters of these Churches were Angels in respect of their Ministery, yet (forsooth) one was the Angel in respect of his fixed superioritie. There were thou­sands of starres in this firmament of the Asian Churches, there were but seven of the first magnitude. We heare them say so, but shill the question is how this is proved, and the assertion made good. [Page 5]In which regard to this their peremptory assertion, it were suffici­ent for me to give at present no other answer, then that short mar­ginall animadversion whichFascic. ro [...]um expet sol. 104. Orthuinus Gratius gives to that silly Frier William of Woodeford (who being pressed by the authoritie of Hierome and Armachanus) alledged by Wickliffe, that before schismes did arise in the Church, matters were governed by com­mon counsell of the Presbyters, which in that respect were all equall, returned thereto this answere, That schisme began in the Apostles dayes, (as it is manifest in the Scripture) He Dicit in Scri­ptura patere sed nibil probat. saith it is manifest in the Scripture, but proves nothing. And Mirum ubi legerit author de illo schismate. I wonder where the Author reads concerning that schisme. By the way observe that from this sim­ple Ignoramus the forementioned Fryer, (who undertook to write against Wickliffe, that he might the better engratiate himselfe in the eyes of that persecuting Prelate Thomas Arundel Archbishop of Canterbury) Dr Downham and Bishop Hall ourDr Downhams Sermon at Lā ­beth, p. 88, 89. Bishop Hall, Episc. by div. right, p. 192. Hierarchicall Rabbines for learning have borrowed that simple evasion, as if that Hierome using the phrase of the Apostle, by which he sets forth the schismes and divisions which were in his time in the Church of Co­rinth, did point out the time when this Prelation of a Bishop above the Presbyters began, to wit, in the Apostles dayes. Which how vain and weake it is, yea, how inconsistent with and contradictory unto what is by Hierome delivered in those places, is sufficiently discovered by sundryChamier. Pan­strat. tom. 2. l. 9. de Occ Pont. c. 5. n. 16. Whitak cont. 4. q. 1. c. 3. seci 29. Wal. Mess. dis­sert. de presh. & episc. cap. 4. p. 242. ad p. 249 Divines; to whom I referre the Reader, if he please to peruse the quotations in the margent. I returne to the application and pressing of the forementioned short marginall ani­madversion; and would faine know of our Prelaticall men where doth the holy Ghost intimate this Hierarchie of Angels, some An­gels ministerially, others Angels by a fixed superiority. Where doth St John in all this vision give the least hint of such a distinction of Starres, that some are starres of the first, some of the second or third magnitude? Or where in all the Scripture is the name of starres restrained unto Bishops. Is it in St Judes Jude ver. 13. [...], wandring starres to whom is reserved blacknesse of darknesse for ever: or is it afterward in the Revelation, when the holy Ghost telleth us theRev. 12.4. dragon did draw down the third part of the starres with his tail? Doe not our Prelatists reason almost as wisely and as solidely from this place and notion for their dignitie and superioritie of order and [Page 6]of power, as once the Canonist Hostiensis, and after him Andreas Siculus Barbatias desiring to curry favour with Bessarion, did, who undertook to prove the Divine Institution of Cardinals from that place of Scripture,1 Sam. 2. Domini sunt cardines terrae. And albeit the Lawyer thought he gave a witty reason for his conceit, because as the doore in its motion is guided by the hinges whereunto it is fastned, and whereupon it hangeth, so the Church of Rome is go­verned by the counsell of Cardinals, yetDe Invent. rer. lib. 4. c. o. p. 290 edit. Ba­si [...]. an. 1555 vi­de, nonsecus isti Iurisconsulti aliquoties de­torquent sacras literas quo vo­lunt, ac suto [...]es solent sordidas dentibus exten­de [...]e pelles. Polydore Virgil gave him this censure, which by the bare change of the name of the per­sons censured I shall apply to our present purpose. These Lawyers, said he, these Prelatists, say I, stretch Scripture as they please, just as the Shoe-maker doth his leather with his teeth, to fit it to his Laste.

2. It is granted by Bishop Hall as an undoubted truth, thatLoc. cit. p. 122. in each of these Churches there were many Presbyters, as for instance that of Ephesus; yet but one Angel, saith he, that is to say, but one Bishop. But soft and faire my Lord. The same place of Scripture which makes it unquestionable that there were many Presbyters in the Church of Ephesus, doth as apparently declare the pluralitie of Bishops, and so the identitie of Bishops both in name and office. Thus much is yeelded by the samep. 119. Patron of Episcopacie, that the Elders which Paul sent for from Ephesus to Miletum, and to whom his speech is directed, were indeed Bishops, which he doth grant from those words of the Apostle; Whereof the holy Ghost hath made you Bishops. But forsooth they were not all Bishops of Ephesus, but of different Territories, of farre dispersed charges, and how is all this proved; we heare St Paul say; Ye all amongst whom I have gone preaching the Kingdome of God: very magiste­rially, & tanquamè cathedra Episcopali, Episcopall dictates out of an Episcopall chaire, to which all must yeeld an implicite faith, and blinde beliefe. Belike St Paul held now an Archiepiscopall visita­tion, and albeit the Archbishops court were to be held at Miletum, yet from Ephesus by some Gentleman Apparitor, or other the Mo­nitory Summons or Processes were sent forth to the severall Dio­cesses —Risum teneatis amici. Who can almost refraine laughter at the very hearing or reading of such ridiculous conceits. By the way let us take notice of one thing, that to this Archiepiscopall vi­sitation not the inferiour Ministers, but the Diocesan Bishops them­selves [Page 7]were summoned and cited. The evasion is so weake that I am loth to spend time and tire your patience in refutation of it. Onely give me leave to say somewhat to it. 1. Had these Presbyters been Bishops of farre dispersed charges in Asia and different Terri­tories, the holy Evangelist and Historian would rather have said [...] Of the Churches, then [...] Of the Church. We finde the Apostle in the like cases using the plurall number. The Churches of Asia, Rom. 6.19. The Churches of God in Judea, 1 Thes. 2.14. The Churches of Macedonia, 2 Cor. 8.1. 2. Though it be not said expressely that these Elders or Presbyters were onely the Presbyters of the Church of Ephesus, yet the circumstances of the text will clearely (as I conceive with submission to better judge­ments) evince it to be so. The Evangelist St Luke describing Pauls journey to Hierusalem, saithAct. 20.17. & seq. we came to Miletum, For Paul de­termined to saile by Ephesus that he might not tarry in Asia, for be hastened if it were possible for him to be at Hierusalem at Pen­tecoste. And sending from Miletum unto Ephesus he called toge­ther the Elders of the Church. To these Elders of the Church he doth appeale as witnesses of his fidelitie and industrie in preaching the word, in serving the Lord with all humilitie, teares and in many temptations. Now consider where was the place of Pauls abode and residence amongst them, was it not Ephesus? the former passa­ges of the historie tell us so in plain termes; that there heChap. 19.10. continued by the space [...]f two yeares, so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus both Jewes and Greekes. Ephe­sus you see was the place of Pauls residence in Asia, here he gathered the Church, in the planting and setling of which he continued amongst them by the space of two yeares, It being the place in which the Church was gathered must be also the place of residence of the Elders of the Church. 3. If Interpreters either Greeke or La­tine, Ancient or Modern be consulted, we shall finde them all ac­counting these Presbyters to be Presbyters of no other Church then the Church of Ephesus. By the cleare evidence of which place sundry Divines of all sorts doe prove the Identitie and Indistincti­on of Bishops and Presbyters both in name and Office in sacred Writ. In which regard I cannot but wonder with what face our Pretenders to Antiquitie for the distinction of their Order from a Presbyter, doe venture to obtrude so novell a fancie on their Rea­ders [Page 8]and seduced followers. For of how green antiquitie are Bucke­ride and Barlow with their follower Dr Hall, that their Dictates must beare sway against the current of Interpreters, not one Divine of note being produced (for ought that I could yet reade or heare) in favour of this ridiculous evasion, which was I am perswaded ne­ver heard of in the Christian Church, till of late Hieromonarchici nostri, (as Spalatensis stiles the Papalines, and we may not unfitly stile out Prelates) vented these their dreames, that by these their groundlesse fancies they might the better uphold their own honour and dignities; So that we may justly retort the Proverbe applyed by one of them to Mr Brightmans conjectures, on their own heads. Thus the bels say what some hearers thinke. 4. There is no colour of reason to obtrude on us such an interpretation of those words, Ye all amongst whom I have gone preaching the Kingdome of God, as if it must be understood of Pauls travelling from Diocesse to Diocesse, for the Text affords in plain termes another, the Apo­stle puts them in minde what he had done, that he.Act 20.20. had taught them and preached amongst them [...] publikely and from house to house.

3. Albeit the Inscription be in the singular number [...], To the Angel, yet that doth not prove it to be spoken unto, or meant of one individuall person. He spake a truth who said,Baines Dio­cesans Triall, pag. 15. Seven sin­gular starres may signifie seven unites, whether singular or ag­gregative: Seven pluralities of person who are so united as if they were one. And it is frequent in Scripture to note by an unity an united multitude. Now for as much as this is gain-said by our Hierarchists as a ridiculous evasion; I will therefore confirme it against their contradiction, and endeavour to make it evident that under one many may be, many are meant. This is the language and usuall stile of the holy Ghost. 1. In visionall speeches Daniel in the narration and interpretation of the Kings dreame faith to Nebu­chadnezzar. Dan. 2.38. Thou art this head of gold, after thee shall arise ano­ther Kingdome inferiour unto thee. The speech is directed to Ne­buchadnezzar in his own person, yet under one many are meant, for not he alone but all the Kings precedent and succeeding in that Monarchie are the head of gold, as Interpreters doe unanimously consent. It is said in the verse following, After thee shall another Kingdome arise, yet all that have any insight in history both sacred [Page 9]and profane doe know that the Persian Monarchie, which is the Kingdome there spoken of, did not arise immediately upon the death of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, to whom this dreame, and interpretation of it is made knowne, but upon the death of Belshaz­zar his Grand-childe. So that under the Person of one, many of the same order and degree are here necessarily to be understood. The Lord represents toChap. 1.18, 19, 20, 21. If any desire more instances of this kinde, for the confir­mation of this, I refer him to the reply to Dr Downhams de­fence, part 1. l. 3. c. [...]. sect. 7. Zechariah in a vision soure hornes which did scatter Judah and Jerusalem, and foure Carpenters which were sent to fray them away, and to repaire Jerusalem. Will any sober man hence conclude the Persons which scattered Judah were individually foure, no more nor no lesse, and the Repairers of Jeru­salem just foure and no more? yet this inference will hold as well as that which our Prelates make from this vision in the Revelation. Christ holdeth in his hand seven starres, which seven starres are the Angels of the Churches, therefore the Angels of the Churches are just seven and no more. They may with as much colour of reason and truth extort another conclusion also thus: Christ holdeth in his hand seven starres of the first magnitude and none but them, which seven starres are the Angels by a fixed superioritie, There­fore Christ hath care of the direction and protection of none but the Bishops, which are the starres of the first magnitude, the An­gels by a fixed superiority. Take one instance more. When the A­postle speakes of that grand Apostate Antichrist, he speakes of him in the singular number, [...] Thes. 2.3. That man of sinne, the sonne of perdition, now albeit theBell tib. 3. de Rom. Pent. [...].2. K. Secudus locus Graeci contra­bunt significationem ad unam tem certam, ut [...] ho­minem in cōmuni, [...] hominem singularem fignificet. Et sanè mirum est nullum ad­versariorum, qui tamen jact ant linguarum peritiam, hoc ani­madvertisse. Romish Cardinall doe from the article prefixed, when he is st [...]ed [...], that maen of sinne, the sonne of perdition, that wicked one, plead for a restriction to one individuall person, and wonder at it that none of the adversaries doe take no­tice of it, notwithstanding all their skill in the tongues, of which they so much boast; yet how ridiculous a conceit this is you all know. Our Polemicall Divines have sufficiently discovered the falshood and vanitie of this assertiō; of which I may truly say as our learned Fulk doth in his reply to the Rhemists (who trod in the steps of their fellow Jesuite fore-mentioned)in 2 Thes. 2. ver. 3. annot [...]. This is so false that young children, which have scarce tasted of the Greek tongue, are able to disprove it by infinite Examples.

2. In other places of Scripture where the speech is directed unto one, yet under that one others of the same order and societie are meant. Our Saviour Christ said to Peter, Matth. 16.19. I will give unto thee the keyes of the Kingdome of Heaven; though at Rome under the Popes nose, in a conclave of Cardinals, the limitation of this to Pe­ters person (as Christs Vicar) would be readily embraced, yet you all know, Reverend and Beloved, how repugnant this is to Scrip­ture: in which regard he would be hooted at, as having a Pope in his belly, that should in any Reformed Church confine the power of the Keyes to Peters person: Yea,de rep eccles. lib. 1. cap. 7. n. 3. Antonius de Dominis will tell us, that it would be a monstrous thing indeed to deny that our Lord did there direct his speech to Peter, and promise him the Keyes, which he did after wards infallibly conferre on him; But it would be monstri majoris simile, more monstrous by farre, so to limit this promise and the execution thereof unto Peter, as that it should im­ply an exclusion of the rest of the Apostles. Hence divers of the Fathers have observed that there under the Person of One, to wit, Peter, to whom the speech is primarily directed, is an united multi­tude, the Church, to be understood. Thus Austin sundry times speaks.Tract 50. in Evang. Iohan. Iudas malus Corpus malorum significat, quomodo Petrus corpus bonorum, corpus ecclesiae, imò corpus ecclesiae, sed in bonis: nam si in Petro non esset sacramentum Ecclesiae, non [...]i diceret Dominus, Tibi dabo claves regni [...]oelorum. Wicked Judas signifieth the body of the wicked, as Peter the body of the good, the body of the Church which consisteth of the good, otherwise the Lord would not say to him [...] I will give unto thee the Keyes of the Kingdome of Heaven. And elsewhere,Tract. 124. in idem Evang. Ecclesiae Pe­trus Apostolus prop [...]er Apostolatus sui primatum gerebat figurata generalitate personam. Quad enim ad ipsum propriè pertinet, natura unus homo erat, gratia u­nus Christianus, abundantiore gratia ur us idemq, primus Apostolus: sed quando et di­etum, Tibi dabo claves regni coelorum, uni­versam significabat ecclesiam. Pe­ter in respect of himself was properly by na­ture one man, by grace one Christian, by a more abundant grace one and the same a chief Apostle. But when it was said to him, I will give unto thee the Keyes of the Kingdome of Heaven, he did signifie the whole Church, &c. So he, more testimonies might be produced, but these are sufficient; he that desireth to see this truth confirmed by more suffrages of the ancients may consultLoc. cit. n. 4. & seq. Spalatensis, and re­ceive abundant satisfaction. As then in the fore-mentioned speech of our Saviour under one, a collected body of Apostles and Beleevers is understood, so here by one Angel is meant the united body of An­gels, and what is spoken unto one is to be understood as spoken to [Page 11]all of them, as by their place they are Angels. For the denomina­tion is so used here that it points out rather the function then the person, as our industrious and learned Countrey man Mr Medit. in A­poc. p. 9. edit. Lond an. 1587. Foxe hath observed. To passe from this Instance to another. When the A­postle speaking concerning the usefulnesse of the Scripture, that2 Tim. 3.16, 17. it is profitable for doctrine, for reproofe, for correction, for instruction in righteousnesse, addes this as a principall end of all, that the man of God might be perfect, is this, thinke you, spoken concerning the perfecting of one man of God alone, or of all that are such by their place and calling? When the same Apostle gives this charge to Ti­mothy, 1 Tim. 6.11. Thou O man of God flee these things: doth he not in the person of Timothy lay this charge upon all the Ministers of the Go­spel, who share in that honourable title and function? What shall we say then to those which would make us to beleeve that what is here spoken to the Angel (a name of Office common to all the Mi­nisters of Jesus Christ) is to be understood as spoken unto one, a Bi­shop and him that sitteth in the throne. With the same strength of argument, and as much colour of reason might a Romanist inferre, because the Lord saith in the singular number of the Priest:Mal. 2.7. The Priests lips shall preserve knowledge, and they shall seeke the Law at his mouth, for he is the Messenger of the Lord of hosts. AndDeut. 17.1 [...] The man that will do presumptuously, and will not hearken to the judge­ment of the Priest, that standeth to minister before the Lord, that man shall dye. Though all Priests are Angels or Messengers of the Lord in respect of their Ministerie, yet there is one Priest that is the Messenger or Angel by a fixed superioritie, and at his mouth you must enquire, to wit, the Pope, you are not (I know) ignorant that thus some have argued, and what our Divines have answered them their writings doe declare; both Dr Reynolds in hisChap. 6. div. [...] p. 252. Conference with Hart, and the learned FrenchmanSum. cont. part. 1. q. 8. p. 127, 128. Rivetus in confutation of Bailie the Jesuite.

3. Let us consider sundry passages in the Epistles themselves; in­to the bowels of which if we diligently looke we shall finde that albeit the inscription be in the singular number, To the Angel; yet the Angel was more then one distinct and individuall person, and that the denomination is not to be taken [...] Singularly or Personally, but [...] collectively including an united multi­tude. In the Epistle to Thyatira the Inscription is as in the rest in [Page 12]the singular number, yet afterwards the holy Ghost saith thus,Revel. 2. [...]4. [...] &c But unto you I say and to the rest in Thyatira. In which words the Church of Thyatira is distinguished, asHabes hic duas ecclesie Thyatirensis partes, quarum una est Pastorum & Praesidem [...]u [...]. Ecclesiae collegium; altera reliqui corpor is [...] Gers But drssert. de guh. Eccl. p. 203. Gersom Bucerus hath observed, into two parts, The one includeth the Colledge of Pa­stors and Presidents of the Church; the other the rest of the members, both are set forth in the Plurall number [...] unto you, answering to, To the Angel; [...] To the rest, answering unto [...] To the Church in Thyatira. The speech directed to the Angel of the Church of Sar­dis is in the singular number,Chap. 3.1. Thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead, compare this with that which followeth, and you shall finde that what is spoken of one is meant of many, and hereby is ex­pressed the generall state of the whole Church of Sardis both Mini­sters and people; for it followeth,Ib. v. 4. Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments. The greatest part of both Ministers and people had but the name of an outward profes­sion, by which they seemed to live, but in hearts they denied the power of godlinesse and so were dead; amongst them all there were but a few that were living members, sincere and holy. When the Lord Iesus saith in the Epistle to Philadelphia,Chap. 3.11. Hold fast that which thou hast, that no man take away thy crown: If this be an exhortation to the Bishop alone to constancie in the truth, and a promise made to none but him, belike none shall weare a crown in heaven but he that hath worne a Mitre on earth, and rather parted with his Mitre here, then with the truth of Christ. The Epiphone­maticall sentence which is added at the end of each Epistle; He that hath an eare to heare, let him heare what the Spirit saith to the Churches, doth clearely evince it, that by the Angel is to be under­stood the whole Church in all its members. I will adde but one in­stance more: When the Angel of the Church of Ephesus is blamed,Chap. 2.4, 5. I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love, and this reprehension is backed with a Commination, I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy Candlestick out of his place, except thou repent: Can any man in sober reason imagine that this is the reproose of, and threatning against one man alone, and that God would for the Apostasie or remissenesse of love to the truth in one Prelate cast off a whole Church? We finde no such thing upon [Page 13]record in the whole Booke of God, or any other history. That ofHom [...]. in Apoc. Moveb [...] candelabrum tuum i.e disper­gam populum pro peccatis. Austin is most consonant to the truth, who doth thus paraphrase the Comminatory sentence, I will remove thy Candlestick. i. e. I will scatter the people for their sinnes. In which regard the same Father doth afterwards tell us,Angelos ecclesiam dicit, in quibus duas partes, i. e. bonorum & malorum, osten­dit, ut laus ad bonos, Increpatio ad malos dtrigatur. Sicut dominus in Evangelto, Omne praepesitorum corpus u [...]um servum dixit, beatum & nequam, quam venient dominus ipse dividet. Id. ibid. Hee calleth the Church the Angels, in which Church hee sheweth there were two parts good and bad, that the praise may be directed to the good, the reproofe to the bad. Thus hee, with more to the same purpose. The same truth is delivered by Arethas and Andreas Bishops of Caesarea Cappadocia, the most ancient Interpreters of this Revelation. [...]. He calleth the Angel of E­phesus the Church that was in Ephesus. And both confirm this Interpretation from sundry passages in these Epistles: From whenceSit ergò boc fixum — hoc argumentum ab Angetis qui Episcopos denotant, nibit facere ad pr [...]bandum Episcopos tum suisse in urbibus singulos. Wal. Mess. dissert. 1. de presb. & epise c. 4. p 184. Sal­masius (in whom the Reader if he please may see this last quotation at large) drawes this conclusion, Let this therefore be an undoubted truth, that this argument from the Angels makes nothing to prove that there was but one Bishop in a Church or citie. Thus much of the third argument, I proceed to another.

4. By the Angel in this place is not to be understood a Bishop in Order, Office, and power of Jurisdiction, distinguished from, and superiour to a Presbyter, for there was no such distinction or supe­riority settled in the Church of Christ before, nor in St Johns time, nor immediately after the Apostles dayes. The truth of this nega­tive assertion I shall endeavour to confirme by these ensuing ar­guments.

First, in the Word of God, we finde no such difference or impa­rity in Order and Power between a Bishop and a Presbyter, as is pretended by our Prelates. In prosecuting of which undertaken taske I will as briefly as I may consider what is delivered by a late Patron of Episcopacy, who tels us thatEpisc. by div. right. p. 91. This imparity of Govern­ment and Episcopall Jurisdiction was founded by Christ, erected by his Apostles, both by their practise and recommendation. In the proofe of which position when he had spent sundry pages, he con­cludes with a great deale of assurance that he hath carried all down [Page 14]before him, saying,Pag. 127. I am for my part so confident of the Divine Institution of the Majoritie of Bishops above Presbyters, that I dare boldly say, there are weighty points of faith, which have not so strong evidence in holy Scriptures. We heare him speaking with so much confidence, as if he had not only taken the Oath in the late Canons, but sworne unto, or at leastwise in heart, and by his pen subscribed to theSi quis dixerit in Ecclesia catholica inon esse Hierar biam divina ordinatione institutam, quae constat ex Episcopis & Ministris Anathema sit. Seis. 7. Can. 6. Anathematisme of the Tri­dentine Conventicle, in which this Hierarchie of Bishops and Presbyters is said to be of Di­vine institution, and an Anathema denounced against those that shall question or deny it. Yet notwithstan­ding the confidence of those Bishops and Fryars at Trent, and of our English Hierarchists how farre this was from being embraced as an article of faith Friar Peter will informe us.Historie of the Counc of Trent. lib. 8. pag. 743. The sixt Anathe­matisme, saith he, was much noted in Germany, in which an article of faith was made of Hierarchie: which word and signification thereof is alien, not to say contrary to the Scriptures: and though it was somewhat anciently invented, yet the Authour is not known; and in case he were, yet is he an hyperbolicall writer, not imitated in the use of that word, nor of others of his invention, by any of the an­cients, and following the stile of Christ our Lord, and of the holy Apostles and Primitive Church it ought to be named not Hierar­chie, but Hierodiaconia, or Hierodantia.

I will therfore, because the Bishop, whom I intend to chase, runs this way, follow him, and 1. Consider whether our Saviour Christ laid any foundation for this Episcopall Jurisdiction. 2. Look to the practice of the Apostles in which they say this fabricke and frame of Church government was erected. 3. View their writings, whether in them there is any such distinction of Order and Power between a Bishop and a Presbyter.

1. As for that foundation which our Prelatists say was laid by Christ, placing his Apostles above his other Disciples, the Twelve above the Seventie, it hath beene sufficiently discovered by sundry Divines (in which regard I shall have cause to say the lesse) to be sandy and weak, altogether unable to bear the weight of that fabricke which is by them hereupon erected; yea, some of their owne friends and sticklers in the cause have confessed it, or at leastwise yeelded that which doth overthrow it. For, [Page 15]1.Agnoscit Sa­ravia Septua­ginta discipulos Evang listarum dignitate eminuisse, ac proinde Ordinariis Episcopis vocationis gradu a [...]tecelluisse. Gers. Bucer p. 515. ex Sar. de Min. Ev. grad cap. 4. Saravia (a professed patron of Episcopacy and Antagonist to Beza, whom our Prelates looke on as their back-friend) doth ac­knowledge that the Seventie Disciples were Evangelists, and in that respect by the degree of their calling superior to Ordinary Bishops. How then is there I pray you any foundation for the imparitie between a Bishop and a Presbyter laid by Christ in this fact of his choosing Twelve Apostles, and Seventie Disciples, when these Seventie whom the Presbyters are said to succeed were superior to Bishops themselves? 2.Peracto hoc primo munere, post quam re­versi sunt gaudentes, non legimus eos am­plius a Christo missos in Ministerium verbimeq, novam ill is suisse replicarā cō ­missionem, &c. de rep. Eccl. lib. [...]. c. 3. n. 4. Quam confirmationem quedq̄, mandatum, & generalem missionem, quia à Christo factam 72. discipulis non invenio, ne [...]pos­sum affirmare in ipsis suisse directe, proxi­mè & immediate institutum ordinem presbyteralem, &c Id. [...]b num. 4. Spala­tensis hath observed that these Seventie Dis­ciples were not instituted by our Saviour for the perpetuall government of the Church, but onely that they had a temporarie Commission Luke 10. to goe before him into every City and place whither he himselfe would come, which was not renewed to them after their returne with joy, because the devils were made subject un­to them, as the Commission (given to the A­postles at first with a limitation,Match. 10. Go not in­to the way of the Gentiles, neither enter into the Cities of the Sa­maritanes, but goe rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel) was after his resurrection repeated and enlarged,Match. 28. Go teach all na­tions. In which regard, saith he, I cannot, affirme that in them (the 70. Disciples) was the Order of Presbyters instituted directly and immediately. Christs election of the Seventie Disciples affords you see by the confession of the Archbishop of Spalato himself no sure footing for the subjection of Presbyters to Bishops; though he would fain claime an institution of Bishops in the Commission gi­ven to the Apostles. But thirdly theEnchir. Christ. relig. in Conc. Col. p. 169. de sacr. ord. edit. Paris [...]an 1558. Non est tamen putan [...]um Episcopos ali­um in Ecclesia ordinem à Presbyteris con­stituisse. N [...]m in primitiva Ecclesia ii­dem erant Presbyteri & Episcopi, quod Apostolorum Petri & Pauli epistolae di­v [...] quo (que), Hierony nus, ac caeteri serè om­nes veteres ecclesiassici scriptores a [...]e­stantur. Canons of Coleine speak home to the point, and in plaine termes deny the consequence of this, or that hereupon we should imagine that Bishops are a distinct Order from Presbyters. Albeit, say they, Christ did institute twelve Apostles, in whose place the Bishops are, and afterwards chose seventie Disciples whose place in the Church the Presbyters do hold. Yet we must not thinke that Bishops did constitute in the [Page 16]Church an order different from Presbyters. For in the Primitive Church Bishops and Presbyters were the same, which the Epistles of the Apostles Peter and Paul, St Hierome also, and almost all o­ther ancient Ecclesiastic all writers doe testifie. In which regard our learned Junius spake a truth, and no more but the truth, when he told Bellarmine, Quam patres Episcopos Apostolis, Presby­teros 7 [...]. Discipulis succedere affirmaverunt, nunquam d [...]xerunt ex institute Christi succede­re. Quia nunquam institu [...]t Christus ut Apo­sto is secundum gradum in Ecclesia succed [...] e­tur, quae res si fuisset sam Apostolatus surctio ordinaria dicenda suisset. Hoc autem verira­ti & rationi adversatur, Omnes Dei servi in dectrina Apost olerum successerunt, in gradum corum ne mine [...] adoptavit Deus. Sed & 70. Discipulorum vocatio fuit extraordinaria, po­stea in ordinariam [...]raducti sunt ut Episcopi & Presbyteri essent in tis ecclesiis, quibus sunt attributi. Quomode ergo inquio dixetunt Dos illos succedere? [...]empe [...]umana ac non divina institutione, analogica ratione quadam, non au­tem propria, imitatione communi quadam, non fingulari necessita e ecclesiae. Succedere igitur ex simili non [...]utem pari, hos i [...]is dixere Pa­tres, qu a gradus in Ec [...]lesiae non pares, sed si­miles, non pleuè sed quodommedo [...]bservari putabant alii posse, [...]ii oportere. Siqua autem similitudo est, tantum secu [...]dum quid & remo­tissima tamen fim [...]uco est; si verè vera, si imaginarie imaginaria. Haec verò secundum quid remota est & imaginaria simiti [...]do, ex qua siqui absolute concludunt al solutè fallunt [...] [...]un. controv. 5 lib. 1. cap. 14 not. 15. When the Fathers said the Bishops succeed the Apostles, and the Presbyters succeed the Seventie Disci­ples, they never said they did succeede one the other by Christs Institution, but by humane no Divine Ordinance. They said they did succeede them, because some thought, there might be the like degrees after a sort, though not fully the like, be observed in the Church. Yet this likenesse is but in some respect a remote and imagi­nary fimilitude, from which, saith he, if any doe inferre an absolute conclusion (that it is so, that it ought to be so) they doe abso­lutely deceive themselves and others. This is the summe of Junius more large and satisfactory answere. By all which hath been said the Reader may easily dis­cerne on how uncertain grounds the faith of the Hierarchie is built. Of much more which might be spoken in this subject, I will adde onely one thing. Our Saviours act incorporating the Apostles into one collegrate body (as we may stile them) in­vesting all and each of them with equall power, conferring a Su­perioritie or Primacy to none of them above his fellowes, doth plainly evince that he laid a foundation for, and gave a plat-forme of an Aristocraticall not Monarchick Governement in the Church. The Monarchie he hath reserved to himselfe as his peculiar Prero­gative; but those to whom he gave a fixed superiority (as our Hie­rarchists speake) and commission during terme of life, were all con­joyned in an Aristocracy. If any desire a reason why our Saviour Christ was pleased in his Apostles to settle an Aristocraticall Go­vernment, [Page 17]and lay downe this as a standing plat-forme for them and their successours to follow; the Archbishop of Spalato shall informe him, in whom we have a full and satisfactory reason:Derep. Eccl. lib. 1. c. 12. n. 3. Albeit, saith he, it is true that in humane Common-wealths a Monarchie, but especially that which is tempered by lawes is best, yet in the Church Christ did not think it fit that way should be gi­ven to a Monarchie, though never so well tempered amengst those that are his Ministers, this he judged to be worst of all in the Church. Observe I pray you his reason, for it carrieth a great deale of weight with it.Salvator ipse satis praevidit quam perniciosa foret in Ecclesiae haec Monarchia, & quam saci­lè in tyrannidem illa posset erumpere, ideoq, ut tyrannis haec vitaretur usus est fimilitudine servorum. &c. — Sciebat enim Monarchiam banc Ecclesiasticam surtim introductam ad ty­rannidem apertum tandem transitum facturam. Id. ibid. num. 4. Our Saviour himselfe did well fore-see how dangerous it would prove in the Church; that if once a Monarchie did creepe in by stealth it would open a manifest way to tyrannie to which it would degenerate. So Antonius de Dominis, well known to be a learned and great Patron of Episcopacie. As this reason given by him ser­veth to overthrow the Papall Monarchie over the whole Church, so it doth effectually conclude against an Archiepiscopall over a Provinciall, an Episcopall Soveraignty over a Diocesan Church. For indeed there are not many steps betweene a Pope and a Prelate. Stapleton the Jesuite (if the [...] have rightly quoted him) hath confessed itQui gravid a est ex Archi­episcopo facise parere potest Papam. Staple­ton. an easio matter for an Archibishop, impregnated with an ambitious domineering spirit, to bring forth a Pope; and the practises of our later Prelates have made it evident to all the world, that a Diocesan Monarch may quickly become a tyranni­call petti-Pope. In a word, suppose it should be granted that the thrones promised by ourMatt. 19.28. Saviour, are thrones Apostolicall, and that thereby is meant that power of Ecclesiasticall Jurisdiction which Christ communicated to them his Extraordinarie Delegates and Embassadours (which yet is very questionable,Chemnit. har. Ev. c 132. I an­sen. conc. Ev. c. 100. Cajet. Par. divers Divines car­rying it another way, yea,L. cit. cap. 11 [...]= [...]3. Spalatensis affirmes the quite contra­ty, that Christ there speakes not a word of the throne in the Church) yet what is all this to an Episcopal throne, or to the ad­vancing of a Prelate above the rest of the Presbyters? What af­finity is there between an Apostolicall and Episcopall throne, be­tween an Aristocraticall Government which Christ founded in his Apostles, and a Monarchicall Soveraignty which Prelates have usur­ped. [Page 18]We reade indeed in Scripture of [...], &c. Rev. 13. a throne which the Dragon did give to the beast on whose head are names of blasphemie, but we reade not any where of an Apostolicall throne derived to a Bishop. True it is as the Patron of Episcopacie hath told us that in the anci­ents there is mention of [...], The Bishops throne. [...], Orat. 7. Gre­gorie Nazianzen indeed so stiles his Episcopall dignity to which he was advanced, but withall, he saith, he could not well tell whe­ther he should call it a tyrannicall throne or hierarchicall; in his next Oration he cals it in plaine termesOrat. 28. [...], a ty­rannicall preheminence, and sets down both there in prose, and af­terwards inCarm. de vita su [...] oper Grae­col tom 2. p. 24. & seq edit. Pa­r san. 1630 & Carm. de div. vitae gen [...]ad pseudoepisc. verse the bloudy contentions and divisions which the ambition of Bishops affecting this Episcopall throne caused both in Church and State. I would the same were not verified in our dayes, and that we had not cause with him to complain. [...]. Alas for our great sorrowes and occasions of griefe. Thus much for the foundation of Episcopall Jurisdiction pretended to be laid by Christ himself.

We are in the next place to enquire whether it hath in the pra­ctise of the Apostles and their recommendation any more solid and firme erection; The onely instance of this, that is produced, is the charge of the Apostle in his Epistles to Timothy and Titus, where­in in my understanding (saith our fore-mentionedPage 105. Patron of E­piscopacie) the Apostle speakes so home to the point, that if he were now to give direction to an English Bishop, how to demeane him­selfe in his place, he could not speake more fully to the execution of his sacred Office. In which assertion we may se [...] what is one speciall ground of this great confidence; Those acts and offices which have beene by degrees limited to the. Bishops as distinguished from Presbyters, and granted by the Custome of the Church, those are singled out as if then by the Apostle limited and restrained to the Bishop. Amidst all that is here spoken out of these Epistles, we have not the least mention of those qualifications which St Paul re­quirech in a Bishop; It is not the [...] but [...] not the work of a Bishop, but the dignitie and feigned Soveraignty for which they now contend and fight, however they would faine beare the world in hand that Episcopacie is a sacred Order of Divine and Apostolicall institution; so that we may truly apply that to ours which sometimes Martin Duther first, and Marlorat after said [Page 19]concerning Popish Prelates;Perinde sunt qui statum episcopalem statum jactitant perséctionis, quum inte­rim nthil agant, quam Satrap as pompa a­gere, equitare bellos caballos, nisi quod interdum templa consecrant & aras. Marl in 2 Pet. 2.18. ex Luth. Like unto them (that speake great swelling words of vanitie) are they which boast that Episcopacie is a state of Perfection, when in the meane time the onely thing they aime at is to be equall to Peeres in pompe, to ride on stately horses, only now and then their Lordships doe consecrate a Temple or an Altar. For, if we should looke for the same conditions and qualifications in many of ours, which St Paul commands to bee in those Bishops there mentioned by him, we shall finde that we areHujusmedi conditiones siquu exactè con­sideret, & conferat cum nostrae aetatis episcopis, videbitur in novo orbe, & in peregrina aliqua ecclesia, quae Christum & Apostolos penitus ignoraverit, ve sari, Salm. in Tit. 1. disp. 1. ad 4••• dub. in a new world (as Salmeron the Je­suite once spake) and in a strange Church that never heard of Christ and his Apostles. This by the way. From all that is culled out of these Epistles, the argument by which they must prove Episcopacie to have been erected by the Apostle labou­reth with an usuall fallacie, a shamefull begging of the question. For first of all Timothy and Titus have been sufficiently un-bishop­ped, not onely by him who hath written a particular treatise in that name, but by all that have waded into this controversie, Domestick and Forraigne Divines, against English and Romish Hierarchists, neither hath there been any sacriledge committed by those which have unbishopped them, but they have been restored to the Digni­tie of Evangelists, from which the Prelates have sacrilegiously de­graded them, that so they might on the ruines of the fore-mentio­ned Evangelists honour build up their Episcopall Soveraignty. I might be large in proving this, that Timothy and Titus were Evan­gelists, but the work is already sufficiently done by others; Onely, I will (least our Hierarchists should say that this is the assertion of none but their opposites) put them in minde whatVideo Time­theum proculdu­bio Episcopum generalem, i. e. Apostolum nul­li certae sedi ad­buc alligatum ab ipso Paulo vocari suum adjutorem de rep Eccl. l. 2. ca. 3. n 60. Antonius de Dominis hath observed concerning Timothie, long after the first Epistle written to him, even when the Apostle wrote his Epistle to the Romans (which was about the time of his last journey to Hie­rusalem, as is cleare by paralleling those two places of Scripture, Rom. 15.25. Act. 24.17, 18.) to wit, that he was out of doubt a ge­nerall Bishop, i. e. an Apostle, as yet confined to no certain seat. So that if Spalatensis speake truth, his Episcopacie of Ephesus is gone, for he was not yet saith he confined to any certain See. And as hee [Page 20]was not then when Paul wrote that Epistle to the Romans, so nei­ther was he when the same Apostle wrote his second Epistle to Ti­mothie himselfe. Consider the charge which the Apostle there gives him;2 Tim. 4.5. Doe the worke of an Evangelist, make full proofe of thy Ministery; He doth not say, Doe the worke of a Bishop, then had our Prelatists some colour for their assertions, but of an Evan­gelist, now it is well knowne that the Apostle setteth theEphes. 4. Evan­gelists as Persons whose calling was extraordinarie above the stan­ding and ordinary governours of the Church, Pastors and Teachers. Those are by the Apostle there stiled Evangelists who did Evange­lizare sine Cathedra, asin Eph 4. Ambrose speakes, Preach the Gospel up and downe not being confined to Residence on any one peculiar charge. We have St Paul professing that on him did lye the2 Cor. 11.27. Care of all the Churches, and oft expressing his desire in his own person to come to them to confirme and strengthen their faith, which when he could not do he sent these two (not to mention any more) sometimes to one Church, sometimes to another, but being now im­prisoned at Rome, and having once answered before Nero already, knowing that heAc. [...]0. should never see their faces any more, as he said to those Elders of Ephesus, that [...] Tim. 4.6. the time of his departure was at hand, as he speakes to Timothy, he puts him in minde of that Office whereto he was chosen in an extraordinary manner1 Tim. 1.14. Chap. 4.14. by the prophe­sies which went before concerning him, (For these extraordinary Offices had an extraordinary manner of vocation also (as sundryVide Bez. Aq. Lyr. [...]spenc. So­to major in loc. Divines testifie concerning Timothy, induced thereto by the fore­mentioned passages of Scripture) Doe the work of an Evangelist, which what it was, Eusebius doth set forth at large, where he speaks of some who performed it thus;Euseb. Eccl. hist. [...]i. 3 ca. 34. edit Easil. an. 1570. they did preach Christ to those which had not as yet heard the word of faith, they delivered unto them the holy Scriptures, ordained Pastors, and committed unto them the charge of those which were newly received into the Church, and then they did [...], passe over unto other countries and nations.

Whereas it is demanded,Bishop Hall, [...]. cit. p. 118. how should those Works of Ordination and execution of Church censures, Which are constant and ordina­ry, and so consequently deriveable to all successions, to the end of the World, be imposed upon a meere extraordinary agent; this is a demand so senselesse and voide of all reason that I wonder it should [Page 21]fall from the pen of so learned and grave a Divine as Dr Hall; but if he desire an answere, I will returne it him in the words of Saravia (a friend and fellow-stickler in their cause) who will informe him; thatGradus mini­strorom evan­gelli itasu [...]sse dist inctos ut majores inclu­derent in eris­rum ministeriae. Sar. ad cap. 1. Bez. de div. gra. Min. Evang. The degrees of the Ministers of the Gospel were so distingui­shed, that the greater did include the Ministeries of the lesser. To the same purpose speakes Cajetan (in Ephes. 4.) so that whatsoever were the acts of an ordinary and standing Minister of the Gospel, the extraordinary Officer might performe them; albeit the Ordina­ry officers might not presume with the execution of those which belonged to the extraordinary.

2. If the Precepts given here in charge to Timothy and Titus concerne a Bishop alone, then doth it concerne a Bishop alone to [...] Tim. 4.2. Preach the word in season and out of season, toCh 1.6.1. Ep. Chap. 4.4. stirre up the gift of God that is in him, and not neglect it, to take heed to himself and his doctrine; to flee covetousnesse, and follow after righteousnesse, godlinesse, faith, love. These with many other precepts belong also to the Bishop and to him alone. If our adversaries in this cause shall answer, that these are duties belonging to all Ministers wherein they and Bishops doe participate, but the other mentioned by them be­long to a Bishop distinct from a Presbyter; I shall return them the same reply which Gersom Bucerus doth to Dr Downham, Bucer. p. 283. Quem istius distinctionis authorem proferemus? Who hath taught us or them so to distinguish; Surely the Apostle hath not, for he makes not the least mention of what belongs to Timothy as a Bishop, what to him as a Presbyter; but gives all the commands promis­cuously without any difference.

3. For as much as those charges given to Timothy and Titus are so much insisted on, to prove their Episcopall Power, and conse­quently the Power and Preeminence of Bishops above Presbyters by the Apostles practice and recommendation, I will take into con­sideration some of those which are materiall, and see what strength they afford unto the cause.

That command given by the Apostle to Timothy, Lay hands suddenly on no man, and his appointing of Titus to ordaine Elders in every citie is strongly urged by the sticklers for Episcopall Sove­raignty, to prove that the Power of Ordination was in their hands alone. Be there what Elders soever in Ephesus, there hands with­out a Timothy will not serve to ordaine, his without theirs might, [Page 22]saith BishopPa. 113. Hall; very confidently, but under favour, and with re­spect to his gray haires, very weakly. Who seeth not how weak an inference this is, Timothy is commanded not to ordaine any man suddenly, Therefore Timothy alone had power to ordaine: the Con­sequent may on just ground be denyed. The President of a Colledge may be in a letter charged to take heed he admit not suddenly any man to a fellowship in the Colledge, will it therefore follow that the power of Election and admittance is in the hands of the Presi­dent alone. For as much as this answer of those which are oppo­sites to the Hierarchie, who say that Timothy and Titus were to or­daine, not by their owne power alone, but by way of Partnership and Societie with the Presbyterie, joyning with them, is rejected byP. 115. Bishop Hall, as being so palpable, and quite against the haire, that he cannot think the authours of it can beleeve themselves: I will therefore endeavour to confirme it, and make it good.

1. Since the Bishop will not beleeve what his Opposites say, I would desire to know whether the Bishop doth beleeve that St Paul would invest Timothy and Titus with a greater power then he himselfe, or the Apostles did exercise. Now it is cleare that he did not assume the power of Ordination into his owne hands, to execute it by himselfe, but in it, though he were as President to conduct and guide the action, did conjoyne with himselfe the Presbyters in the Ordination of Timothy. For albeit in1 Tim. 1.6. one place he speaketh of the imposition of his own hands alone, yet inChap. 4.14. another he mentions the Presbytery as concurring with him in it. Besides, the Ordinati­on of the Presbyters at Antioch, was not the act of Paul alone, but Paul and Barnabas at least, or rather by comparing it with other places, Paul and Barnabas with the Presbyters of Antioch, did joyne together in the Ordination. The phrase runnes in the plurall number,Act. 14.236 when they had ordained them Elders, and had prayed with fasting. From whence Gersom Bucerus doth argue thus,Dosser. de gu [...]. Eccl. p 321. If the Hierarchists doe on just ground perswade us that Ordinati­on doth belong to the Bishops, because the Apostles, whom the Bi­shops (as they say) doe succeed, did ordaine, by the same reason may Presbyters also ordaine, because the 70. Disciples (whom the Pres­byters doe succeed, as they informe us) did ordaine. For Barna­bas is by many Historians reckoned among the 70. Disciples. If we look further into the actions of the Apostles, we shall finde all their [Page 23]Ordinations not by their own power, but by the joynt consent and concurrence of the Presbyters and Disciples. WhenAct. 1. [...]. Chrys. hom. 3. in Act. c. 1. Matthias was chosen into the roome of Judas, Peter doth all by the common consent of the Disciples, nothing by his own authority, nothing like a Lord or Prince in a commanding manner, as Chrysostome hath observed. So in the Ordination of theChap. 6. Deacons they carry them­selves as Presbyters not as Apostles in the action, permitting the election to the Disciples, concurring with the Presbyters in the Or­dination of them. Adde hereunto one instance more out of the book of God. The command of the holy Ghost concerning Bar­nabas and Saul, Chap. 13. [...]. Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the worke whereunto I have appointed them. Paul had his call to the Apostle­ship immediately from the Lord some yeares before this; and Bar­nabas his call to the Ministery, for both of them had joyned together in the work ofChap. 11.26. Antioch, but being now by the Lords appoint­ment to goe to the Gentiles, and preach the Gospel unto them (for that seemeth to be the great worke here spoken of by the Lord, asDe rep hu. l. 2. c. [...]. n. 13. Spalatensis hath rightly observed) they are now commanded to be in a solemne manner set apart for this worke. As the Lord him­selfe by a voyce from Heaven gives them their immediate call, and Authoritative Designation for this Office, so their Externall Desig­nation to it they have by his appointment also, not from any one particular person, either Bishop or Presbyter, but from all those in the Church of Antioch which ministred to the Lord; for so St Luke sets it down,Cha. 13, [...], 3. As they ministred to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul, for the work where­unto I have called them. And when they had fasted, and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. From all which by the practice of the Apostles, and by this voyce of God from heaven, it is cleare, as farre as I can apprehend, that the Power of Ordinati­on or Deputation to the Ministery, and worke of the Lord therein, should not, doth not reside in the hand of any one particular person of what degree soever, either Bishop or Presbyter, but of the colle­ctive body of Pastours and Presbyters which minister unto the Lord.

2. If the Bishop will not beleeve his Opposites, such as Parker that proud Schismaticke, or Cartwright and Ames with their ig­norant and malecontented, followers, some giddy corner-creeping [Page 24]upstarts,Pag. 60, 61. & 148. (these are not mine but Bishop Halls titles of honour wherewith he doth bespatter them) if the judgement of Divines of greatest note in the Reformed Churches will strike any stroke, we have them concurring in this, that The Power of Ordination is in the hands of the Presbyters, not of any one alone; that though these charges are given to Timothy and Titus in particular, yet doth it not follow that they alone could doe it. I will onely mention one of many that might be alledged. When Pamelius from those places undertakes to prove the Superioritie of Bishops above Presbyters, Gonlartius answereth him thus,Annot. in Cyp. ep. 65. The argument hath not strength enough in it, Presbyters are ordained by Bishops, there­fore Bishops are above them. The ancient Bishops were ordained by the Clergie and the people, if any shall thence inferre, therefore the Clergie and people are above the Bishops, Pamelius and his Schollars will deny the Consequence, Ordination doth not establish a degree or Preeminence, but only sheweth and commendeth the Discipline of the Church.

3. Besides Protestants, we have Papists assenting to this truth, and confessing 1. that Presbyters may ordain.Gloss. in dist. 66 cap. Porrò. Johannes Semeca in his Glosse on the Canon Law, proves it by this, the Apostles were but Presbyters not Bishops, yet they did ordaine, and in their dayes there was no difference between a Presbyter and a Bishop. AndAntis San ap. Apol. Episc. p. 165. Altissiodorensis hath delivered it, that if there were but three Presbyters in the World, they might ordaine one the other, a bishop and an Archbishop, and gives this reason for it, Presbyters as well as Bishops doe receive the Keyes of the Kingdome in their Ordina­tion, for they are the successours of the Apostles. 2. That Titus was left at Crete to ordaine Presbyters no otherwise then as a Mo­derator in the action, and as a Consul or Dictator are said to create Consuls; because they are, they hold, the Comitia or Assembly and meeting in which they are created. ThusIn Tit. 1. d [...]sp. 1. Salmeron, as I shall af­terward shew more at large out of him. By this time I hope it doth appeare that this is not so palpable an elusion as the Bishop is pleased to stile it, but rather so manifest a truth, which the Bishop himself nor all the mitred Fathers of that order are able to disprove. Thus much for Ordination from those charges, I proceed to the next.

That precept of the Apostle,1 Tim. 5.1 [...]. Against an Elder or Presbyter [Page 25]receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses, is mainly insisted on by Dr Hall and others, to prove that Timothy was invested with Episcopall Jurisdiction, and so to conclude the Jurisdictionall Preeminence of a Bishop over the Presbyters, yet the weaknesse of this argument hath bin already sufficiently discovered, and the place answered to the full by our Polemicall Divines which have disputed against Papists, from whom our Hierarchists have borrowed most of their weapons which they make use of in this quarrell. It shall be therefore sufficient for me to mention the an­swer which is given by our Protestant Divines to their Romish Op­posites in this cause. First, our Countreyman Dr Whitakers answe­reth Bellarmine that this place proves not Timothies power over Presbyters, and from this place observeth that the power of Juris­diction was not in the hand of one, but of many that were endued with equall authoritie.Quod Timotheus jubetur non temere [...] [...] admittere, hoc non probat Timotheum in Presbyteros potestatem aut do­minatum habuisse. Nam ex Apostoli mente [...] est crimen ad Ec­clesiam deserre, reum in judicium addacere, pa­lam reprehendere, quod non modo superiore [...] possunt, sed aequales etiam at (que) inferiores. In Romana Repub. Equites non de populo tantum sed etiam de Senatoribus & Patrioiis judica­bant. Et certè non videtur Timotheus tale con­sistorium aut forum babuisse, quale post Epis­copis in Ecclesia constitutum suit, nam hi Pres­byteri non alii quam Episcopi fuerunt ut ex Apostolo constat. — Qualis haec authoritas suc­rit ex eo quod sequitur intelligi potest, Eos qui peccant coram omnibus [...], quod aequales quo (que) possunt. Sic elim Ep [...]scopesiquis Presby [...]es aut Episcopus male auauet, ad Senatum Ec­clesias [...]icum aut Synoaum reserebant, [...]um (que) si d [...]gnus videretur [...]ublico jud [...]cio damnabant, i. e. cut suspendebant, aut excommunicabant, aut removebant. Whitak. co. t. [...].1. c. 2. sc. 16. According to the meaning of the Apostle to receive an ac­cusation is to acquaint the Church with the crime, and to bring the offender into judgement, openly to reprove which not onely superiours, but equals also, yea and inferiours may doe. The Knights of Rome did not only judge the people, but the Se­natours and Noble-men also if they were delinquents. Certainly Timothy had no such Consistory or Court as was after­wards attributed to the Bishops. What this authority was may be understood from that which followeth, Them that sin re­buke before all; which equals also may doe. Thus of old the Bishops, if a Bishop or Presbyter were accused, did referre the matter to the Ecclesiasticall Senate or Synod, and did condemne him if he were found worthy, i. e. they did suspend, ex­communicate, or remove him according to the nature of his of­fence. Thus that Divinitie Professour of Cambridge in his dayes. And that this was the manner of proceeding in administration of Church censures, appeares by our Saviours precept concerning other [Page 26]Offenders though private persons,Matth. 18. Dic Ecclesiae, Tell the Church; and the sentence of Excommunication pronounced and executed on the incestuous person at Corinth; It was not the act of a Bishop alone or of his Officiall or Chancellour (these are Apocryphall names and offices, unknowne for some Centuries of yeares in the Church of Christ) but it was2 Cor. 2.6. [...] a Punishment inflicted by many. 2. I may adde the answer of Gonlartius unto Pamelius objecting this place of the Apostle to Timothy for the proofe of Episcopall Preeminence over Presbyters.Annot. in Cypr. Epist. 65. An accusati­on is two wayes received either privately or in the Ecclesiasticall assembly which doth judge of those crimes. This though it be taken as spoken to Timothy alone, yet implieth, as he there shewes onely a preheminence of Order in Timothy not of power and authority. Which he thus makes good; if a Bishop were accused the Presbyters did receive the accusation and judge of it; as he proves out of Cy­prian, whoEpist. 65. old. 3 Ep. 9. writes to Epictetus and the people of Assura com­manding them not to admit to the Episcopacie againe Eortunatia­nus who sometimes was their Bishop, but had denyed the faith of Christ. Other Bishops, saith Gonlartius, are not called together, nor is there any appeale to the Bishop of Rome, but the Assuritan Church in a convenient order judgeth their own Bishop. In the Presbyterie one of the Presbyters or Ministers of the Church did fit, for orders-sake onely, untill those degrees did arise of which we have elsewhere spoken. Therefore to receive an accusation against one is not only a note of preheminence, but of order also, and that preheminence doth not confirme those degrees which afterwards introduced tyranny into the Church, but manifesteth an eutaxie in the house of God. This shall suffice to be spoken touching that branch of Episcopall Jurisdiction; I come to another, and that con­cernes the Commission given to Timothy concerning the Doctrine of the Teachers.

Episc by. di [...]. right. p. 106. Timothy is charged to charge the Preachers of Ephesus, that they teach no other doctrine, that they doe not give heed to Fables and Genealogies andPag. 116. Titus is commanded [...] to stop the mouths of those false teachers, who broach doctrines they ought not for filthy lucres sake, and to passe sharp censures upon them, what can doe this but Episcopall authority, saith the Bishop;Pag. 107. I may truly say (saith he) that both St Paul and Timothy his Disciple doe [Page 27]as truly Lord it here in their Episcopall power, as those Bishops which they (the Scots) have abdicated.

I will not here Camerinam movere, rake into the sinke of the Lordly tyrannicall exorbitancies of our later Prelates, they stinke bad enough already, I will not cause the Reader to stop his nose at those putrid steemes which would arise if that puddle were stirred. Onely I would desire the Reader by the way to consider that St Paul hath professedly disclaimed all Lording it over the conscien­ces of the Corinthians:2 Cor. 1.14. Not that we have dominion over your faith, saith he, but are helpers of your joy; for by faith ye stand. In locum. Cajetan hath well observed that this is here added by the Apostle to exclude a calumnie, which might have been cast on him, because the words of Paul which he spake immediately before, viz. to spare you, might seeme to imply some dominion, he presently subjoynes this, Not that we have dominion over your faith, which words are fitly and fully paraphrased by Beza thus,Ineund. locum. Not as if I might doe any thing amongst you in matter of Religion, What I pleased by my power in binding and loosing of your consciences, but I am the Minister of God to comfort you and to cheere your hearts; we are helpers of your joy, wherein he doth secretly oppose the joy and peace of Conscience, Where of he makes God the authour, but himselfe and his colleagues the Ministers, unto that tyrannicall terrour which is caused by those who carry themselves as if they were Lords over the consciences of both Ministers and people.

We doe not say that either Timothy or Titus were meere Pres­byters, and so compeeres or Equals to the Presbyters of Ephesus or Crete, nor were they Bishops such as you fancy them, and in that superiority of degree above them; but Evangelists of an higher Orbe then either Bishops, for which you plead, or Presbyters. Looke on them in that degree wherein they were, and they might on bet­ter grounds, with more authority charge false teachers, that they should not [...] teach any other doctrine then what the Apostles had taught; (for unto that theGal. [...].8, [...]. Apostle himselfe doth limit it, doubling his Anathema on the heads of them whosoever they were that should doe it) then any ordinary Bishop whatsoever, if there had been then any such distinct from Presbyters. The case is cleare concerning them both, they had been the Apostles compani­ons in his travailes, had been fully instructed in the doctrine which [Page 28]he preached, and in respect of their familiar conversing with him, they could avouch what truth he had delivered. That of Paul to Timothy, the pretended Bishop of Ephesus is clear for him.2 Tim. 3.10. Thou hast fully knowne my doctrine, manner of life. Ib. ver. 14. Continue thou in the things which thou hast learned, and hast been assured of, know­ing of whom thou hast learned them. As for Titus (touching whom BishopPag. 117. Hall is pleased to tell us, there is no colour to say he was an Evangelist) not to insist on the frequent use which the Apostle made of him, in sending him from one Church to another, consider what false teachers they are whose mouths the Apostle would have in an especiall manner to be stopped, they areTit. 1.10. those of the Circum­cision. Them Titus could more effectually convince and confound with greater authoritie then any other man whatsoever. For he could in respect of his owne person declare what priviledge St Paul pleaded for, to wit, exemption from the yoke of Circumcision.Gal. 2. Ti­tus was not cicumcised by reason of false brethren, who creptin un­awares to spie out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus that they might bring us again into bondage; this was done by the in­terposition of Apostolike authority, when others would have urged it. Yea, more then this, when Paul himselfe with the chosen Elders from the Churches of Antioch went by revelation to con­ferre with the Apostles Elders and brethren concerning that vexa­tious question moved by some false teachers, who pretended the consent of the Apostles with them, in that which they obtruded on the Gentiles, the necessity of Circumcision,Gal. 2.1. Titus was one of those who went up with the Apostle Paul to the Apostles at Jeru­salem; him and Barnabas did St Paul take along with him, to bePar. lect 14. in Ep. ad Gal. witnesses both before the Apostles of his doctrine preached among the Gentiles, and also to the Churches of his action with the Apo­stles, and their concurrence with him giving him the right hand of fellowship. Now consider, I pray you, what was one speciall privi­ledge of the Apostles, those whom our Saviour himselfe made choise of, to whom he did renew and enlarge his commission after his Re­surrection; and you shall finde that Titus was a sharer in a privi­ledge next removed unto it, but one degree below them. They were eye and eare-witnesses of the doctrine, miracles, sufferings and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, as is cleare from thatAct. 1.21, 22. speech of Peter (at the election of Matthias in the roome of Judas) and [Page 29]what elsewhere he writeth to the dispersed Jewes, [...] Pet. 1.16, 18. We were eye-witnesses of his Majesty; and this voice we heard. The priviledge of an Evangelist was this; these things concerning Christ wereLuke 1.2. de­livered unto them by those which from the beginning were eye-witnesses, and ministers of the Word. As the Apostles were Christs Attendants, andChap. 22.28. continued with him in all his temptations, so the Evangelists were Apostolorum comites, the Apostles companions in all their travailes and peregrinations, fellow-workers and helpers in the Ministery. Titus then being an eye-witnesse and an eare-wit­nesse not only of St Pauls preaching among the Gentiles, but of the Apostles determination and conclusion in their Synodicall de­cree touching Circumcision, might with farre more authoritie stop the mouthes of those false teachers of the Circumcision, then any ordinary Bishop or Pastour whatsoever. By this time, I hope, it is evident that the charge given to Timothy and Titus makes nothing for Episcopall authoritie and Jurisdiction. 2. There is no necessi­tie to limit and restrain that phrase of the Apostles,Tit. 1. whose mouths must be stopped to an authoritative and judiciarie silencing of a false teacher, Cajetan extends it unto aAuthoritate & doctrina. Cajet. in loc. Doctrinall as well as a Defi­nitive silencing by a sentence against him.Sckol. in loc. Piscator hath observed that [...] is the same with [...], which latter word is used sometimes to expresse such a stopping of the mouth and silencing as is the fruit of a doctrinall conviction; and confutation by evi­dence of Scripture. So the Evangelist St Matthew useth it,Matt 22.34. [...]. When the Pharisees had heard that he (Christ) had put the Sadduces to silence, which was done not by any definitive sentence pronounced in a judiciary manner against them, authoritatively commanding them to hold their peace and preach such false doctrine no more, but by testimonie of Scripture was their errour so fully discovered that they had not a word to reply for themselves in maintainance of their erroneous opinions.Ibid. Ye erre, because ye know not the Scrip­ture, nor the power of God. Have ye not read what God said unto Moses in the bush, &c. Of this kind of silencing or stopping the mouth the Apostle speakes in this place, as is evident by what goes before and what followes. Amongst the qualifications of a Bishop, i. e. a Presbyter, as you shall see anone, this is one, he mustTit. 1.5. Hold fast the faithfull word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort, and to convince the gainsayers. [Page 30]Why is this required, the words following shew the reason,Ver. 10, 11. For there are many unruly and vaine talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision whose mouths must be stopped. This stop­ping of the mouth here spoken of must be by a Conviction from sound doctrine. Then consider what followes immediately,Ver. 13. This witnesse is true, wherefore reprove them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith. You see still the silencing is by a conviction, and a doctrinall confutation, so is the noune used when the Apostle saith of the Scripture, it is profitable 2 Tim. 3.16. [...] for conviction or con­futation, so the compound of the Verbe, in that phrase of the Evan­gelist concerning Apollos, Act. 18. last. [...]. he mightily convinced the Jewes, to wit, by the clear evidence of Scripture which could not be gain-said or shifted off by any sophisticall evasions whatsoever. But where the word [...] is used to signifie the passing of sharp censures, I shall not be ashamed to confesse my ignorance, but am willing to be informed by my betters, Bishop Hall or any of his brethren. See­ing the Apostle here speakes of a doctrinall silencing and confutati­on, I hope this is not a priviledge fastned to an Episcopall chaire, but such as is communicable to a Presbyter.

Thus much shall suffice to be spoken concerning these charges gi­ven to Timothy and Titus, by which the Doctor hath undertaken to prove them to be invested with Episcopall power and Jurisdicti­on, but how well, let others judge. There is one thing more in these pages which will deserve a like animadversion; it is a passage, which had it fallen from the pen of any other then Doctor Hall, I should have thought the man had certainly a Pope in his belly; it is this.Pag. 108. That House of God which is the Church (wherein Timothies behaviour is so required) is not some one private congregation, such an one were not fit for that stile the pillar and ground of truth, but the famous Diocesan Church of Ephesus. Me thinks the phrase here used, and stile of some other of late amongst us, comes some­what neere to that of the Jesuites mentioned by Doctor Bilsin; Differ. betw. Christ. subject. and unchrist. rebel. p. 224. part. 2. This is, saith he, the right trade of your apologie to pretend the Church and meane the Pope.—And so you make the Church but a cloak-bag to carry the Popes titles after him. Our Cathedralists pretend the Church but meane the Bishops and themselves, and so the Church is made but a cloak-bag to carry the Diocesans titles of honour after him. But why, I pray you, may not a particular pri­vate [Page 31]congregation be stiled the pillar and ground of truth; There is no Orthodoxe Divine can be ignorant that the Church is said to be the pillar of truth,Non ratione ar­chitect onica, sed sorensi. not as the notion of a pillar is taken by Architects in building, for that which doth uphold and beare up the roofe, or loft that lyeth on it, as if the Church did give supportance and sta­bilitie to the truth, but as a pillar in the market-place, to which the Kings Proclamation is fastned, that all his subjects may take notice of it. Hath Christ fastned his truth to a Cathedrall only, that there it is to be found, and no where else? The sad experience of that ig­norance, superstition, and profaneness which reigne in places neerest unto them hath verified the Proverbe, The neerer the Church the further from God. Lyra though a popish Fryar, and one that lived in times of much blindnesse, yet saw so much light that he could say;Lyra in Matt. c. 16. The Church consists not in men of dignity and power, either Ec­clesiasticall or Secular; for many Princes and Popes with other in­feriour persons have revolted from the faith: wherefore the Church consists in those persons in whom is the true knowledge and confessi­on of the faith. I would we had not too much cause to confesse the same of many of our Church-men, Prelates and their adherents, the Cathedrall Diocesan crew, with others: but albeit there hath been an apostasie in them, yet blessed be the Lord for it, we may truly say of the Church of England at this day, what once aDr Potter in his answer to Charitie mis­taken. Cathedralist spake in favour of the Church of Rome: The errours have been the errours of the domineering faction in the Court of England, not the errours of the Church of England. I hope they will give us leave to speake as favourably of our mother the Church of Eng­land, as they of theirs the Church of Rome, which is with them a true Church. I will shut up all that I shall say concerning Timothy and Titus, and the pretended Episcopall power committed unto them, the same as our Hierarchists say, with what they exercise, with the observation of a Friar, yet anHistorie of the Counc. of Trent. lib. 4. pag. 332. Historian of good esteeme, It is denyed in words that Ecclesiasticall Jurisdiction is dominion, as is the secular, yet one knoweth not how to put a difference be­tween them. But St Paul did, when he wrote to Timothy, and repea­ted it to Titus, that a Bishop should not be greedy of gaine, nor a striker. Now on the contrary, they make men pay for processes, and imprison the parties, as is done in the secular Courts.

In the next place, according to promise, I come to view the wri­tings [Page 32]of the Apostles, and to enquire whether in them there be any such Superiority and Distinction in Order and in Office between a Bishop and a Presbyter, as is pretended by our Prelatists. If in this Scripture may be judge it is as cleare as the Sunne, in my apprehen­sion, that a Bishop and a Presbyter are one and the same in Order and in Office. For when the Apostle doth set downe the sacred or­ders, we find no other but these, Bishops and Deacons, that which is by the Hierarchists made a middle order between both, to wit, of Presbyters is not at all expressed in distinction from the former, which doth evidently prove, that the distinction between a Bishop and a Presbyter is but an institution of man, not of God, nor hath it foundation in the Word of God. Consider the Inscription of St Pauls Epistle to the Philippians, it is directed toPhil. 1. [...]. All the Saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the Bishops and Dea­cons. When Paul directeth Timothy how he should carry himself in the Church of God, that is saith a lateBishop Hall, pag. 108.109. Patron of Episcopacie, how he must carry himselfe as a Diocesan, in such a Church where there would be need of all varietie of Church-Officers, we have no other Orders set downe then the fore-mentioned,1 Tim. 3. Bishops and Deacons, together with the qualifications of the one and the other. I demand then of our Diocesans now how comes it to passe that the order of Presbyters is left out. If Presbyters were a distinct order from Bishops, and inferiour to them in place and power, would the Apostle have omitted them as unnecessary and superflu­ous in such a Church, as the Diocesse of Ephesus, yea of Asia rather (for of that extent is the Church there mentioned by the Apostle said to be, by our fore-mentioned Bishop.) Come we from Timo­thy to Titus, and view the Epistle directed unto him;Tit. 1.5. He is left by the same Apostle at Creete, that he should set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain Elders in every city. Of what ranke and order these Presbyters or Elders were, the verses immediately following will informe us. The qualifications of those which should be admitted to this order, and be made Presbyters follow; If any be blamelesse, Vers. 6. the husband of one wife, having faithfull chil­dren, not accused of riot, or unruly. Why must a Presbyter be such an one,Vers. 7. the next verse gives the reason; For a Bishop must be blame­lesse as the steward of God, not selfe-willed, &c. Therefore must a Presbyter be blamelesse, because he is Gods steward, a Bishop, an [Page 33]Overseer (as the Greeke word properly imports, and so it is rendred by our late Translators, Act. 20.) set over the House of God. In a word, if the Apostles had in their dayes instituted any such distinct order of Bishops above Presbyters, then surely either in their last and valedictory speeches to those Presbyters whom they ordained, and Churches which they planted, or in their Epistles sent unto them, we should have some expressions tending to this purpose, some charge or other given either to the Bishop how he should car­ry himselfe towards the Presbyters under his power and Jurisdicti­on, or to the Presbyters how they should behave themselves to­ward the Bishop set over them. But we finde not the least intima­tion of any such thing; nor of one Bishop set over many flocks and congregations, but rather of more Bishops then one, which had the oversight of a flock. The command given to the Hebrewes is this,Heb. 13.17. Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit your selves, for they watch for your soules, as they that must give an account. He doth not say [...], Be obedient to the Bishop that is over you, but [...], in the plurall number, them that have the rule over you, for they watch for your soules; it is too great a burthen for one to be intrusted with the over-sight, and give an ac­count for the soules in many congregations. The counsell of St Paul to the Thessalonians runs thus;1 Thes. 5.12. We beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and [...], which are over you in the Lord. However in the writings of the Fathers, as theOrig. of Episc. pag. 5. Archbishop of Armagh hath observed, which were some­what neere the Apostles dayes, the title of [...] (which is the same with the word here used by the Apostle) is limited unto one, whom other of the Fathers doe peculiarly terme a Bishop (in what respect you shall heare more anon) yet, it is cleare by this pla [...] of the Apostle, that they confined not that Title unto one, nor did they set up one under that title or notion, Superiour to the rest of the Presbyters, who laboured also in the word and doctrine. In which regardAm [...]t in [...]oc. Beza spake a truth, and no more but a truth, when he ob­served from this and other places that the Church was governed, a Pastoribus in communi, by the Paestors in common. or by the com­mon consent and counsell of the Pastours, the degree of Episcopacie b [...]ing not as yet invented or found out by the Apostles or Aposto­like men. Let us proceed, St Peter commandeth the Presbyters [Page 34]to1 Pet. 5.1, 2. feed the flock of God which is amongst them, [...] taking the oversight of them (or being and performing the office of Bi­shops amongst them) not by constraint, but willingly, not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind. From which and other places it is clear, that in Scripture phrase [...] is so farre from signifying an Or­der distinct from, or superiour to a Presbyter, that it imports no o­ther thing then the Office of a Presbyter; a truth whichDissert. 1. de presb & episc. cap 6. Salmasi­us hath proved at large against Petavius the Jesuite. Yea, theIbid. cap. 3. pag. 172. same learned Critick hath observed that there is as much colour of reason to say that a Senatour and Counsellour were distinct Offices and Orders, as to say that a Bishop and a Presbyter are different in Of­fice and in Order. For as the Senate and the Counsell did not con­stitute different bodies, but one and the same assembly was under­stood by both denominations, so the particular members of that bo­dy were sometimes called Senatours, sometimes Counsellours. Idem est, saith he, de Presbyterio & Episcopio. The Presbyterie and the Episcopium were but one and the same body, and convention of Bi­shops and Presbyters.

The light of Scripture is so evident and convincing (unto all those which doe not shut their eyes against it, being prepossessed with other fancies that from thence (to omit other testimonies of the Fathers, with sundry Divines of note both Protestant and Popish)Dist. 60. cap. Null. ex urb. Papa. Sacros or lines dicimus diaconatum & Presbyteratum. Hos quidem so­tos ecclesia pri­mitiva habus­se dicitur. Gratian, andSent. lib. 4. dist. 24. tit. 1. Excellentèr cano­nes duos tantum sacros ordines appellari cen­sent, diaconatus scil. & presbytera [...]us, quia hos solos Ecclesia primitiva legetur habuisse, & de bissolis praeceptum Apostolihabemus. Peter Lumbard have confessed, that the Scripture mentioneth no other sacred Orders then of Presbyters and Deacons, the primitive Church is said to have these onely, and we have the precept of the Apostle concerning these alone. As Gratian in his text of the Canon Law, soDicunt quidem quod in ecclesia prima primi­tiva cōmune crat officium episcoporum & sa­cerdotum, & no mina crant communia. dist. 95. cap. Olim, & officium crat commune: sed in se­cunda primitiva caeperunt distingui & nomi­ua Presbyter et Episcopus erant prorsus synony­ma, & etiam administratio cōmunis erat, quia communi consitio sacerdotum regebantur eccle­siae. In schismatis ergoremedium (ut bicdicitur) fact a est praelatio ut unus praeess [...]t & quoad quaedam sacramenta, quae modò appropriantur episcopis. Gloss. ikn dist. 95. cap. Legimus. verb. Postea. Johannes Semeca in his Glosse thereon tels us, In the first Primitive Church Bishops and Presbyters or Priests were all one, both in name and office; the names and offices began to be distingui­shed in the second primitive Church; when for a remedy of schisme one was advanced in the Church (which was before gover­ned by the common consent of Presbyters) [Page 35]in respect of name, and administration, and some sacraments, which are now appropriated to the Bishops. Thus Semeca. If any shall desire to know of what extent this first primitive Church is, none can better informe him then learned Dr USSHER, once Divinity Professor at Dublin, now Archbishop of Armagh, De succ. & statu Eccles. cap. 1. pag. 19. who having observed out of Hegesippus, that during the age of the Apostles the Church continued [...], a pure and unde­filed Virgin, addes in matters of Religion we are not ashamed to appeale to this first Primitive Church (for so it hath pleased some to distinguish) saith he, referring us in the margin to this fore-men­tioned Glosse of Semeca. And truly as in articles of faith and points of Doctrine, against all Romanists with other pretenders of antiquity, so in matters of Discipline, and this particular point of controversie concerning the Parity, or rather Identity of Bishops and Presbyters against all Hierarchists whatsoever, we are neither afraid nor ashamed to appeale to this first Primitive Church, the Church in the Apostles dayes. Before I part with Gratian and the Canon Law, I shall adde this out of it, we finde there another Origi­nall of this Imparity and distinction in Order between a Bishop and a Presbyter,Horum discretio à Gentilibus maximè intro­ducta est, qui suos Flamines, alios simpliciter Flamines, alios Archiflamines, alios Proto­stamines appellabant. Grant decr. par. 1. dist. 21. Vide plura distinct. 80. Can. in Illis. The difference that now is between an Archbishop, a Bishop, and a Presbyter was introduced, saith Gratian, into the Church from the imitation of the Heathenish Hierarchie, who so marshal­led their Priests that some were Archi­flamines, some Protoflamines, some Fla­mines. The same is acknowledged for the substance of it by theƲt Rom. veteres olim majores & minores Pontifices, & inter hos unum summum, qui omnes sacris praecrant, habebant: it a & nos in Christianismo easdem denominationes serva­mus: Archiepiscopi dicti sunt tanquam pri­mores Episcopi, &c. Desacr. Ord. p. 169. edit. Paris. an. 1558. Canons of Coleine in their Enchiridion of Christian Religi­on. And were it needfull I could shew out of sundryMat. Park. Antiq. Brit. p. 5. Paggit in his Christianogr. and Fitzberbert the Ies. Divines that this forme of Church Government was here erected at first in England in imitation of the Hea­thenish Hierarchie by Lucius the first Christian King that embraced the faith. Among those many and pregnant testimonies which might be produced in confirmation of this truth, against the Divine Institution of the Majority of Bishops above Presbyters, I shall trouble your patience but with one remarkable passage in the [Page 36]Councell of Trent.HIstor [...]e of the Councell of Trent. lib 7. p. 619. When in the Congregation, Oct. 8. All the Spaniards with some others made a new instance that the Institu­tion and Superiority of Bishops de Jure divino might be defined; unto the Legates chamber the next morning came three Patri­arches, sixe Archbishops, and eleven Bishops, with a request that it might not be put into the Canon, that the Superiority is De Ju­re divino. And marke I beseech you the reasons, for in themselves, but especially proceeding from the mouthes of such and so many persons, they carry a great deale of weight with them; in regard that 1. It savoured of ambition. 2. It was unseemly themselves should give sentence in their own cause. 3. Because the greater part would not have it put in. And whosoever shall peruse that hi­story, and diligently observe the managing of this businesse in the Councell, shall finde that the opinion of the Spaniards, against which the fore-mentioned Patriarks, Archbishops, and Bishops did produce their reasons (which I doe not finde were ever answe­red or refuted) was inserted into the Canon, meerly on these two grounds 1. In opposition to the Lutherans, this was the reason gi­ven by the Archbishops ofIb. p. 604. Granata, in the Congregation held, Oct. 13.1562. and ofP. 606. Zara, as also by thePa. 607. Bishop of Segovia in the following Congregations. 2. In favour of the Pope, for they were afraid that if the Divine institution and superiority of Bishops were denyed, or the Prelates honour did decay, the Popes triple Crown would soon fall off his head. This made the Bishop of Se­govia in plain termes confesse,Pa. 607. If the power of the Bishops be weakned, that of the Pope is weakned also: and when the Secretary of the Marquesse of Pescara dealt with the Archbishop of Granata for his stiffenesse in urging the divine Institution of Bishops, advi­sing him not to touch any thing in prejudice to the holy See; Gra­nata answered,Ib pa 629. He never meant to say any thing against the Pope, but thought that whatsoever was spoken for the authority of Bishops, was for the benefit of his Holinesse; being assured that if their authority were diminished, the Obedience to the holy See would decrease also, though by reason of his old age he knew it would not happen in his time. Thus much of the first argument ta­ken from the testimonies of Scripture.

2. The writings of those which immediately succeeded the Apo­stles, and lived in the next age after them, shew that in their dayes [Page 37]Bishops and Presbyters were all one in name and office, not one preferred above the other in Order and Superiority of power. Polycarpe was as is confessed the Disciple of St John, theEpis. part. 2. p. 156. Angel of the Church of Smyrna, saith Bishop Hall, following therein (as in most others) Dr Downham. Now whether there were any such Order of Bishops superior to Presbyters in the Church of Christ in his dayes, let the world judge from his own words in his Epistle to the Philippians. I will not spend lines, much lesse leaves in the praise of the author, or his Epistle; I leave that to others who make good the Poets saying,

Laudat venales cupiens extrudere merces. Mercator. Nor will I insist on the Inscription of the Epistle, wherein he doth conjoyne with himselfe the Presbyters of the Church of Smyrna, though from thenceDissert. de presb. & episc. cap 4. p. 232. Salmasius doth prove that he was not a Bi­shop in that restrained sense wherein the word was used in after ages, for saith he, there is no example of an Epistle written by a Bi­shop; wherein, when once a Bishop came to be advanced above the Presbyters, he doth conjoyne them in his Inscription as his Compa­nions and Equals: But take his plaine and positive command or counsell to the Philippians, how they must behave themselves. Hee requires them to be [...]. subject to the Presbyters and Deacons as un­to God and to Christ. By which it is cleare there were then no other orders then these two, none above a Presbyter to which they must be in subjection. Here is not the least mention of a Bishop, as Omissa nescie quamebrem E­piscopis menti­one. [...]sp. digress. in 4. Tim. lib. 1. ca. 1. p. 133. Espencaeus doth acknowledge, though being prepossessed with some fancies of his owne, de ordine Principante, as he cals the or­der of Bishops, for which he doth contend, he wondreth why they are omitted. Let us proceed, and see what power and authority these Presbyters had in the Church of Philippi, This we shall learne from his Injunction unto them; for he commands them to provide things honest in the sight of God and men, abstaining from all an­ger, respect of persons and unjust judgement. He wils them farther to flee all covetousnesse, not suddenly giving credit to accusations against any one, nor be harsh in judgement. These passages I owe toLoc. cit p. 235. Salmasius, by which it is evident that these Presbyters of Philippi, to whom he gives this in charge, had then Ecclesiasticall Jurisdi­ctive power in their hands, and none was superior unto them there­in in the Church of Philippi in those dayes.

Before I proceed I must remove one rubbe that is cast in the way by theArchbishop of Armagh, Orig. of Epis. Patrons of Episcopacie; it is this, Polycarpe was himselfe a Bishop of the Church of Smyrrna, as is proved amongst other evi­dences by the testimonie of Ignatius, who in his Epistle to the Church of SmyrnaEpist. ad Symrn. salutes him under that name, as a person di­stinct from the Presbytery, and exhorteth all the people to follow their Bishop as Christ Jesus did his Father, and the Presbytery as the Apostles, telling them that no man ought either to administer the Sacraments, or doe any thing appertaining to the Church with­out the consent of the Bishop: and ofLi. 3. adv. baer. cap. 3. & in epist. ad Florin. Irenaeus, who so stiles him, and witnesseth that he himselfe was present when Polycarpe him­selfe did discourse of his conversation with St John. From all which it is inferred that he was the Angel or President of the Church of Smyrna, when St John wrote this his Revelation.

Yet all this makes nothing against what I have delivered, as I conceive under favour, and with submission to men of greater rea­ding and better judgement: For 1. Sundry passages in that Epistle of Ignatius to Polycarpe are, asMargin. annot. in epist. Ignat. ad Polyc. Vedelius hath observed, supposi­titious, thrust into them by some one or other out of the pretended Constitutions of Clemens, lib. 2. cap. 26. 2. Albeit Ignatius doth in that Epistle salute Polycarpe the Bishop, and the Presbyterie, yet it doth necessarily follow that he was a Bishop in order distinguished from the Presbytery, if he were a Presbyter President of the Pres­bytery it is a sufficient reason why in this falutation of Ignatius he should be named in the first place, and the Presbyterie after him. It appeares by Ignatius elswhere that the Presbyters were Counsel­lors unto and Coassessors with the Bishop in the Presbyterie, for so he doth expresly call them:In epist [...] ad Troll. [...]. What is the Presbyterie, saith he, but a sacred Assembly, the Counsellours and Coassessours of the Bishop. In the Romane common-wealth though all the Patricii or Noble­men were Counsellours of State and Senatours, yet there were two chosen out from among the rest, who had for honours sake the denomination of Consuls appropriated unto them, yet this title of honour did not advance them to a Place or Dignitie of a different Order from or Superiour to the rest of the Patricii, they were all Counsellours, but these two the Presidents of the Counsell; and from this their Orrice they had their name of honour Consules à consu­lendo. How weak a ground, the restriction of the name Bishop un­to [Page 39]him that is a President of the Presbyterie, to prove his distincti­on in order from thence, hath been shewed before out ofDissert. de presb. & episc. pag. 232. Salma­fius, who hath made it evident that by the same reason, a Counsel­lour and Senatour; The Councell and the Senate should constitute different Orders, and Offices: yea, all that the Primate of Armagh (whom for his Pietie and Learning I shall ever honour) doth in plain termes plead for (at leastwise seemes unto me to plead for) and doth undertake to prove is only this, that he to whom the title of Bishop (which was as is confessed by Dr Reynolds, whom he alleadgeth at first common to all the Presbyters, by whose common counsell and advice all Church affaires were ordered) is restrained by the Fathers, was a President of the Presbyterie, which may easily be granted without any great advantage to the Hierarchists, or prejudice to the Presbyterians. But if by reason of Presidentship it shall be inferred that the Bishop was in Order and in Office distinct from and superior to the Presbyters; I shall for my part be ready to assent unto those which say so, on the same conditions that that Old Archbishop ofFa [...]etur Armachanus diversam sententiam [...] esse magis amicum Doctoribus ecclesiae, cui pa­ratum se profitetur morem gerere; node e [...] di­vinis differentia ostendatur oraculis. mich. de Pal. in 4. dist. 24. disp. 2. Num episc. fit. ordo. Armagh profered to subscribe to the opinion of the Prelates and Doctors, (who were well-pleased with their assertions that did say there was by divine institution a difference between a Bishop and a Presbyter) So that the difference may be manifested out of the divine Oracles, and what is affirmed be proved by them.

3. True it is that Irenaeus doth indeed set forth Polycarpe un­der that name Bishop of the Church of Smyrna, yea and withall doth say that he was constituted Bishop of that Church by the A­postles; yet doth it not follow that he was a Bishop in Order su­periour to a Presbyter, which I shall prove two wayes: 1. By the writings of the Apostles (which best of all informe us what orders of Church Officers they did institute) a Bishop and Presbyter are one in Order and Office. Of this I have spoken before, and therefore will but mention it: onely I will adde the judgement of that fore-mentioned old and learned Archbishop of Armagh in this point; who considering the passages of the Apostle in his Epistle to Timothie, wherein there is mention of no other Or­ders [Page 40]but Bishops and Deacons, delivereth it as aConstant quod inter orcinem Episcopalem, & inter ordinem Diaconatue non est orao medius, quo [...]iam si quis esset, non dubium, quia iste Do­ctor maximus qui suum evangelium recepit à Christo, ut ipse scrihit ad Gal. 1. suum discctum discipulum Timotheum de illo ord [...]ne instrux­isset, & ei regulas dedisset, ficut de superiori & inferiori re [...]utas dedit. Rich. Armach. lib. [...]1. quaest. Armen cap 5. fol. 84. manifest and unquestionable truth that there is no middle order be­tween them, for if there were, out of all doubt that great Doctor, who received his Gospel from Jesus Christ, would have in­structed Timothy therein, and prescribed rules concerning that, as he did concer­ning the order above and below it. 2. Out of Irenaeus himselfe, whoHaec dogmata tibi, qui ante nos fuerunt pris­byteri qui & Apostolorum discipuli [...]xtiterunt, non tradiderunt —Possum coram deo testificar [...] beatum ilum & Apost olicum Presbyterum, si tale quid audiss [...]t reclamatum. Iraen. in epist [...]ad Plorin. Cent. Magd. ent. 2. cap. 10. col. 134, 135. elsewhere cals both Polycarpe himself, and other bishops of Asia Disciples of the Apostles Apostoli­call Presbyters. Under the same notion doth he mention Anicetus, Pius Hyginus, Telesphorus (who are by others called Bishops of Rome) giving them no other title then this,In Epist. ad victor. The Presbyters that were before you: Whosoever shall peruse sundry pas­sages inIren. lib. 3. adv. haer. cap. 3. compared with ca. 2. ejud lib. and li. 4. cap. 43. compared with cap 44. & 45. Irenaeus will clearly see that in him the Succession of Bishops is all one with the succession of Presbyters. I will mention but one and referre the Reader to the rest in the margent (if he thinke fit to con [...]ult the authour himselfe)Iren. lib. 4. cap. 43. We must obey, saith he, those Presbyters which are in the Church, those which have a succession from the Apostles, as we have shewed. Who toge­ther with the succession of the Bishoprick or Episcopacie, have re­ceived the gift of truth according to the good pleasure of the Fa­ther. The places are so cleare, the words so plaine and evident that from thence Spalatensis did rightly inferre,De rep. Eccl. l. 2. c. 3. n. 44. In all Presbyters Ire­naeus doth both acknowledge and confound one and the same order of Episcopacie, though afterwards seeking to avoide the pregnant te­stimonies, which overthrow his position, and the position of other Hierarchists, he gives this childish and slender answer, or rather sil­ly evasion, thatIbid. n. 42. He cals those which wore true Bishops by the name of Presbyters, which how weake it is, let any man of under­standing judge. Wherefore untill I be convinced by clearer evi­dence (to which I shall be ready to yeeld, if any be produced) I shall say with Chamier, Paustr. tom 2. l. 10. de Oc [...]. Pont. c. 6. in fine. Ausim asserere, I dare be bold to main­tain [Page 41]it, that Presbyters and Bishops are no where distinguished in Irenaeus. Thus much for answer to that objection. I proceed to another instance. How little strength to Episcopall Soveraignty over Presbyters the Epistle of Clemens to the Corinthians doth afford (in the commendation of which Author and Epistle,Bishop Hall, pag. 129, 130, 133. one that hath lately stept forth, as another Atlas, to beare up Episcopa­cie by head and shoulders, is pleased to spend two whole pages at least) you may easily perceive, if either you peruse the Epistle it self, or parallell that passage cited by the forementioned stickler for Prelacie with divers others inDissert. de Presb. & epis. p. 202. ad p. 219. Salmasius out of the same Epistle. For there you shall finde 1. that Bishops and Presbyters are [...], both denominations setting forth one and the same order, one and the same office. 2. That the Church of Corinth at that time, and other Churches also, were governed not by one but by many Bishops, that is to say, Presbyters. The passages are quo­ted by that learned Critick at large, I will in briefe but point unto them. First, what the Apostles practise was Clemens there sets downe thus: Preaching in cities among the Nations, they did con­stitute the first fruits of them, to be Bishops and Deacons, over them that should afterward beleeve. These Bishops are afterward in many places called Presbyters, Blessed are those Presbyters that went before. It is a shamefull thing to heare that the ancient and firme Church of Corinth should out of respect unto one or two per­sons [...] move sedition against the Presbyters. Afterwards he perswades those which had been the authors of the contention to repent and yeeld subjection to the Presbyters. From these and sundry other passages planissimè constat, saithPag. 219. Salmasius, it is most evident and cleare, that that Church was then governed by Presbyters alone, who were also called Bishops, all constituted in equall authoritie, honour and power in the government thereof. Amongst many other that are remarkable, I will only touch upon one, which seeing the Author is so highly magnified, and the Epistle commended with a great deale of silken language bestowed on it, might me thinks make some impression on the Commender, and others of his Order, as it is very pathetically delivered by Clemens, Wh [...]soever he be amongst you that is of a generous spirit, that is of a compassionate disposition, whoso is full of love let him say: If for my sake there be sedition, strife, and schismes, I depart, I am con­tent [Page 42]to be gone whithersoever you will, and will doe those things which are commanded me by the people: Only let the flock of Christ live in peace with the Presbyters that are set over it. Whosoever shall doe this shall purchase to himselfe exceeding great glory in the Lord, and every place will readily receive him. Thus that holy, that Apostolicall man Clemens, whose counsell if it might have found entertainment in the hearts of our Prelates and their adhe­rents, neither Scotland of late yeeres, nor England at this day had met with such commotions and distractions. Or if examples, and the Presidents of those Fathers (in whom because they were Bi­shops, our lateBishop Hall, p. 62. It is our glory & com­fort we have had such Pre­decessours. Hierarchists do glory as being their Predecessours) are likely to be more effectuall with those which would be accoun­ted their posteritie, I could put them in minde of Gregorie Nazi­anzen, who was content to lay down his Episcopall honour, and to descend from that throne which he knew not well whether he might more properly call an hierarchicall or tyrannicall throne; nor did he feare to commit any sacriledge against that holy order, or contract on himself the guilt of that crime, butOrat. 28 & Carm. de div. vitae gen. ad pseudoepis. finding the Church wasted by contentions, States and Kingdomes exceedingly shaken, and like to be overturned by warres about that same [...], that great and new name, as he cals the Episcopall dignitie, he willingly did it, induced thereunto by a most prevailing argu­ment.Quum certus fit à Deo non excludi quibus thronus eripia­tur. Cent. Mag. Cent 4. c. 10 col. 525. edit. Bas. 2624. He was assured of this, God would not dis-throne him in Heaven, though he lost his throne on earth. If the example of one induced thereunto by the hope of heaven be not sufficient, I could propose to our Prelates for a President the practise ofLib. de gest. cum Emer. Don. epis. tom. 7. col. 6, 7, 638. edit. Basan. 1542. Austin, and almost three hundred African Bishops, whose hearts were so enfla­med with a desire of union and peace in the Church, that they were ready for the procuring of it to lay downe their Bishopricks, which in so doing they did not account to be lost, but more safely recom­mended unto God. And whereas amongst them all there were but two found to whom this motion was displeasing, the brotherly exhortation and reproofe generally of all the rest, did make them change their mindes and confent to doe, what the rest of their bre­thren did. The exhortation is very ponderous, and full of moving arguments. Give leave, O ye Fathers of the Church, unto a poore Presbyter to represent before you, what once your Predecessours spake unto them, who were loath to part with their dignities for [Page 43]the Churches benefit. They propose in the first place that of our Sa­viour, Who so humbleth himselfe shall be exalted; and from thence inferre, Why should we doubt to offer to our Redeemer the sacrifice of this humilitie? Hath he descended from Heaven into humane members that we might become his members, and are we afraid to descend from our seats that his very members be not torne in pieces by cruell division? There is nothing more sufficient for us then that we be faithfull and obedient Christians. This we are still. But we are made Bishops for the Christian people, therefore let us doe that with our Episcopall honour, which may conduce to the Christi­an peace of Christian people. If we be profitable servants why doe we envie the eternall gain of our master for our temporall prefer­ment? Our Episcopall dignity will be more fruitfull unto us, if, be­ing laid down, it may rather collect, then being retained scatter the flock of Christ. Austin the Bishop said, My brethren, if we have the Lord in our thoughts, this higher place is the watch-tower of the vine-dresser, not the top of honour for him that is proud. If whilest I retain my Bishoprick I scatter the flock of Christ, how is the dammage of the flock the honour of the Shepheard? With what face shall we in the world to come hope for the honour promised by Christ, if our honour in this world doth hinder Christian unity? Thus farre the African Bishops.—Sed Cynthius aurem. I returne unto, and proceede in the proving of our Proposition laid downe before.

3. In Christian Churches which were of Apostolicall founda­tion, and others after them, we finde two Bishops in a Church or Citie, both in, and after the Apostles dayes; not one advanced before the other. Which being duly considered we may invert that argu­ment which is used by our Hierarchists for the maintainance of their Episcopall Monarchie. You know who hath laid down this amongst his Postulata: Episc. by div. right. part. 1. §. 12. p. 50. We may not entertain so irreverent an opinion of the Saints and Fathers of the Primitive Church, that they who were the immediate successours of the Apostles would, or durst set up a forme of government different from that which was fore-designed unto them. Let this be granted, the position may ea­sily be retorted on their own heads thus, If the Apostles had institu­ted one Bishop onely in a Church, and placed him in superiority of power and order above the Presbyters, can we think that the Saints [Page 44]and Fathers of the primitive Churches, or the Churches themselves, would have so soon swerved from the rule and practise of their first founders, and have set up or admitted two Bishops where the Apo­stles had ordained but one. The truth of this assertion touching the plurality of Bishops in a Church may be easily proved by varietie of examples.Dissert. de gub. Eccles. p. 302, 303. Gersom Bucerus hath proved it by no lesse then ten examples out of Scriptures, and others out of Ecclesiasticall history. I will onely mention some few. Narcissus and Alexander both Bishops of Hierusalem, not by succession one after the other, but both at the same time, as is proved out ofEccl. hist. li. 6. ca. 9. & 10. Eusebius. Ignatius and Evodias both Bishops of Antioch at the same time, the one ordai­ned by Peter, the other by Paul, as the fore-mentionedGers. Buc. p. 439. forraine Divine hath proved by the confession of Clemens, Constit. l. 7. c. 46. and Baronius, tom. 1. ad an. 45. At Rome Linus and Cletus, or Anacletus were Coepiscopi Fellow-Bishops in Peters dayes, and afterwards as Platina In vita Sancti Petri. hath acknowledged, and before him Ruffi­nus, in praefar. ad lib. Recognit. asPan. tom. 2. l. 13. c. 4. Chamier hath observed out of him, and theCent 1 part. 2. c. 10. in Lino. Centurists of Magdenburge after them both. Libe­rius after his returne from exile was conjoyned with Felix in the Episcopall See at Rome, by the decree of the Synod of Syrmium, as I have learned fromCat. test. ver. l. 4. col. 255. Illyricus and Gonlartius out ofLib. 4. c. 14. Sozomen: which Synod was held no lesse then fiftie six yeeres after the Coun­cell of Nice, which first made a Canonicall constitution to the con­trary, prohibiting that there should be two Bishops in one citie: asLib. 1. c. 6. Ruffinus hath set down that Canon: yea, later then this Austin was made Bishop of Hippo in the dayes of Valerius and joyned with him as his Colleague in the Episcopall honour and Function, albeit Austin was very unwilling, yet theDum id fieri solere ab omnibus suaderetur, at (que) id ignare transmatinis & Africanis Ecclesiae exemplis probaretur, compulsus at (que) [...]ctas suc­cubuit, & Epi scapatus curam & majoris loci ordinationem suscepit. Posslid. in vita Aug. c. 8. Quod quidem quia tanta ejus obaritate, tan­to (que) populi studio dominum id velle credidt, nonnullis jam exemplis praecedentibus quibus mibi omnis excusatioi [...]laudehatur, veheme [...]ter timuiexcusare. Aug. ep. 34. [...]d Pausin. Primate of Numidia Megatius Cala­mensis, and Valerius together with all the rest Bishops that were present perswa­ded him thereunto, and by varietie of ex­amples in the African and transmarine Churches proved it to be a thing so usuall, that Austin was left without all excuse, and yeelded to undertake coepiscopatus sarcinam, as he cals it, the burthen of Coepiscopacie with Valerius: for the prohibition by the Nicene canon was not yet come to [Page 45]the knowledge of Valerius, nor to the cares of Austin, as he dothEp. 110. Quod cone liio Nieeno prohibitum, sa­isse nesciebam nec ipse sciebat. else where professe. This is a truth so clear, and which hath such varietie of instances for the confirmation of it, that theNeq, fuit tanta valigie priscu illis Episcopis l [...]cum sibi interdum ascicere aliquem, ex sua­rum Ecclesiarum Presbyteris, qui & ipse tum furisdictione & ordine, u u (que) pleno Episcopalis propriae porestatis tum etiam nomine in eadem Ecclesia simul esset, & diceretur Episcopus. de rep. Eccl l 2. c 9. n. 14. Arch­bishop of Spalato doth confesse, The anci­ent holy Bishops made no scruple of ma­king one of their Presbyters their compa­ni [...]n, who both in Jurisdiction and Order, and full use of power properly Episcopall should be their Colleague and Fellow-bi­shop in the same Church. Yea,Idem est juris in parte quod in toto, & in par­vis quod in magnis, sed in eodem episcopatu possunt simut esse duo episcopi, Caus 7. q. 1. c. Non est autem. & C Peristi & C. Quia vero. Ergo consimiliter propter necessitatem vel uti­litatem possent esse snnut plures summi Ponti­fices dial part. 3. tract. 1. lib. 2. c. 25. sol. 202. Occham proving out of the Canon Law it selfe that there may be two Bishops in a Bishoprick or Diocesse, doth thence inferre that by the same reason there may be also two Popes,Fideles propter necessitatem vel utilitatem sufficienter moventem constituendo plures Pon­tifices non facerent conditionem Ecclesiae dete­rivem, sed meliorarent cam. cap. 26. sol. 203. ad septimum as the government of one and the same Church by more Bishops then one conduceth to the benefit thereof, so the re­giment of the Church Catholike by many Popes.Loc. cit. cap. 15. paulo ante finem. This he maintaines might be done in both, without any rent or division in the Church, without the breach of that unity which the Apostle doth require, for among all those things which he reckons up as grounds of union, and motives to the conservation of it,Ephes. 4. One faith, one Baptisme, &c. Ʋnum Apostolicum minimè ponit, saith he, the Apostle makes no mention of one Apostolicall either Pope or Pre­late. In a word; the practise of governing a Church by more Bi­shops then one was for a while so common and usuall (though by degrees it did begin in some places sooner to grow out of use then others) that if Epiphanius his observation be right, it was anciently proper to Alexandria alone to have one Bishop, whereas other Churches and Cities had two. His words are cleare and expresse for it;Haer. 68. de Milet. [...]. For Alexandria had not anciently two Bishops as other ci­ties had. This testimonie of Epiphanius concerning Alexandria I first lighted upon inin Aug. de haer. haer. Acrian. Danaeus, and since I met with it in him, I have oft times wondred, that in all the quotations out of the Fathers for Episcopacie, our Hierarchists take no notice of it. From the same Danaeus I have learned one thing more touching the forementioned [Page 46]Citie, where the Episcopall Monarchie first had footing, to wit, that out of the sameIbid. Church proceeded the Monastick life, and divers other things which were the bane of the Church. Perhaps in this regard our Prelates are ashamed of this their originall, and would therefore fain bewitch the mindes of men with an opinion of ano­ther descent from Christs institution and his Apostles. Dealing herein as wisely for themselves, as the old Romans did, who being ashamed of the spurious and incestuous birth of their first Founder Romulus, pretended a Divine pedegree from Mars in a wood. But for my part I love them both so well, that I shall desire, that as Bi­shops and Monks did rise so they may fall, as they did come so they may go together, and the Christian world be rid at once of them both, which have proved Ecclesiae pestes the bane of the Church.

Before I passe from this, one thing I must crave leave to adde, it concerneth the Succession of Bishops, which the Historians that did set it down, so mention, as if there were but one in a Church at once: yet this doth nothing contradict what hath beene spoken touching their plurality Simul at one and the same time in the same Church. For 1. Divers of those Historians in their expressions and narrations had reference to the custome of those times in which themselves li­ved. For as much as in their dayes the custome of governing by many was changed into a government by one, and the name com­mon at first to all, limited and restrained unto one, hence they speake but of one, though indeed (as hath been shewed) there were at the same time more Bishops then one in a Citie. 2. When there were two or more equall in name and Office, he that was the Sur­viver is reckoned as the Successor, whereas indeed he was not Suc­cessor properly, but onely a Colleague living longer then his fellow-bishop. Thus dothExercit. 8. in Ignat. epist. ad Mariam, cap. 3. num. 6. constant Linum & Cletum ante Cle­mentem [...]bitsse, quibus defunctis solus. Clemens superstes, solus etiam Episcopt nomen retinuit, tum quia inter adjutores Apostolorum solus restabat, &c. Vedelius reconcile the difference which is between historians concerning those three Bishops of Rome, Linus, Cletus, and Clemens, shewing that the name of Bishop was given to the last of these who was the surviver in that Church, where through the whole Chapter he discovereth the vani­tie of those answers which are given by Bellarmine, Baronius; and others. Lest our Hierarchicall Monarchie should thinke to elude this and blow it away as the fancie of a Disciplinarian of the Ge­neva [Page 47]cut, I will back it with the suffrage of Antonius de Dominis the Archbishop of Spalato, whom for his pains in patronizing the Episcopall cause they cannot but respect.De rep. Eccl. l. 2. c. 3. n. 63. Quoniam ex his tribus Collegis, saith he, Because of these three that were Colleagues Linus died first, Cletus next, and last of all Clemens, and each of them governed that Church with full authority, hence it came to passe that some of the ancients reckoned Linus the first Bishop of Rome, Cletus or Anacletus the second, and Clemens the third, as if they had been differenced in time one from the other, and one succeeded the other, when as indeed there was no proper succession at all.

4. As most Churches had more then one Bishop, so some for di­vers yeeres together long after the Apostles dayes had none at all, but were instructed in the faith by Presbyters alone without a Bi­shop over them. TheForbes. lren. lib. 2. cap. 11. p. 159. Scortish pacificator in his Irenicum hath ob­served out ofIbo. Mail. li. z. de gest. Scto c. 2. Johannes Maoior that the Primitive Church of Scot­land flourished in the faith two hundred and thirty yeares at least without any goverment by Bishops, being instructed in the faith and governed only by Priests and Monks. The same is recorded be­fore them both concerning that Church byScoticbron. l [...]. 3. ca. 8. ap. lacob. Armach. de pri. Eccl. Brit. p. 800, Johannes Fordonus, who addes that the Presbyters did governe the Church, ritum se­quentes Ecclesiae primitivae, following the custome of the primitive Church. Adde unto this one thing more which is remarkable; The Fathers in the second Councel of Carthage, which was held, an. 428. did observe thatConcil. Cart [...]. 2. can. 5. untill that time some places never had any Bishops at all, and thereupon they did ordain, ut tales in posterum non habe­rent, that such places as had none before, should not have any for future time. From which Canonicall Constitution I may withDiss. de gub. Eccles. p. 307. Gersom Bucerus argue thus, If those Fathers had conceived that the government by Bishops was appointed by the Lord Christ, or his Apostles, they could not, they would not by an Ecclesiasticall Canon have established, or permitted to the Churches the violation of Christs. Institution, or the Ordinance of his Apostles.

5. When after the Apostles dayes the distinction between a Bi­shop and a Presbyter began, yet that difference which was then put was no advancement to a distinct order, but onely to an higher de­gree in the same order, nor did it bring along with it any superiority in power or Jurisdiction over and above the Presbyters. The truth of this position may be easily made manifest, and confirmed by these particulars.

1. The name of Bishop (which together with the office was common to all the Presbyters) was now limitted and appropriated unto him that was the eldest Presbyter. The name being thus restrai­ned, there was a prioritie granted him, to whom in respect of age and yeeres, in respect of his longer standing in the Presbyteriall cal­ling, and consequently in regard of wisedome, gravitie, experience, or Endowments, reverence was due from his Colleagues, being his Juniors, and in that regard after a sort Inferiors. That of Ambrose, in 1 Tim. c. 3. Is Episcopus est qui inter Presbyteros primus, He is the Bishop who is the first among the Presbyters is a cleare testimonie, confir­ming what hath been delivered. For it doth declare manifestly, asPaust. tom. [...]. l. 9. de Oec. Pont. c. 5. n. 8. nihil a­bud quam inter Presbyteros is qui plures ann [...]s in eo muncie Presbyteratus ministriasset. Chamier hath well observed, what was the degree of a Bishop in the first and purest times of the Church; that it was no more then this, He was accounted the Bishop, who among the Presbyters had ministred longest in the office of a Presbyter. Hence the forenamed French Divine doth conclude,Ibid. that at first there was no other dif­ference between a Bishop and the Presbyters, then what is between the Deane and Canons in a Cathedrall. In reference to this,Sum. contr. tract. 2. q. 22. Ri­vetus doth conceive that Tertullian speakes, when he saith Praesi­dent probati qui (que), Seniores; Approved Elders doe sit as Presi­dents, who have obtained that honour not by price but by testimo­nie: In testimonie of that reverence and respect which age and Senioritie in the Ministery did bespeake at the hands of his fellow. Presbyters, was the [...] the chiefe seat in the Ecclesiasti­call Senate assigned unto him, to whom the name of Bishop began now to be restrained on the fore-mentioned grounds. Like as in the more publike conventions of Bishops and Presbyters assembled in a Councell, the chiefest seat was deputed for him that was the anci­entest and most venerable. On this ground as Eusebius reports, saith Rivetus, Hist. l. 5. c 22. when the Bishops of Pontus met together, Palmos was made President, because he was antiquissimus & maximè ve­nerabilis; the Eldest and most reverend amongst them. HenceHom. 3. in Act. Apost, Chrysostome doth compare the Preeminence of the Bishops over the Presbyters to the Preeminence of the Eldest brother or first-born over his younger brethren, who hath indeed a certain preemi­nence over them, but it is a brotherly preeminence, not a Lordly or Jurisdictionall prelation, asFraternam quidem non de­spoticam ne (que) jurisd [...]ctiona­tem Spal de rep. eccl. l. 1. ca. 5. n. 13. Spalatensis doth expresse it, the rest of his brethren being by ordinary right his equals in all things, ex­cepting [Page 49]age, and that honour which is due to him in respect of it, the precedencie of primogeniture, which doth not invest him with any commanding power over them, or put them in subjection unto him. The name of Bishop being thus limitted to him that was the Elder Presbyter occasioned the mention of one alone in the wri­tings of those who set downe the succession of Bishops. Learned Salmasius hath illustrated this by two examples.Dissert. 1. de presb. & episc. ca. [...]. p. 274. When Athens was governed by nine [...] or Riders, the first of them onely gave the name to the yeere, whence he was stiled [...]. The Romane Emperours did oft-times make many Consuls in a yeer, which were called Consules per suffectionem, yet these though they had full Consular authority were not registred among the Consuls, but onely those which were created int he beginning of the yeere, because they were the Eldest, the first Consuls.

2. That Primacy which was granted unto him which was the first and eldest Presbyter, and was now peculiarly called the Bishop, was only at first a Primacy of order, no Superiority of power, or Ju­risdictive dominion, that Church affaires should be ordered by him alone without the consent and counsell of the Presbyters. Obser­vable to this purpose is that expression of Pius bishop of Rome in his second Epistle to Justus bishop of Vienna,Presbyteri & Diaconi non ut majorem, sed ut Christi mini­strum te obser­vent. ap. Sal. p. 275. Let the Presbyters and Deacons observe you not as one greater then they, but at the Minister of Christ: in which, you see, he doth in plain termes deny that Justus the bishop was greater in point of power and authority then the Presbyters and Deacons. You know, Reverend and Be­loved, what was the resolution ofAd id quod scripserunt mibi compresbyteri nostri Donatus & Fortunatus, Novatus & Gurdius, solus rescribere nibil po [...]ui, quande à primordio Episcopatus mei sta [...]uerim nihil sine consilio vest [...]o, & fine consensu plebis meae, privata sententiagerere. Ep. [...]. exedit. Gonlart. aliis. lib. 3. ep. 10. Cypri­an Bishop of Carthage, from the first en­trance to his Episcopacy he determined to doe nothing in the managing of Church affaines of his own head without the coun­sell of the Presbyters, without the consent of the people, which he laies down as a rea­son, why he alone could not return an answer to that wherein Do­natus and the rest of the Compresbyters did consult him. Nor did Cyprian entertaine this resolution, and observe it in his practice meerly out of a voluntary humility and condescension, asDe Pent. Rō. li. 1. c. 6. in resp. ad tertium arg. Bellar­mine would beare the world in hand, and by this shift elude this pregnant testimonie; but he acknowledged himself by his place and [Page 50]Office to be bound thereunto, even by that relation wherein he stood to the Presbyters, and the Presbyters to him,Sed cum ad vot per Dei gra­tiam venero, tunc de iis quae velgesta sant, vet gerenda si­cut mutune bo­nor poscit, in commune tra­ctabimus, id. ib. by vertue of that honour which they mutually owed one to the other. As the Pres­byters and people did owe this honour to the Bishop that without his advice and consent they ought not to doe any thing; so the Bi­shop owed the same honour unto them not to doe any thing of his own head without their counsell and consent. What Cyprian pro­fesseth concerning himself, the late learnedDaven. det. quest. q. 41. Bishop of Salisbury confesseth was in all likelihood observed by the rest of the godly Bi­shops in those dayes. How exorbitant from this rule the practices of our Prelates have been, the Christian world doth know full well; and he that should goe about to reduce them unto it, might deser­vedly be accounted Augiae stabuli repurgator, asAnnot. in cypr. loc. cit. Gonlartius speakes, the purger of Augias stable so full of dung and filth, that it would be an Herculean labour for to cleanse it. True it is that when the title of Bishop was restrained unto one of the Presbyters, there did within a little after begin to be a kinde of reservation and restriction of some of those acts and Offices which were before common to all the Presbyters. This was done for orders sake, pro bono pacis, for the preservation of the Churches peace, and for the honour of the Bishop, who being chosen by the consent of the Presbyters and people, had now a Presidentship over them, and so after a sort a Majoritie of administrationMajoritas administrationis, quae quidem admi­nistratio à jurisdictione pender, ex consensu sul­jectionalt partim constu [...]tur. s [...]ut dicunus [...] ­lectum in cligences (ex eo quod habet admini­strationem ordinariam) habere jurisdictionem Conc. Carth. l. 2. c. 13. p. 7.7. ed. Bas cum priv. Cas Majest. ex off. Henrici-Petrina. ex consensu subjectionali as Cardinall Cusanus hath it, from the free and volun­tary act of those who consented to the prelation of the Bishop, and subjecting themselves unto him.

Ordination is one of those acts, the pow­er whereof the Bishops doe challenge as one of those Prerogatives which belong to their Order, yet if you look into theQuamvis. Chorcpiscopis & presbyteris mini­sterterum communis sit dispensatio quaedam ta­men ecclesiasticit regulis sibt prohibita noverint: sicut est presbyterorum & diacomnorum. [...]ut virginum consecratio, sicut conss i [...]utio altaris, ac benedictio velur [...]ctio Syn. Hispal. 2. sub Stse­kulo can. 7. ap. Cent Maga cent. 7. c. 9. col. 142. Ca­nons of the second Councell of Hispalis, which was held at least 600. yeares after Christ, you shall finde this reckoned up a­mong other particulars, which the Presby­ters are there commanded to know are prohibited them by Imperi­all and Ecolesiasticall constitutions. And mark I pray you the reason [Page 51]why they might not meddle with this and other acts,Quoniam quamquam consecrationem habeant, Pontificatue tamen apicem non habent; quem satis deberi episcopis [...]thoritate, canonum prae­cipitur, [...] per hoc. & disc [...]io graduum, & dignitatis sast [...]gium summi pontificit dem [...]n­s [...]etur. Ibid. the name and title of Bishop is by the Canons of the Church limited unto one, and by the same power are these Offices limited also, that so the difference of degrees (which the Church had put be­tweene a Bishop and a Presbyter) and the honour of the Bishop might be manifested. So the Fathers in that Councell. The same is acknowledged in theSolum propter authoritatem summe sacerdeti Clericorum ordinatio & consecratio reservata est, ne a multis discipline ecclesiae vindicata cō ­cordiam soiveret, scandala generaret. Concit. Aquisgran. ap. Eocbel. decret. Eccl. Gald. 5. tit. 8. ca. 88. pag 784. Councell of A­quisgran, an. 816. in the dayes of Ludovi­cus the first. Ordination is reserved to the Bishops only for authority, or as an ensigne of his honour, and for the prevention of scandals and divisions in the Church, but as for a difference out of the word of God between a Bishop and a Presbyter, they prove at large from the Apostles words to Titus, Timothy, and Act. 20. that there is none, but Bishops and Presby­ters are one and the same; yet did not this reservation by an Eccle­siasticall canon put the power of Ordination into the hands of the Bishop alone, so as that he might doe it without the concurrence of his Presbyters. But as the Presbyters were by the Canon of the Church prohibited to ordaine, so was the Bishop by the same Ca­nonicall constitutions prohibited to doe it without their consent.Episcopus sine concilio clerico­rum suorum cle­ricos non ordi­net. Conc. Carth. 4. can. 22. Let not a Bishop ordaine Clergie-men without the counsell of his Clergie, saith the Canon of the Councell of Carthage, registred byDist. 24. ca. 6. Episcopus. Gratian in the Canon Law: which who so will be pleased to con­sult shall find that his GlossatorGlossa in lo­cum. Vide etian [...] dist. 67. cap. 1. & Glos in ver. Sacerdotes. Semeca doth answer an objection made to the contrary, and proves that the word solus, where it is said the Bishop alone may give honour, and alone may take it away, doth exclude other Bishops, but not his own Clergie. So that a Bi­shop with his own Clergie might ordaine, without the consent of other Bishops, but not doe it alone by his owne peerelesse power, without the rest of his Clergie consenting to, and concurring with him in the action. In this regard it was decreed in the eleventh Councell of Toledo in Spain,Dist. 23. cap. Presbyter. When a Bishop doth lay his hands on the head of him who was to be ordained, let all the Presbyters who are present lay on their hands also by the hand of the Bishop. Presbyters have you see a share with the Bishop in the imposition of [Page 52]hands at Ordination, which they doe,Iren. Forb. lib. 2. cap. 11. pag. 163. not only as consenting to the ordination, saith Forbesius, (for the consent of the people was also required, yet never were they sharers in this Act of Imposition of hands, and Ordination whereby an Ecclesiasticall power is con­ferred, as both he andDe rep. Eccl. lib. 2. c. 2. n. 51. p. 187. Spalatensis have observed, but by suffrage did they manifest their approbation of the person elected, or their election of him that was to be ordained)Tanquam or­dinantes, seu ordinem conferentes, & ex porestate ordinan­di diviritus accepta, gratiam ordinate, boc ad­hibito ritu, apprecantes. Forb. ubi supra. but as those which were Co-ordainers with the Bishop, and by the power, of Ordination received from the Lord, praying for grace to be conferred on the person ordained by them and the Bishop. This Canonicall restri­ction of Ordination to the Bishop did no more invalidate the power of Presbyters to ordaine by vertue of their Presbyteriall order, then if a Canon should have been made to inhibite a Presbyter to baptize, to preach, to administer the Sacrament of the Lords Supper in the presence, or without the consent of the Bishop, it would be of force thence to conclude that a Presbyter as a Presbyter, by vertue of his order might not performe these Presbyteriall acts and offices. It is not unknowne that long agone even in the dayes ofDandi quidem [Baptism] habet jus summus Sacerdos qiuest Episcopus, debinc Presbyteri & Diaconi, non tamen sine Episcopi authori­tate, propter Ecclesiae honorem Quo salvo, sal­va pax est. Tertull de [...]ap. c. 17. Tertullian there began to be a reservation of Baptisme to the Bishop, that Presbyters and Deacons might not doe it without the leave of the Bishop, all which was done (on the same ground that Ordination was, as hath been shewed before) for the honour of the Bishop, to whom the Church had conferred honour, and for the Churches peace: yet none did ever inferre from thence that this did properly belong to the Bishop, and that a Presbyter might not doe it, except he had a Bi­shops licence. But if theVeteres à Bap­tismo a [...]i ordi­nationem argu­mentatos suisse patet ex Magi­stro. l. 4. dist. 25. Sadcel. resp. ad [...]urr Sopb. [...] [...]40. Master of the Sentences may be beleeved, albeit Ordination was limited to the Bishop, yet did the ancients ar­gue from the power of administring Baptisme to the power of Or­dination; Presbyters might baptize, therefore they might ordaine. Thus did they reason for the power, even then when the execution of the power was by canonicall-constitution restrained and shut up, sub certis terminis positivis propter meliùs, asConc. Cath. l. 2. c. 13. Cusanus speaks in the like case, within certain positive limits and bounds, and that for the good and benefit of the Church, as it seemed unto them which first made, and afterwards continued those limitations & re­strictions. Thus much for Ordination.

Jurisdiction is the next thing wherein the Bishops doe claime a peerelesse power; this respecteth either Presbyters subjected to cen­sure and power of Jurisdiction in case of delinquency, or the people, in the sentence of Excommunication. The field is very large, I will not expatiate, but only tender some few gleanings which I had ga­thered in the course of my studies in this argument; I will not insist on thatEpiscopus nul­lius causam au­diat abs (que) prae­sentia clerico­rum, alioquin irrita erit sen­tentia episcopi, nifi clericorum praesentia con­firmetur. Conc. Carth. 4. can. 23. Canon of the Councell of Carthage which prohibiteth the Bishop to meddle with the hearing of any cause but in the presence of his Clergie, and pronounceth the sentence of the Bishop voide if it were not by them confirmed. Concerning which Canon Dr Down­ham himself thus speakes.Defence of his Sermon, ti. 1. p. 179. Seeing good lawes arise from bad man­ners: It is to be imagined that the Presence of the Clergie, and As­sistance of the Presbyters (who were the Bishops Coassessors, and from the beginning were appointed Judges of causes as himself dothIbid. p. 177. acknowledge) was neglected; and this neglect gave occasion to the making of this Canon. What is by the Fathers in this Synod decreed concerning the Cognizance of causes in generall, is afterward (for that Councell was held about the year 401.) bySi quid de quo­cun (que) clerico ad aures tuas per­venerit, quod is justè possit effendere, non faci­lè credas; nec ad vindictam te ret accendat in­cognita, sed praesentitus senioribus ecclesiae tuae diligenter est veritas perscrutanda, & tunc si qualttas rei poposcerit, canonica districtio cul­pam scriat delinquentis. Greg. regist. epist li. 11. indict. 6. epist. 49. prout citatur apud Grat. sed in edit. eper Greg. an. 1615. est epist. 51. ad I [...] ­han. Episc. Panermit. Gregory the Great mentioned and commanded in particular to be observed in the cause of a Presbyter, against whom accusations are brought, or fame is raised; for he commands the Bishop to whom he writes that in such cases he should in the presence of the Seniors of the Church make diligent inquirie into the matter, and then proceed to a Canonicall censure as the qualitie of the crime should require: YeaIn epist. ad Cler. Eccles. Tornac. apud Cat. test. verit. l. 9. col. 1000. Hincma­rus the Archbishop of Rhemes prescribeth the same course to be followed, citing the very words of Gregorie for it. I will onely touch on some Canonicall Constitutions which have regulated the power of the Bishops in point of Jurisdiction over the Presbyters. Who so will take the pains to consultCaus. 15. q. 7. Cap. 1. Gratian, the Compiler of the Canon Law shall finde sundry Canons of more then one Councell of Carthage (to wit, Carthag. 1. can. 11. & Concil. Carthag. 2. c. 10. & Concil. Carthag. 3. can. 8.) ordaining that in case any crime were objected against a Presbyter, the cause should be heard by sixe Bi­shops, the cause of a Deaon accused, should be heard by three, be­sides his own Bishop. This order in one of those Councels is thus ra­tified,Carth. 2. can. 10. [Page 52] [...] [Page 53] [...] [Page 54] Ab universis episcopis dictum est; veterum statut [...] â nobis debere servari. It was said by all the Bishops, that we ought to ob­serve the statutes of the ancient Fathers. Whereunto may be added this, that when in the Councell of Hispalis complaints were made that this rule was broken, it was by the Fathers in that Synod orde­red thatStatutum est juxta priscorum Pa [...]rum decre­tum. synodati sententia, quod nollus fine concilii exam ne dejiciendum quemtibet presbyterum, vel Diaconum au leat. Na [...] multi suni qui indis­cussos potestate tyrannica, non au [...]boritate ca­nonica damaant. Syn. Hisp. a. act. 6. Cent. Magd. cent. 7. cap. 2. col. 142. no Bishop should presume to put down a Presbyter or Deacon without ex­amination before a Councell. The contrary practice of some was adjudged to be the exercise of a tyrannicall power, not of Ca­nonicall authority. I will not tire your pa­tience with repetition of the same decree revived and confirmed in anotherConcil. Tribu. an. 895. cā. [...]. ap. Cent. Magd. cen. 9. c. 9. co [...]. 262. Councell almost 900. yeares after Christ. Only this I will adde; that, This ancient order of the Councell and consent of six Bi­shops in the case of a Presbyters deposition from his place, was not neglected by any regular allowance, untill the Apostasie of Anti­christ so far prevailed, that the Gospel in the sincere and Orthodoxe Profession thereof was persecuted under the name of heresie. In this case Gregory the ninth (whose Decretals were published, an. 1230.) gave aQuaniam E­piscoporum un­merus ad degra dationem Clericorum a Canonibus constitutus, non p [...]est de socili convenire: Concedtmus ut sacerdotem, vel alium clericum in sacris ordini­bus constitutum (cum pro heresi suerit curiae se­aulari relinquendus aut perpetuò immurand [...]) [...]onvocatis Abbatibus, altis (que) praelatis ac Reli­giosis personis, ac literatis s [...] Diocesis, de qui­bus expedire videbatur, suus solus possit Epis [...]opiu degradase. Sext. decret lib 5. tit. 2. ca. 1. dispensation, that the Diocesan Bishop alone in the pre­sence of his Abbots with some Priests and other religious or learned persons of the Diocesse might proceede to the sentence. In all cases heresie excepted, the foremen­tioned Ordinances of a Synodall audience for the Deposition of a Presbyter stood in force in succeeding ages, as that learned CanonistInstit. Iur. Can. lib. 1. tit. 20. Paulus Lancelotus hath obser­ved. By this which hath been spoken let the indifferent and impartiall Reader judge of the practices of our Prelates, how strangely exorbitant, that I say not tyrannicall in a ve­ry high degree they have been, in their proceedings, and execution of that Jurisdiction which they have usurped.

Excommunication is another branch of Jurisdiction, which is claimed also by the Bishops as properly belonging unto them.Davenant, abi. supra. Mucro e­piscopalis, & fulmen epis­ [...]opale. They tell us this Ecclesiasticall censure was alwaies accounted the Bishops sword, and the Bishops thunderbolt: and indeed since they have ta­ken the power thereof into their hands, and as they have managed [Page 55]it, it hath been an Episcopall thunderbolt, that is to say, brutum ful­men, a thunderbolt which doth neither fright nor hurt any; the de­nuntiation of this sentence, being much corrupted (that I say not quite altered) from the practice of the Apostles, and the Church in former dayes, when no punishment was imposed without great la­mentation of the multitude, and greater of the better sort, saith theLib. 4. p. 330. Author of the History of the Councell of Trent; which he doth prove from those expressions of the Apostle,1 Cor. 5. Ye have not lamen­ted, to separate such an one from among you. And2 Cor. 12. I feare that at my coming I shall lament many of those who have sinned before. But as for those amongst us which have challenged this power, and ta­ken it into their hands, they have rather carried themselves like Sa­lomons foole or mad-man, which casteth arrowes, firebrands and death, and yet saith, Am I not in sport. Concerning this, you are not ignorant what Hierome said of old,Presbytero li­cet, si peccave­ro, tradere me Satanae. in Ep. ad Heliod. A Presbyter may deliver me to Satan if I offend. However this power hath been by the Prelates wrested out of the hands of Presbyters, yet there have not been wanting those, who, when Prelates were in the height of all their pride, and darted out their thunderbolts as it pleased them, have maintained that the power of denouncing and executing that sen­tence did belong to the Presbyters. I will only produce a witnesse or two in this, and proceed.Defensor pacis part. 2. cap. 15. pag. 256. Marsilius Patavinus disputing concer­ning the order of Priesthood, or of a Presbyter (for they are all one) and the power of the Keyes to binde and loose, observeth out of the forementioned Father, the Church hath these Keyes in the Presby­ters and Bishops, and gives this reason why Hierome speaking of this power of the Keyes, doth mention Presbyters before the Bi­shops,Preponens in boc pretbyteros, quoniam au­thoritas baec d [...]betur presbytero in quantum presbyter, primò & secundum quod ipsum. because this authoritie belongs to a Presbyter as a Presbyter primarily and properly. From the same Authour I first tooke notice of this,Cap 6 pag. 165 in init. albeit Timothy (a Bishop as our Hierarchists say) was then at Corinth when the Apostle gives charge to excom­municate the incestuous person, yet we heare not a word of com­mand to the Bishop to doe it, but a mandate unto others. When ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of the Lord Je­sus Christ, to deliver such an one unto Satan. The charge is given to the Presbyters of Corinth, it was not the act of one, but of 2 Cor 2.6. many who did denounce and execute the sentence on him. Had it been [Page 56]proper to a Bishop St Paul would not have so much forgotten him­self, as to lay the blame and burthen upon others, and omit the men­tion of him. I finde also thatGlos. in caus. 2 q. 1. ca. 11. verbo Excommuni­cet. Ecclesiarum praelati de jure communi pos­sunt excommunicare, licet episcopi jam prae­scripserint contra multos praelatos. Bartholo­maeus Brixniensis and Johannes Semeca both Glossators of the Canon Law, doe maintaine and prove even out of it, that by right Presbyters may excommunicate, though the Bishops by cu­stome and Prescription have taken the power out of their hands. The same Interpreters of the Canon Law agree in this also.Non debet Episcopus revocare sententias ex­communicationis justè lat as ab eorum praelatis, sine corum consensit. Gloss. in dist. 50. cap 64. verb. injungere. A Bi­shop ought not to revoke the sentence of excommunication which a Priest hath on just ground pronounced, without the Priests consent which did pronounce it.

By this which hath been spoken, it is evident I hope, that though there were a Primacy granted, yet at first the Bishop had no Supe­rioritie of power, much lesse was the power of Ordination or Juris­diction put into his hands alone: you are not ignorant that Calvin, Bucer, Bullinger, and Zanchie have maintained that the Bishop was at first no other then a President of the Presbytery, his Act and Office in their meeting, as of the Consul in the Senate, to propound matters, to gather votes, and declare the resolutions of the Presby­terie: With what scorn this is rejected by our Episcopall Monarches you all know, as if they were the meere fancies of Calvins braine, and the testimonie of the rest (which confirme their assertions by pregnant passages out of antiquitie) slighted, because they are Disci­plinarians of the Geneva cut. If Protestant Divines be not regar­ded, let us see whether the judgement of a Fryer, and consent of a Jesuite, will be of more weight with our Prelates, there is good rea­son to expect it, considering that Papists and Prelates were so linked together in their votes, (whilest they had any) Jesuites and Bishops are at this day (as all the world seeth) so neerly conjoyned in their designes. The Fryer is Petrus Suavis that Historian of note, who discoursing at large touching the Originall of Episcopall power, and Church censures, as they were anciently administred, tels us,Hist. of the Councell of Trent. lib. 4. p. [...]3 [...]. The judgement of the Church, as is necessary in every multitude was to be conducted by one, who should preside and guide the action, pro­pose the matters, and collect the points to be consulted on. This care due to the more principall and worthy person, was alwayes commit­ted [Page 57]to the Bishop. Judge now, I pray you, Fathers and Brethren, whether this be any more then to be a President of the Presbyterie, or Senate Ecclesiasticall. How the Bishops power came afterwards to be ampliated, you shall there finde set forth to the full; the passa­ges are all of them too large for me to repeat, or transcribe; they are worth his reading that shall take paines to peruse them. I shall only mention one,Ibid. pa. 331. The goodnesse and charity of the Bishops (mark this, I pray you, he doth not say the Superioritie and power, but the goodnesse and charity of the Bishops) made their opinion for the most part to be followed, and by little and little was the cause that the Church, charity waxing cold, and not regarding the charge laid upon them by Christ, did leave the care to the Bishop; and ambition a witty passion, which doth insinuate it selfe in the shew of vertue, did cause it to be readily embraced. This and much more that Fryer in the same place. The Jesuite is Salmeron, who expoun­ding the words of the Apostle to Titus, I left thee in Creete to or­dain Elders in every City, positively affir­methNec hoc loco permisit Paulus Tito ut praefi [...]i­at omnibus ecclesiis ministros: baec enim regia esset potestas, & ju [...] eligendi tolleretur ecclesi­is,& Pastorum collegto judicium adimeretur. Sed hoc tantum jubet Apostotus ut omnibus ele­ctionibus praesit tanquam moderator, & electos orat [...]one, jejunio, & impositione manuum con­secrare [...], u [...] habes, Act. 6. 13, 14. Ob id enim Titum priùs à se ordinatum Episcopum reli­quit, ut alios ipse constitueret: sicut d [...]itur Consul aut Dictator Consutes alios creasse, quia Comitia de eis eligendis babuerunt, Salm. in Tit. 1 disp. 1. Paul did not in that place permit Titus alone to set Ministers over the Churches, for this were to invest him with a Kingly power, and by this meanes the right of Election should be taken a­way from the Churches, and the judge­ment should be taken away from the Col­ledge of Pastors. But the Apostle doth on­ly command him this that he should be President at all elections as a Moderator, that he should by prayer, fasting, and Im­position of hands consecrate those that were chosen, as the Apostles themselves did, Act. 6.13, 14. For this cause did he leave Titus, or­dained a Bishop formerly, that he should ordain others, as the Con­sul or Dictator is said to create Consuls, because they held the Co­mitia, the Assemblies for the election and creation of them. This being a truth so cleare, confirmed, as you see, by testimonies on all hands, I wonder with what face it is spoken against,Episc. by div. right. pa. 120. and another passage out of Hicrome, Tanquam imperator in exercitu, as the Generall in the Army, brought in obtorto collo quite against the haire. For Hierome In Epist. ad Evagr. in that place speaks not concerning the power [Page 58]which the Bishop had over the Presbyters, but concerning the man­ner of his prelation, to wit, by the free election of the Presbyters of Alexandria, who did choose one out of their own company, whom they placed in an higher degree, and called Bishop. This forme of prelation, by election, he doth there illustrate by two examples, 1.Quomodo si exercitus impe­ratorem sactat, aut Diacone eligant de se quem industri­um noverint, & Arcbidiaconum vocent. ibid. Of souldiers in an army making choise of a Generall and Com­mander in chiefe over them; but the Father doth not say the Bishop carried himselfe as a Generall in an army, or had power given him answerable to the power of a Generall. Nay on the contrary he tels the Bishops in plain termes theySicut ergo Presbyteri sciunt se ex ecclesiae consuetudine, ei qui sibi praepositus suerit sub­jectos esse: ita Epis [...]opi nover [...] so magis con­suetudine, quam dispositionis Domini [...]ae verita­te Presby [...]e [...]u esse majores: & in communi de­bere Ecclesiam regere: in Epist ad Titum. ca. 1. ought to governe the Church by the common counsell of the Presbyters, above whom they are by the custome of the Church ad­vanced. 2. He instanceth in the fact of Deacons, making choise of one whom they know to be industrious, and set him to be Arch-deacon over them. This latter passage is cunningly omitted, the former misalleadged and fraudulently perverted, because the one cuts the comb of Epis­copall Dominion, the other, as it is wrested, seemeth at first sight to uphold or favour it. Indeed the execution of Martiall Law hath well pleased them which are now turned Martialists. It is too well known how they have hang'd up Ministers ad placitum at their pleasure, by their suspensions, excommunications, deprivations,Conc. Hisp. 2. act. 6. ap. cent. Magd [...]cent. 7. cap 9. by a tyrannicall power, not canonicall authority, as was complained of old against some Prelates, in the second Councell of Hispalis. But ab initio non fuit sic, from the beginning it was not so. The Colledge of Presbyters granted unto the Bishop the chiefest seat in their publike meetings, and gave honour to him as to their Senior, and he was commanded to carry himself towards them as toward his Colleagues, by theEpiscopus in quolibet loco sedens stare Pres­terum non patiatur, Conc Carth. 4. can. 34. E­piscopus in ecclesia & consessu presbuterorum sublimior sedeat, Intra domum verò collegam se Presbyterorum cognoscat. can. 35. ap Grat dist. 95. Canons of the fourth Councell of Carthage, unto which Canons registred by Gratian this Summarie or ti­tle is prefixed,Episcopus non dominum, sed Collegam se presby [...]erorum cognoseat Let the Bishop know that he is not a Lord over, but Colleague of the Presbyters. In this regard in the same Ca­nonist, theEpiscopi se sacerdotes esse noverint non do­minos, bonorent clericos quasi clericos, ut & it sis à clericis quasi episcopis honos. eseratur, Grat. dist 95. ca. Es [...]o subjectus ex Hier. ad Nepot. epist. 2. Bishops are commanded to ho­nour their Clergy as Clergy-men, that so [Page 59]the Clergy may reciprocally honour them as their Bishops. And the forementionedHoc est contra supercilium Episcoporum, qui subdiros appellant si [...]ios, cum debeant cos appel. lare fratres. Caus. 8. q. 1. cap. Quid autem. vol soci [...]s caus. 10 q. 3. cap. Cavendum. Gloss. in verb. quasi clerices. Glossator Semeca hath observed that this doth sharply reprove the pride of those Bishops who account them their subjects and underlings, whom they ought to reckon of and call their bre­thren, and companions.

Last of all, when the Bishop began to be distinguished in name from the Presbyters, and the forementioned Presidentship and Priority was granted him, yet was he not thereby advanced to an order distinct from, and superior to the order of Presbyters, but only to an higher degree in that Order. This is cleare by this, that at the first distinction of a Bishop from the Presbyters, there was no new consecration or ordination of the Bishop. Antonius de Dominis, a man Prelaticall enough, doth confesse, induced thereunto by the cleare testimonie of Ambrose, De rep. eccl. lib. 3. cap. 3. n. 2. at the beginning, whensoever a Bi­shop dyed, and the Episcopall throne was vacant, there was not so much as an election of him that was to succeed (much lesse any new ordination) but the eldest Presbyter came prosently in the roome of the deceased Bishop. The words of Ambrose are expresse for it.Primi pretby­teri Episcopi appellabautur, ut recedente co, sequent ei suc­cederet. in 4 ca. ad Eph. The first Presbyters were called Bishops, so as that when he (to wit the first or eldest Presbyter) departed, the next did succeed him. Thus it was at first, the reason why this order was changed, that Episcopacie should be conferred by Election, not by Succession, is there given by the same Father.Quia caperunt sequentes Presbyteri indigul inveniri ad primatus tenendes, immatata est ratio, prospiciente Concilie, ut non ordo sed me­ritum crearet Episcopum, multerum Sacerdo­tum judlcio constitutum, ne indigum temer [...] usurparer, & esset multis scanlalum. id. ibid. Because the Presbyters which followed were found unworthy to hold that Primacy, the man­ner of prelation was purposely changed, that worth not order should make a Bi­shop, being appointed by the judgement of many Presbyters, lest an unworthy person should rashly usurpe the place and honour, and so prove scandalous to many. Yet did he that was named the Bishop remain still a Pres­byter, as the samePost Episcopum diaconi ordinationem subji­cit. Quare? nisi quia Episcopi & diaconi una ordinatio est, uter (que) enim est sacerdes, sed Epis­copus primus; ut omnis Episcopus Presbyter sit, non omnis Presbyter Episcopus Hic enim Epis­copus est, qui inter Presbyteres primus. Ambr. in [...] Tim. cap. 3. Ambrose testifieth, though he was accounted the Bishop who was the first of the Presbyters, and in that respect the chiefest. As for the Bishops of Alexandria, they had no other Ordination [Page 60]then the free election of their Presbyters, as is evident from the for­merly alleadged passages ofIn Epist. ad Evagr. Hierome. Whence our learned and la­borious Willet doth acknowledge,Syn. Papis. cont. 5. q. 3. p. 177. the speciall consecration of Bi­shops was ordained only for the dignitie of that calling. So that what was in the first institution of it devised and ordained meerly for the dignitie and honour of that Episcopall function, that isEpisc. by div. light. pag. 105. now made use of as an argument to prove from thence a distinction of order. In a wordDe Invent. ver. l. 4. cap. 6. p. 276. Polydore Virgil doth confesse, that anciently in the conse­crating of a Bishop, there were no other ceremonies then these that the people met together to give their testimonie and suffrage in the Election, both Ministers and people did pray, and the Presbyters gave imposition of hands. Which doth manifestly prove that both Bishop and Presbyter were one order not distinct, even then when there was in some respects a difference made between them. And long after this distinction began,Iohannes Pa­risiensis in lib. depotestate re­g [...] & Papali, quem So [...]bona approbavit, assicaat Presbyte­ros non esse Pontisiribus inferiores, quod ad es­sentralem ministerii dignitatem attinet. Id (que) consirmat ratione hac, quod eorum ordinatio conslet iisdem verbis quibus & Episcooporum, & Apostolorum, viz. Accipite Sp sanctam. & Quodcun (que) tigaveritis in terra, erit ligatum in c [...]. [...]. Teste D. Plesseo libd [...] eccl. ca 12. p 252. Johannes Parisiensis in a treatise of his concerning the power of the King and of the Pope (which was approved by the Sorbon of Paris) maintains that Pres­byters are not inferior to Bishops, which he doth prove by this, they have one and the same ordination, as that noble French­man Philip Morney hath observed. Now admit we yeeld unto our Hierarchists, that the Angel here spoken of is in the forementioned sense and kinde a Bishop, the Senior of the Presbyters, and President of the Presbyterie, asIn locum. Beza taketh it, andConference with Hart, ch. 8. div. 3. p. 535. Doctor Reinolds, whose judgement of this place the Archbishop of Armagh hath published with some additions of his own out of antiquity; yet what is all this to a Bishop in order distinguished from, and superior in power to the Presbyters. Our learned country­man Dr Reinolds doth not say, that this Angel or President of the Presbyterie was such a Bishop, nor doth the Reverend Primate of Armagh say that he was of a different order; but only that the name of Bishop was limited to him that had the Presidentship. Who that was hath been expressed before by the clear testimonie of Ambrose, to which Austin doth agree,Tom. 4. quest. exutroq. mix­t [...]m cap. 101. saying, Quid est episcopus, nisi primus Presbyter, hoc est summus sacerdos? Much lesse doth Dr Reinolds affirme that he which had the President [...]hip had it by divine right, or undertake to prove or inferre from hence a distinction in Order [Page 61]between a Bishop and a Presbyter by the word of God; for if so he should contradict himself, having expressed his judgement to the contrary, and proved it both by Scriptures, and by variety of other authorsIn his letter to Sir Francis Knollys, which was reprinted about the same time that the Archbishop of Armagh publi­shed this piece of Dr Reinolds with his own Additions. Whether this be not a weak inference, or rather a strange Non sequitur; The Angel of Ephesus was a President of the Presby­terie of Ephesus, therefore he was a Bishop differenced in order from and superior in power to the Presbyters of Ephesus, let any reasona­ble man judge. It is well known that the Speakers of both Houses of Parliament are Presidents, as it were, yet not by their Presidentship advanced to an higher order, the one is a Peere, the other a Com­moner, though as Speakers they are in some sort differenced from the Peeres and Commons. The Prolocutor in a Convocation as it stood formerly was by order a Clarke, and no more, though as Pro­locutor he had a Presidentship over the Clarks of the Convocation. Such was the preeminence of him that was President of the Presby­tery. In which regard Beza, though he grant the Angel here to be the President, yet might justly and on good ground maintain,Hinc statui episcopalis ille gradus posteae humanltùs in ecclesiam Dei invectus, certè nec potest nec debet. Beza in loc. that from hence that Episcopall degree, which was afterwards by men brought into the Church of God, neither may nor ought to be esta­blished.

Thus have you, Fathers and Brethren, some of my thoughts con­cerning this argument of Episcopacie, contracted into as narrow a compasse as I could. Wherein I have endeavoured to prove, that the Angel in my text is not a Bishop distinct from a Presbyter in Order, Office, and fixed Superiority, and so to disprove their Institution de Jure divino. Concerning which their pretended originall, I cannot but assent unto the judgement of a learned Divine amongst us, one that is well known to be a man of great reading, and insight in anti­quity, as also to be no Puritan,M. S. deschis­mate. They but abuse themselves and others, that would perswade us that Bishops by Christs Institution have any Superioritie over other men, farther then of reverence, or that any Bishop is superior to another further then positive order agreed upon amongst Christians hath prescribed. For we have be­leeved him that taught us, that in Christ Jesus there is neither high nor low, and in giving honour every man should preserre ano­ther before himself: which sayings most excellently cut off all claim to superiority, by title of Christianity, except we can think these things were spoken to poore and private men. Nature and Religion [Page 62]agree in this, that neither of them hath an hand in this heraldry of Secundum, sub & supra. All this comes from composition and agree­ment of men amongst themselves. Wherfore this abuse of Christia­nity, to make it a Lackey to ambition, is a vice for which I have no extraordinary name of Ignominie, and an ordinary I will not give it, lest you should take so transcendent a vice to be but triviall. Thus the forementioned Divine clearly overthrowing their superio­rity by Divine right; from which if our Prelaticall men be beaten, let them not wonder that they should be cashiered as Usurpers and Intruders. For, not to insist on their doome out of the book of God, we will be content to take them at their owne word, if they dare stand to it, and let them have their option. You know what a Bravado the Humble Remonstrant hath made, as being willing to put it to this issue, if they be not able to prove their Divine Insti­tution, they are content to be hissed out of all Christian Congre­gations. The like brag and challenge is made by a lateBishop Hall, part. 2. §. 10. p. 129. Patron of Episcopacie, who seemeth to be very neere of kinne to the Remon­strant in confidence and silken language. As for continuance in their places and dignities Jure humano by the Law of man. First, of all they scorne (you see, and all the world knowes it) that tenure, and therefore it is not fit that they should have the benefit of it. Second­ly, Though they should be willing to stick to it, yet it is neither con­venient nor necessary, that they should here plead custome and pre­scription, at leastwise that the plea should be in force inviolably a­gainst an alteration. Ludovicus Arelatensis in his speech against Panormitan in the Councell of Basil having proved out of the Fa­thers that by the Word of God there is no difference between a Bi­shop and a Presbyter, hath foretold theSi pront Hie­ronymo placet, Episcopt sunt sola confuetudi­ne praelati pres. byteris, uti (que) fie ri potest ut con­suetudinem tol­tat contraria consuetudo. Aen. Syl lib. [...] de gest. con [...] Ba­sil. ap Orth. Gra. in fascia rer. ex­pet. fol. 12. Possibility of changing this frame of government brought into the Church meerly by custome. Especially when the inconveniencies of that custome, which came in by degrees, and was embraced at first under a plausible pretence of good and benefit, shall be discovered, and the burthen of it be­come insufferable. This is that which Beza doth intimate upon my text, that the [...] or President should not have been perpe­tuall; howeverBishop Hall, loc. cit p. 125. one of late looking on his words with an Episco­pall paire of spectacles, blesseth himselfe at the reading of them, as if some foul feind or other did fright him, threatning to pull the Mytre off his head, the Rochet off his backe, and wrest the Crozier [Page 63]Staffe out of his hands. Let the impartiall and unprejudicated Rea­der peruse hisImòne perpe­tuum quidem i­stud [...] munm esse necessariò oportuisse, sicut exortae inde [...]yrannis ol [...]garchica (oujus apex est Anti­cbristians bestia) certissima cuns totius non ec­clesiae [...]do, s [...]d [...] [...]rbis pernicie, nunc tandem declarat. Bez. in Ap [...]c. 2.1. words, and if I mistake not, you will finde no more but this, he shewes by the evil consequents which followed, viz. the tyrannie of Pre­lates, and promotion of Antichrist, to the ruine of the Church and confusion of the whole world almost, which followed upon that perpetuall Presidentship, that it should not have been perpetu­all; he doth not question whether it were perpetuall or not, nor say it was not, as the Prelate doth wrest his words; but saith it appea­reth now at length it ought not to have been, for as much as it pro­ved in the end of such dangerous consequence, and so pernitious un­to both Church and States. If on the fore-mentioned, and other grounds which might be named, we all agree to renounce it, and cast it off, we herein doe no more, then what we have a dispensation for from a great Master of the ceremonies (yet one whom for his lear­ning, and elaborate paines against the Papists I shall ever honour) who, having maintained the Position of Protestants concerning the indistinction of a Bishop and Presbyter by the Word of God, by the testimonies of Papists themselves (as his usuall course is) and vindi­cated it from the imputation of Aerianisme and HeresicAbsit ut prax­in Ecclesiasti­cam, quae ad tol­lendum schisma instituta suit, per schisma per­runpere veli­mus, & non po­tiùs cam sancte & humiliter colamus: dum­modo (quod in esclesia vestr [...] Patres conci [...] ­orum gravitèr dolebant) schis­matis remedium non pariat ve­nenum tyranni­dis Mortō. Apo. Cath. lib. 1. cap. 33. in sine., doth in­deed dislike a schismaticall opposition against Episcopacy, and the practise of the Church therein, desiring it should be observed holily and with humility, yet with this Proviso, So that the remedie of schisme doe not produce the poyson of tyrannie. So that by his own concession, when once the remedie is turned into poyson, and so be­come not only as bad, but also worse then the disease, it is then by all means lawfull and possible to be expelled. If this satisfie not, but our Hierarchists will still quarrell and complaine of schisme, faction and disorderly proceedings; I shall return them the same answer which Dr Bilson, a man sufficiently Hierarchicall, gives the Jesuites, who complained that matters of Religion were in Queene Elizabeths dayes established by a Lay-Parliament (who were not to meddle with Church affaires) without consent of the Prelates and their popish Clergie.D [...]ffer. betvv. Christ. subject. & unchrist. re­bell. part. 3. p. 299. caii. Lond. an. 1586. The Christian Princes, take which you will, that first received, and after wards restored the faith in their Empires and Kingdomes, tyed not themselves to the voyces and suffrages of their Clergie which were in present possession of their Churches, [Page 64]but eft-times removed them without counsell or common consulta­tion. And a little after, Why restraine you truth to the assemblies and sentences of Popes and Prelates, as though they must be gently entreated and fairely offered by Christ, before he might attempt or should recover his own. When the Jesuites reply, We would have things done in order. The Doctor returneth them this answer, Call you that order where Christ shall stand without doores till your Clergie consent to bring him in? Afterwards, when the Jesuites urge a Commission and lawfull authoritie;Pag 300. He that is sent to preach (saith the Doctor) may not hold his tongue till my Lord the Pope (you may thinke if you please on him, who would faine be re­invested in that title, which once his Predecessor had, being accoun­ted, alterius orbis Papa, the Pope of the other world) and his mytred fathers can intend to meet, and list to consent to the ruine, as they coceive, of their dignities & liberties. Despise you Councels? say the Jesuites:Pag. 301. By no meanes, saith the Dr, so long as they be Councels, that is sober & free conferences of learned & godly teachers: but if they waxe wanton against Christ, and will not have truth recei­ved till they have consented, which is the disposition of our Prelates and their adherents at this day, we reject them as conspiracies of the wicked, which no Christian ought to reverence. Thus farre Doctor Bilson. The conclusion of Clemangiis in his complaint of the exorbitancies of Prelates shall close up my discourse,Tract. de Prae­ [...]ulib. Sim. in sine. p. 166. Expergisee­re Domine tandem aliquando; Awake, O Lord, at length, looke downe upon us, pitty us and visit thy Church with thy salvation. Heale her, for there is none but thou canst cure her, Powre into her wounds the wine of reproofe, and oyle of consolation. Take thy fanne into thy hand, and throughly purge thy floore which is contaminated with so great, and such impure defilements. Purge thy vineyard which is exceedingly over-growne with thornes. Make as of old a whip of small cords, drive the money-changers out of the Temple, cast out the buyers and sellers, and exterminate out of the limits of thy Church all the wicked merchants, unlesse they repent, amend and reforme; Smite the Gehazites with lepro­sie. Cast downe and dash in pieces the Simonites, with their master Simon, which are flowne so high, and by the ministerie of Satan mounted up, so that none can pull them down unlesse thou be pleased to doe it. Or if we must have an English Letanie to be used in all [Page 65]Collegiate and Cathedrall Churches and Chappels seeing our Pre­lates are grown so brazen-faced as to tell us, their Jurisdiction is no other but charitable,Episc. by div. right, p. 137. as charitie managed the censures before so charitie doth it still; (yet I think you all know, and so doe others also, that their proceedings have been so charitable, that we may truly say of them, what onceNon ambigimus de rugitu Leonu [...], quando vi­derimus Principes ecclesie ita in subditos po­pulos detonare, & vo [...]e tyrannica plebem conte­rere ut non pastore mingrege, sed Leonem inter oviculas putes frendere. Hier. in Zeph. 3. Hierome did of the Bishops in his dayes, they were more like to Lions roaring among the sheep, then like shep­herds set over the flock; or what Didacus Stella of the Prelates in his time, when in charitie they have come to visit,Non eo ten lust animo (Praelati ad visitan­dum dioecesos suos) ut infirmis medeantur, nec ut same pereuntes alique auxilio rest aurentur, sed ut eos exeuterent & diviscerent. Admodum similes bi praelati sunt reorum custodibus, qui damnatos & in carcere detentos visitant, non ut aliquod solatii gonzs eis praestent, sed ut do­lorem augeant, catenas at (que) compedes fortiùs comprimendo. It a nimirùm, &c. Enar. in Luc. tom. 2. in cap. 10. p. 5. edit. Antwerp. an. 1622. they come as the Jaylor doth to visit his Priso­ners, that he may extort his sees, see whe­ther they be fast bound or not, and to lay more bolts on their heeles) were I fit to give advice to so grave and learned an As­semblie, I should desire this might be one branch of the Letanie, if we have any: From Papall tyrannie, and Prelates Charitie, Good Lord deliver us. With this directo­rie; Let all the people say, Amen.



PAge 3. in marg. [...]. ibid lin. ult. Clement. lege Clemangiis. p. 4. line 7. licae. [...] loco. p. 14. l. 23 Hierodantia. l. Hierodoulia. p. 18. in morg. [...]. ibid. lia. 14 [...]. p. 24. l. 26. Kingdome in. l. Kingdome of Hea­ven in. ib. in m [...]rg. San. l. Sum. lb. lin. 30. because they are, they hold, l. because they hold p. 38. l. 12. doth necessarily, l. doth not necessarily.

As for the rest, if there be any literall mistakes or such like errours, the cour­teous Reader will e [...]ly observe and correct them.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. Searching, reading, printing, or downloading EEBO-TCP texts is reserved for the authorized users of these project partner institutions. Permission must be granted for subsequent distribution, in print or electronically, of this EEBO-TCP Phase II text, in whole or in part.