THE CYPRIANICK-BISHOP Examined, and Found not to be a DIOCESAN, Nor to have Superior Power to A Parish Minister, or PRESBYTERIAN MODERATOR: Being an ANSWER to J. S. his Principles of the CYPRIANICK-AGE, With Regard to Episcopal Power & Jurisdiction.

TOGETHER WITH An APPENDIX, In ANSWER to a Railing Preface to a BOOK, Entituled, The Fundamental Charter of PRESBYTERY.

By GILBERT RƲLE, one of the Ministers of the City, and Principal of the Colledge, of Edinburgh.

EDINBƲRGH, Printed by the Heirs and Successors of Andrew Anderson, Printer to His most Excellent Majesty, Anno Dom. 1696.


OF this Controversie about Episcopacy, the Learned Vitringa, de Synagog. vet. lib. 2. C. 2. P. 474. hath this Observation; à quo tempore Ecclesia Re­formati nominis, secessionem fecit à Pontificia Romana, & diversam recepit regiminis formam, tantopere praeferbuit litibus, de vero typo Regimi­nis Ecclesiae, ut nulla controversia fere eruditorum calamos tam diu, tam seriò, & pertinaciter, & tanto utrinque stu­dio & contentione, & vincendi tam spe, quam desiderio, exer­cuerit, atque haec ipsa. It also hath long divided the Church in these Nations, and seemeth, in our days, to be further from Accom­modation, than ever: Presbyterians, on the one Hand, growing daily more and more clear, and confident, that Parity is of Divine Institution, and cannot lawfully be changed, tho' mean while, they have Charity to good Men who are otherwise minded: and some of our Episcopal Brethren, on the other side, beginning to talk higher for a Jus Divinum to be for Prelacy, than their Predecessors did: and counting all the Societies of Christians which are without Bishops, to be no Churches of Christ, but a Company of damnable Schismaticks; among whom there can be no Salvation: if these men be for Peace, let any judge. But it is unaccountable, that in a Matter that Salvation does so much depend upon, in their Opinion, they should lay so much stress (as they commonly do) on the Opinions of Men, and the Testimo­nies of the antient Church: seing, 1. All, except Papi [...]s, agree, that Matters of Faith, and which Salvation dependeth on, must be deter­mined only by Scripture: and that God speaking in his Word, is [Page] the only Judge in such Controversies. Secondly, The Fathers them­selves plead for this, and disown both each himself, and one another as either Judge, or sufficient Witness in such Debates: Optat. Mi­levit. contra Parmen. lib. 5. de Coelo quaerendus est judex, sed ut quid pulsamus ad Coelum cum habeamus hic in Evangelio Testa­mentum. Jerom in a Debate with August. had cited seven Fathers for his Opinion, and craved leave to err, (if he did err) with so many Learned Doctors, to whom Augustine replyed, ipse mihi pro his omnibus, imò supra hos omnes, Apostolus Paulus occurit, ad ipsum confugio, ad ipsum omnes qui aliud sentiunt provoco, &c. Augustin. Hieron. Ep. 19. the same August. Ep. 3. Fortunatiano. Neque enim (saith he) quorumlibet disputationes quamvis Ca­tholicorum, & laudatorum hominum velut Scripturas Canonicas ha­bere debemus, ut nobis non liceat salva honorificentia, quae illis debetur, aliquid contra &c. and Tom. 2. Ep. 112. Paulinae: nun­quid ullo modo Evangelio nos comparabis, aut scripta nostra (he speaketh of himself and Ambrose) Scripturis Canonicis coaequabis? Profecto si recte in judicando sapis, longe nos infra vides ab illa authoritate distare. Yea, in particular, this mark of Insufficiency to prove a Divine Truth, is set on Cyprian's Authority, by Augustine, l. 2. contra Crescon. cap. 32. Hujus Epistolae authoritate ego non teneor; quia literas Cypriani non ut Canonicas habeo. Et ibid. c. 31. Nos nullam Cypriano facimus injuriam, cum ejus quaslibet literas à Cano­nonica divinarum literarum authoritate distinguimus. Thirdly, It is observable, that even the Affrican Fathers, after Cyprian, do not speak so high of Episcopal Praelation, as Cyprian doth; as Augu­stine, Cited in the Book it self, his secundum honorum vocabula, and usus obtinuit; are two considerable Diminutives, and derogate the one from the Degree of Episcopal Authority, the other from the Perpetuity and Divine Right of it. And Primasius Uticensis cal­leth the Presbyterate, secundus, & penè unus Gradus cum Episco­patu; sicut multis Scripturarum Testimoniis comprobatur. In Tim. 1. C. 3. Now these two Affrican Bishops could not but know Cy­prian's mind, and therefore they either differed from him in this [Page] Matter, or (which I rather think) Cyprian used higher, and more keen Expressions, for the same things, and that out of a pecu­liar Zeal, that he had for the Dignity of the Church; and to mag­nifie his Office. Fourthly, It is evident that the Antient Bishops, and other Divines, when they gave Marks of the True Church, brought them always from the Scripture, not from Humane Testimo­ny. August. Ep. 50. Bonifacio Comiti: in Sanctis Libris ubi manifestatur Dominus Christus, ibi & ejus Ecclesia declaratur: Where also he Chargeth them with Wonderful Blindness, who seek Christ in the Scripture, and the Church in Humane Writings. Also Cyprian. Ep. Coecilio; and in that to Pompeius, proveth that we must follow Christ and his written Word only, as our Rule, and not old Customs and Practices. The same thing Gerson proveth, in a Sermon before the Pope, and asserteth that the Scripture is sufficient for the Government of the Church: and calleth it Blasphemy to say, that it can be better done by mens Inventions. Fifthly, The Antient Bishops (even such of them as were Holy and Humble,) might have too high Thoughts of their own Praelation, and too much Inclination to greaten it. That Temper appeared among the Apostles, while Christ was with them. Great Corruptions in the Church have Insensibly had their Beginning from Good and Zealous Men. Sixthly, Many Famous and Learned Bishops, much later than these called Fathers, and yet before the Reformation from Popery, held that Bishops and Presbyters were by Divine Institution every way one, so Anselm Arch-Bishop of Canterbury on Philip. 1. and Tit. 1. Rich. Armachan. in quaest. Armenorum: Aeneas Sylvius, (afterward Pope Pius se­cundus) Ep. 130; which is concerning his Conference with the Ministers of the Taborites. Also in the time of the Reformation, the English Bishops and Clergy, who still were Popish, in the Book cal­led the Institution of a Christian Man; Chap. of the Sacrament of Orders. Cassander in his Consultation Art. 14. saith, non con­venit inter Theologos, & Canonistas, an Episcopatus ponendus inter Ordines Ecclesiasticos: convenit autem inter omnes, Aposto­lorum Aetate inter Episcopos & Presbyteros nullum Discrimen, &c [Page] Seventhly, Even Mr. Dodwell (as high as he is for Episcopal Au­thority,) saith, that the first Bishops were made by Presbyters: and that it behoved to be so, otherwise the Succession could not be secu­red in the first times of Persecution. How this consisteth either with our Author's Book or with his own, against Separation from the Episcopal Chairs, let the Reader judge. It's true, Mr. Dod­well (it is 521, 522.) pretendeth not to be afraid of the Conse­quence of this Assertion, with Respect to the Bishop's absolute Power, because Kings also are Invested by their Subjects, (this Paralell I might, but shall not Debate with him,) but how can he, on this Supposition, defend their sole Power of Ordination to be of Divine Right; I cannot see, but shall be glad to be instructed. I insist not on the Suspicion, that Cyprian's Epistles are corrupted; tho' Au­gustine Ep. 48. Vincentio; hath these words, neque enim potuit integritas atque notitia literarum unius quantumlibet illustris Epis­copi, (Cyprian scil.) custodiri quemadmodum Scriptura Ca­nonica, &c. What is said, may derogate much from the Testimo­nies that my Antagonist bringeth, and warrant our putting a sense on them, different from the sound they have in the Ears of this Au­thor, and some others of his Perswasion. The Reader may know, that our Debate is not about the Jus, but Factum; not how the Church should be Governed, but how it was done in the Age mentioned. In which, I affirm that tho' it is manifest, that the Bishop was above the Presbyter in Dignity and Order, yet he did not Rule the Church by himself, but the Presbyters had equal Power with him in mana­ging Church-Government.

THE Cyprianick-Bishop Examined, &c.

SOME of the Episcopal Clergy of Scotland, who have lost their places, wherein they sat silent, without troubling the Presbyterians with their Controversal Writings (for they then dealt with them by other Weapons) are now at lea­sure to maintain the Stickle that way: and some are so irritated by their Losses, that much more of their passionat Resentment, and personal Re­flections against such as never did them wrong, appeareth in their Books, than Strength of Arguments for what they hold in our present Debates; I have with much weariness and Re­luctancy considered some of these Pieces: and hoped our Debates had been at an end, after their silence for some time, and that we should no more be that way diverted from our more necessary Work: till I lately met with a Treatise called the Principles of the Cypria­nick Age, &c. which I find to be written in a more Schollar like and less unchristian Strain, than what I have hitherto seen from these men. He dealeth fairly by Arguments, tho I am not terrified nor convinced by the Strength of them, and I am resolved to treat him with the same Civility, and for the weight of my reasonings, let the Reader judge. It is not Victory, but the clearing and maintaining of Truth, that I design; and shall not be ashamed to become his Pro­selyte, if what I hold be found to be an Error.

[Page 2]§. 2. Before I consider his Book in the particular Contents of it, I shall make a few general Remarks about it. 1. Then, if we should grant all that he pleadeth for, it would not ruine the Cause of Pres­byterians, nor establish Prelacy: It would amount to no more but this, that one Presbyterian, and he among the meanest of them, did mistake in matter of Fact, as it is related in the Antient History. He might know, that neither the Presbyterians generally, nor that Author in particular, did ever lay the Stress of their Cause on the Practice or Principles of the Church, after the Apostolick Age: Tho' we will not yield the Suffrage of later Antiquity to be for our Ad­versaries: yet that is the Antiquity that we build upon; for it is Di­vine, not humane Authority that we take for the Rule of our Be­lief and Practice, in the matter of Church-Government, and ma­naging the Affairs of the House of GOD. Timothy was to be guid­ed by it, 1 Tim. 3 14, 15. and so will we. And even the Defen­der of the Vindication against the Apologist, or his Friend, (as our Author calleth him, P. 4.) hath fully declared his Opinion to this purpose; Rational Defence of Non-conformity, P. 158. which Book our Author seemeth to be no stranger to; for he is (P. 69) at pains to cite and try his critical Skill upon a Passage in it. He could not then, think to silence Presbyterians by this his Attempt: we have other Grounds, if we were beaten from this, as I hope we shall not. If his Book was written only to convince the World, that he who wrote the Defence of the Vindication against the Apologist, is not infallible in all that he asserteth; he might have spared his pains: that should easily have been yielded to him. To write a Book of Twelve Sheets on such a Subject, is such Work as we have no time for. Egregiam verô laudem, & spolia ampla—He had read Cyprian's Epistles (which are not very voluminous) and had made a Collection of Citations; and thus they must have a vent.

§. 3. The Passage that he buildeth his whole Fabrick upon, was by the Defender (which is my second Remark) set down with that Brevity that was sutable to the purpose in hand; tho' may be not sufficient to preclude all the critical Notes that a Man of this Au­thor's [Page 3] Skill and Learning could make, when he is so disposed to do▪ The Apologist had, in a rambling and incoherent way, started a Number of Debates that are between us and the Prelatists, insisting on none of them: And the Defender thought not fit to make a large Treatise on each of these Heads, but answered what he propos­ed, with a sutable succinctness; If he had then thought it conve­nient, or had imagined that so large a Book as our Author's, would have been built on this Passage, he would have made the Foundati­on broader, tho' not more commodious for what this Author build­eth on it: He could have told him, that tho' he might be bold to venture his Credit on the Cyprianick Age, being more on our side than on that of our Adversaries; And tho' our Cause, duely and distinctly stated, should suffer no loss by being tryed at that Barr, yet neither did he venture any bodies Reputation but his own, nor will he quit the more divine Letters Patents that we have for Presby­trey, to rest in this, either as our only▪ or our chief Strength. Not­withstanding of what I have now remarked concerning this Author snatching at a fancied Advantage against us, I hope to make it evi­dently appear that he hath wholly missed his Aim, and that these two or three Lines of my Book will stand against the shock of his long Treatise.

§. 4. I thirdly observe that this Author, who is so profuse in his Refutation of a few Lines in my Book, hath, in his own, given oc­casion ▪to any one who were of as scripturient a Disposition as him­self) for vast Volums: as in his sarcastick denyal of Ruling Elders, P. 8. That Presbyters, in the Cyprianick Age, were seldom called Pastors. P. 9. That there can be no Church without a Bishop. P. 19. That the Bishops Power is Monarchical. p. 22. That the Bishops Deed is the Churches Act. p. 24. That Episcopacy is of Divine Institution. p. 26. That he is subordinate to none. p. 27, 28, 35. That the Bishop is a supream Ecclesiastical Magistrat. p. 43. And Majesty is ascribed to him, Ibid. he is called a Soveraign and Peerless Governour. p. 65. Supream and unaccountable Power is ascribed to him. p. 67. These, and many more such Assertions, are the Stars by which his [Page 4] Treatises is bespangled: And each of them might afford matter for a long Discourse, to one who hath nothing else to do. A fourth Remark is, that through the whole course of his Argumentations he useth such confidence, and these Pretences to conclusive and irrefra­gable evidence, as may fright an unintelligent or unwarrie Reader; while the Strength of his Ratiocinations is no way proportionable, but apparent to be built on Words rather than Matter. Every one knoweth that the Signification of several Words used about Ecclesi­astical Things in Cyprian's time, was far different from what is our modern Dialect. The truth of this will, I hope, be more fully ma­nifest in our considering his particular Arguments.

§. 5. My Assertion against which his Book is levelled, he seemeth to wonder at, as strangely rash, and a putting our being, or not being. Schismaticks, on a desperate Issue. The Assertion is, a Bishop in Cy­prian's time was not a Diocesan, with sole Power of Jurisdiction and Ordination: If he prove that, we shall give Cyprian, and him, leave to call us Schismaticks. A Bishop, then, was the Pastour of a Flock, or the Moderator of a Presbyterie: If he can prove that we separate from our Pastours, or from the Presbytery, with their Moderator, under whose Inspection we ought to be, let him call us what he will: But we disown the Bishops in Scotland from being our Bishops; we can neither own their Episcopal Authority, nor any pastoral Relation they have to us. He seemeth p. 1. to divide his Book into two parts: First, to take to Task what I had said; to wit, the words above set down. 2. to add, perchance, something concerning our main Argument. The first part he hath largely insisted on: with what Strength or Suc­cess, I am now to examine. Of the 2, I find nothing, but that, p. 94. he hath fairly waved it; But with confidence that he could ac­complish it: and leaving to the person to whom he directeth this long Letter, to command him to prosecute what is left undone. The Import of which is, that it is much more his Inclination to write ad hominem, against a particular person; than ad rem, for that which he taketh to be the truth of God.

[Page 5]§. 6. His first work is to expose the above-mentioned Passage in my Book, as yielding a large Field, if one had a mind to catch at Words, and that it were easie to insist on such escapes, if one had a mind for it. His first Remark is, Suppose the word Diocess was not in use in St. Cyprian's time, as applyed to a Bishops District, doth it fol­low that the thing now signified by it was not then in use. Answ. Pray Sir, who made that Consequence: the Words cited (catch at them as much as you will) import no such Consequence, and design no more but that which we call now a Diocesan Bishop, with sole Power of Jurisdiction and Ordination, was not in that Age. His next Remark is in this Question, What could move him (the Author of the Passage now under Debate) to insinuate that we assign the sole power of Jurisdiction and Ordination to our Diocesan Bishop. Answ. It is a greater wonder, what should move this Author to except against our thinking that they assign such Power to their Bishop, seing him­self ascribeth all that Power to the Cyprianick-Bishop, and affirmeth him to be of Divine Institution; as hath been already observed: Hath he not said, that the Bishops Power is Monarchial, pag. 23, 32. and expresly, pag. 38. near the end he saith, the Bishop had the sole Power of Ordination: and saith, it hath been frequently and ful­ly proved by learned men, that he need not insist on it: and pag. 39. tel­leth us of Cyprian's Ordaining without asking the consent of the Clergy or People: and pleading for this as the Right of all Bishops. If he do not ascribe this sole Power to his Scots-Bishops, then (ex tuo ore) they are not the Bishops that Christ instituted: Nor these of the Cypria­nick-Age; nor these for whom the learned men that he speaketh of, hath pleaded: neither can I guess what kind of Animals he will make them: they must be a species of Bishops that never man pleaded for but himself. I suppose his Lords the Bishops will give him small thanks thus for pleading their Cause. What I have now observed, sheweth his Questions to be impertinent, viz. When did our Bishops claim that Power, and when was it ascribed to them by this Constitution? When did they exercise it? When was it thought necessary for raising a Bishop to all the due Elevations of the Episcopal Authority? I give this ge­neral [Page 6] Answer to all these Questions: our Scots Bishops look on them­selves, and are lookt on by their Underlings, and by this Author, as Scripture-Bishops; or at least, as Primitive-Bishops, and the Bi­shops that the learned men of this, and the preceeding Ages have pleaded for: but our Author saith these had the Power we now speak of: and therefore he must say, that that Power was given them by the In­stitution; that they do claim it, and ought to claim it, that it is neces­sary for their due Elevation. If they shun to exercise it, at least openly, by not laying on of Hands without Presbyters; it is because they know that practice cannot take, nor be born with in a Nation where Parity hath been so much known, and generally liked: I al­ways understood that the main thing debated between us and the Prelatists, was about the sole Power of Jurisdiction and Ordination: and I am not alone in this; the Synod of London, Vindication of Presbyterial Government; pag. 24. proposeth the Controversie in the same Words. So doth also Smectymnus, §. 8, 9. and I think he will not find many (if any one) of either side, who handleth this Controversie without respect to this Power. To his Question, When was it ascribed to them by the Constitution: I Answer, it was done, with respect [...]o Ordination, anno 1635, in the Canons and Constitutions Ecclesiastical, chap. 2. §. 3. where the Examination of the Candidate (and consequently the Power of determining who shal be ordained) is laid on the Bishop: and he is allowed to perform this Examination by himself, or his Chaplain. And for Jurisdiction, a person ordained to a Charge may not Preach, unless he be also licensed by the Bishop, ibid. chap. 7. §. 5 Nor may he refute Er­ror preached by another, unless he first ask and obtain leave of the Bishop, ibid. §. 7. Yea, a Presbyter may not go a Journey for some time, without the Bishops leave: nor stay unduly at Edinburgh, but he must be censured by the Bishop; chap. 4. §. 3, 5. And in gene­ral, in all these Canons, all Church-Discipline is laid on the Ordi­nary; that is the Bishop: not a word of Censure inflicted by the Presbyters. Without the Bishop no Minister may appoint a Fast; not in his own Congregation, chap. 14. and chap. 18. §. 10. The [Page 7] Sentence of Deprivation of a Presbyter is pronounced only by the Bishop: no consent of Presbyters is sought; only the presence of three or four, whom the Bishop calleth, is required.

§. 7. The import of the distinctions he useth for illustrating this Matter must be, that our Scots-Bishops have in Jurisdiction and Or­dination, a chief Power, tho' not a sole Power: a Power superior to, but not exclusive of other Powers: a Power without, and against which no Power can act; but not a Power destroying and disabling all other Powers. We should better have understood him if he had opened the terms of these Distinctions: I confess, qui bene distinguit bene do­cet, but not qui obscurè distinguit. I observe none of these Distincti­ons clear to us, whether he thinketh our Bishops can Ordain, De­pose, &c. without the concurrence of Presbyters, acting authorita­tively with them: as he alledgeth the Cyprianick-Bishops might do: and seing he doth not determine this, I know not what his Distincti­ons serve for, but to make a noise with Words. His first distinction between chief and sole Power, if easily made (as he saith) is not so ea­sily applyed to the case in hand: for our Question is about sole Power, and if he deny that to them, whatever other Power he give them, he maketh them no such Bishops as he after pleadeth for. Beside, the word chief is ambiguous; it may be taken either for Dignity, that the Bishop's Power tho' the same with the Presbyters, yet is more con­spicuous because of the dignity of the Bishops person or office: or that the Bishop can do some acts of Power which the Presbyter cannot do: or that the Presbyter's Power is derived from the Bishop, or that he cannot exercise it unless the Bishop pleaseth: The first Sense, I sup­pose will not please our Bishops, for it importeth no Imparity of Power. In all the other Senses, the Bishop's Power is sole; at least as to these things about which he hath that Power. His second Di­stinction is the same, in different words: the third differeth little; for if Presbyters cannot act except the Bishop please, and if they must follow his Light, whatever be their own, I see not what Power they have. What Power is given to our Bishops by their Constitution, I shall not farther determine; but it may be made appear, that they have [Page 8] exercised, and consequently claimed a Power over whole Presby­teries, which maketh void all their Power, while they have com­manded them to desist from proceeding to Censure Scandalous Of­fenders; of which I can give Instances. His third and last Remark is, that that part of my Definition of a Bishop is loose and ambiguous, wherein I call him the Pastour of a Flock: for saith he, may not a Bi­shop and his Diocess be called a Pastour and his Flock, as well as a Presbyterian Minister and his Parish? Answ. He might easily have understood my words in our ordinary Dialect, now in use; and then all Ambiguity had evanished: but I cannot make him under­stand my words unless he will: we use not to call a Bishops Dio­cess the Flock, nor him the Pastour: nor did Scripture so use these terms; seing the Pastour is to feed the Flock, Act. 20. 28. which he must do, not only by Ruling, but also by Teaching; which I am sure a Bishop cannot to his Diocess. That a Bishop in our mo­dern sense, was called the Pastour, and such a Diocess as ours, his Flock, in Cyprian's time, we deny: and shall consider his Proofs of this, when he shall propose them. I have run over his large field, and find not what fruit he hath reaped from it: nor the escapes that he thinketh it so easy to insist on, p. 2. at the end.

§. 8. In the sense he giveth of what I had asserted, which he en­largeth upon, p. 3. I have little to observe: for I am ready to maintain all that he there maketh to be my Opinion; except, [...]hat he saith, that in the Presbyterian sense, a Moderator, as such, is no Church-Governour; which I cannot agree to: but because he hath this over again, and improves against us that Notion, (which is his own, none of ours,) p. 35, 36. I shall there consider it, viz. §. 20. It is true, the Vindication of Ch. of S. in Answer to the the ten Questions, Q. 1. §. 5. Saith, that a Moderator as such, is no Church-Governour; but it is evident to any who impartially con­sidereth what is there said, that no more is meant, but that he is not a Church-Governour of another Species from the rest, or who hath another sort of Authority than they, or a Superior Power to them: not, as our Author would improve it, that it is not needful [Page 9] that he hath the same Church Power with the rest; but may be a Heathen, as he affirmeth, p. 35, 36. Also because he inferreth from what I had said, that my Opinion is, that in Cyprian's time, the Church was governed by Presbyters Acting in Parity, after the Presbyterian Model, p. 4. It will be needful, before I examine his Arguments, to give a more full and distinct Account of my thoughts in this Matter, than is done in that short hint which his whole Book is imployed against: and this is the rather needful, because my Antagonist doth not so plainly as were to be wisht, state the Con­troversie, when he saith; p. 4. If I shall prove, first, that a Bishop in Cyprian's time, was more than the Pastour of a Flock or Mode­rator of a Presbytery, in the Presbyterian sense. 2. That he had real­ly Genuine Episcopal or Prelatick Power. 3. That he Acted in a re­al Superiority over, not in Parity with Pastours; our Author is bound to acknowledge himself and his Brethren to be Schismaticks. I shall state the Question a little more distinctly; but not disown any of the Terms in which he hath put the Questions, all which three, are in­deed but one Question.

§. 9. Let it then be considered first, that we never thought, nor said, that Church-Government was in all it's Modes and Circum­stances in the third Century, (in which Cyprian lived) the same with what it is now among Scots Presbyterians: the Substance of Go­vernment may remain, and yet considerable Alterations be made in the Modes of mannaging it, in the Succession of Years; much more of Ages: We confess many words relating to Church-Offices, Offi­cers, and Administrations, signified another thing then, than they do in our Modern Dialect: these we call Moderators, and my An­tagonist calleth Bishops, were then constant; among us they serve in that Station but for some small time, and give place to others: in the Affrican Church these they called Primates, (whom yet we deny to have had either Sole, or Superior Jurisdiction) were the eldest Minister of every Province; which afterward was changed▪ and they chosen according to their Personal Qualifications: and Metro­politans were the Bishops of the chief Cities; which had no Superi­or [Page 10] Power; but only sometimes praesided in Synods. Cyprian dis­owned that any of them was Episcopus Episcoporum. See no Evi­dence for Diocesan Churches or Bishops, p. 28. Also L' Arroque ad­versar. Sacr. Lib. 2. C. 14. maketh this plain. And Leidecker. dis­sert. de statu Eccles. Affric. §. 7. he sheweth that Primates were a­bove Metropolitans in Dignity, and that they first attained that Degree by their Age, reckoning it from their Ordination: and the other from the City where they had their Charge. Yea there hath been no Age of Old, or in later times, in which there have not been some lesser differences in Management, even among Churches which used the same Species of Church-Government, for Substance: as at this day, in Scotland, Low-Countries, Geneva, among the Switzers; &c. Some Churches are more and some less pure, and near to the Pattern: and yet all governed by Presbyters Acting in Parity: and among the Prelatists, Prelatick Power is higher in one Church than in another; as in England now, and in Scotland of late? Where­fore our Author must not think to triumph, if he can shew some difference between the Cyprianick Age, and our Way. Cypr. Ep. 75. §. 5. Firmilian writing to Cyprian, hath Instances to shew, that in diverse Churches, they had diverse Practices, and yet kept Peace, one with another. 2. We deny not that in Cyprian's time, there was some Advances made towards some sort of Prelacy; tho' the Parity of Power was not then wholly taken away: as the Mystery of Iniqui­ty, in other things, so in that, did begin early to Work even in the days of the Apostles, when Diotrephes did [...], affected to be primus Presbyter, or [...], or Moderator, in their Meetings: and this [...] becoming fixed, and constant after the Apostles times, (these good Men not fore-seeing the ill Use that others would make of that Handle given them) it did, by insensible Degrees, degene­rate into an undue Usurpation: (as it is hard to get Power kept within it's due Bounds, even among the best men) and the Primi­tive Power of Presbyters, was gradually wrested out of their hands, by the Ambition of some, and by the innocent Simplicity of others. Many other Corruptions had crept into the Church by that time, and this [Page 11] Declension from absolute parity went along with them: the name [...] began to be appropriat to the [...]; and that Custom be­ing confirmed by a little time, made even humble men imagine, that some different Power was signified by that name, that they had distinct from others; which the rest, who were so usurped upon, did too easily yield; minding more the Work of Feeding, than of Ruling the Flock: and not seeing the fatal Consequents of it, which after­ward appeared, and were not discovered, till it was too late to re­trieve them. 3. It is evident from the History of the first Ages, that as Episcopacy did not arrive to it's height of a sudden; so it was not at the same time settled in all the places where it obtained at last: the Ambition of some, or at least their too big Thoughts of the Power that belonged to them, and the Easyness of their Com-Presbyters, made it in one place make quicker Advances, while the Humility, and sound Judgment of others, together with the Vigi­lancy of these who with them govern'd the Church, retarded it's Pro­gress in other Churches. And it is certain, that, for as much as this Contagion of the Church walked in the dark; yet it was observed, and opposed by some, as Aerius, Jerom, and others; as will ap­pear in our Progress. Leidecker. Dissert. de Statu Eccles. Affric. §. 7. Nam (que) (inquit) uti ab Origine Episcopatus Ordinis & Praesidentiae in Presbyterio titulus erat, (quamvis alibi suos terminos egrederetur) in Affrica vetus Libertas Presbyterii est retenta; dum Episcopi praesiden­tium honore non dominatu in Ecclesiam, aut Presbyteros gauderent. This he not only asserteth, but proveth by diverse Testimonies.

§. 10. Hence we may conclude, that our Author cannot prove what he pretendeth, unless he make it appear, that Episcopal Power, (such as he pleadeth for) was not only acted by some, but gene­rally, in the Churches of the first, second, and third Centuries; or approved by general Consent. Wherefore, if we can bring Testi­monies to prove a Parity of Power among Presbyters, and that Do­mination over them by one was condemned; his bringing some Te­stimonies to the contrary, will not be found concludent. I say not this, as if I were afraid he can prove what he undertaketh, by the [Page 12] Authentick Suffrage of any one of the Fathers of the first three Cen­turies: but that he may see what Weakness and Fallacy is in his Rea­sonings on more Accounts than one. I may here add a Conjecture, on which the Reader shall be desired to lay no more Weight than he pleaseth: that, seing it is confessed by the best Antiquaries, that we have but little Historical Certainty of the first Ages of the Church, it is probable that more Opposition might be made to the Tendency toward Church-Domination, than we have account of: for the Topping Party might carry all before them, and others might be suppressed, or what they did, buried in silence: especially conside­ring that meek men are often too apt, rather to suppress their Senti­ments, than to make much noise with them, to the hazarding of the Peace of the Church: and to groan under Grievances, rather than cast the Church into a Convulsion by struggling; when they do not foresee the greatness of the hazard that they fear. This, I conceive, may be one part of that Sleep, that giveth the Enemy ad­vantage to sow his Tares. I ground this Conjecture on the great dif­ference that is between the Scripture-account of Church-Govern­ment, and that of after Ages; and that the further we come down from the Scripture-times, the difference seemeth to be the greater; and yet we have but often, small account of any sensible Change made at any one time.

§. 11. The Learned Author, to his main Proofs (as he speak­eth p. 4.) premitteth a shrewd Presumption against what I hold: that generally, the great Champions for Presbytery acknowledge that Episcopacy was in the Church long before Cyprian's time: and he na­meth Chamier, Blondel, Salmasius, the Synod of London, Spanhe­mius, &c. What his &c. may contain in it's vast belly, I know not, but I am not afraid of any of them he hath mentioned; they are all Friends to the Cause I maintain, and say no more than I have already said; but much against his Sentiments. It had been easier for me to make this appear, if he had thought fit to point at the Books, or Places of them, on which he groundeth his Assertion; for some of these Authors have written much: however I hope to [Page 13] find out in them what is sufficient to my purpose. I begin with Chamier; who, Panstrat. Catholic. Tom. 2. Lib. 10. discourseth on this Subject copiously: but I find not one word in him, asser­ting that in the first three Centuries, Bishops had the Rule of the Church above Presbyters, further than that they were above them in Dignity, and by a Priority of Order; not of Jurisdiction: far less that they had the sole Jurisdiction, which our Author preten­deth to prove. On the contrary, that Learned Writer proveth, C. 3. that there was no Domination allowed in the Church, C. 5. that the Government of the several Churches was Aristocratical: and he sheweth that all Presbyters at first were equal; but that afterward, (as he citeth Ambrose and Jerome) unus electus est, qui omnium primus esset, & Episcopus diceretur. And on this he ma­keth two Observes: First, in Ecclesiae Primordiis, nullos tales Epis­copos fuisse, qui postea instituti fuere, qui suo jure reliquis è Clero prae­essent. And he thence inferreth the absolute Parity of Presbyters, de Jure. His second Observation is, ne tunc quidem, cum hic E­piscoporum a Presbyteris distinctorum ordo est constitutus, fuisse Epis­copos ut Monarchas, (see how he agreeth with our Author, p. 23, 32.) qui potestatem haberent in Clerum; sed Principes Electos, qui rebus deliberandis praeessent, ut necesse est in omni Aristocratia. Where he seemeth exactly to describe a Moderator, such as is in our Presbyteries, and other Church Judicatories. After that C. 6. he had proved, that Jure Divino Episcopus non est major Presbyte­ro, (contrary to our Author, p. 26. C. 7. he proveth that the Government of Provinces was also Aristocratical; and doth evi­dently make an Arch-Bishop or Metropolitan, no more than we make the Moderator of a Synod, or of a General Assembly: I mean he alloweth them no more Jurisdiction. Now let any judge, with what Brow my Antagonist could bring Chamier for his Voucher, who so flatly contradicteth the whole of his Book.

§. 12. His next Author is Blondel; who will be found to do him no more Service: For the whole Design and strain of his Apologia pro sententia Hieronomi is, to prove that Episcopus and Presbyter [Page 14] were the same, as both in Name and Power, in the Apostolick Age of the Church; so in Power in the first, second, third, and much of the fourth Century; tho' he confesseth that the Name, & some Majority (not higher Jurisdiction) was sooner given to the Bishop. This is evident, for S. I. p 4. he saith that Jeromes toto orbe decretum est ut unus de Presbyteris caeteris superponeretur, occasioned by the Divisions among Christans, and saying, Ego sum Pauli, &c. That this, I say, was quarto a Corinthiorum turbis saeculo: and that Jerome said it, de sui temporis hominibus; and proveth it from Jerome's own words, which are, quando non idipsum omnes loquimur, & alius dicit, ego sum Pauli, ego Appollo, ego Cephae, dividimus spiritus unitatem, & eam in partes & in membra discerpimus. And he saith, that Jerome torquebat verba Paulina de Corinthiis, in eos: Nempe, sui temporis homines, & p. 6, 7. he fully sheweth, that Jerome believed the Identity of Bishop and Pres­byter, from his blameing them who made Deacons equal to Presby­ters. i. e. to Bishops Also p. 8. that in Alexandria (of which Jerome saith, that à Marci temporibus ad Heracleam, Dionysium (que) Presbyteri unum ex se electum in excelsiori gradu collocatum Episcopum dixerunt) It was but Jusprimae Cathedrae presbyteri inter collegas fratrem sponta­nea hac dignatione honorantes, sedentis. and ibid: he saith, ex Hiero­nomi sententia episcopalia omnia ex aequo competebant: and that every one of them was equal Ʋrbico papae. S. 2. Blondel proveth all the Fa­thers of the three or four first Ages, to have been of the same Opinion with Jerome. And p. 8. hath this Transition, prodeant jam [...] patrum acies, qui sanctum virum (Hieronymum) seu solitarium in tecto passerem non relictum, doceant. This he proveth from Cle­mens of Rome, from Polycarp of Smyrna, from Hermes, from Pius the Pope of Rôme, Justin, Papias, Irenaeus and the Gallican Church in his time, Victor the Pope, Clemens of Alexandria, Tertullian, Or­igen. Cyprian also: on whose Opinion in this matter, my Antago­nist stateth the whole Controversy. Wherefore I shall a little fur­ther consider what account Blondel giveth of his Opinion. He saith, p. 41. [...] toto administrationis tempore ag­gressus est, sed partita (quasi ex concepto voto, cum comministris cu­ra [Page 15] ac potestate, Carthaginensem plebem gubernavit: and citeth Cyprian himself saying to his Clergy; Sed cum per Dei gratiam venero, tunc De iis quae vel gesta sunt, vel gerenda (sicut mutuus honor exposcit) in communi tractabimus: And in another Epistle, quae res cum omni­um nostrum Consilium & sententiam spectet, praejudicare ego, & soli mihi rem communem vindicare non audeo. He sheweth also; p. 43. that Cyprian doth always speak of the Clergy as divided only in two parts, the Praepositi and the Deacons, and he calleth both the Episco­pi and the Praepositi Apostles: If I should cite all that Blondel bring­eth out of Cyprian to this purpose, I behoved to transcribe almost four pages of his Book, of which Citations we shall have further oc­casion given by our Author to Discourse. It is then more evident than what he in most of his Reasonings talketh highly of, that either this Author hath not read Blondel, but cited him at adventure, or hath a confidence to assert what he will, tho' absurd and unaccount­able.

§. 13. He is full as unhapy in his next witness, Salmasius, who both in his Book de Episcopis & Presbyteris is against this Author, and in Walo Messalinus, that is commonly ascribed to him, doth strongly maintain the Identity of Bishop and Presbyter, against Petavi­us the Jesuit, in the first Ages; and is far from acknowledging any further Difference between them till Jerome's time, (which was after Cyprian's, about which we now contend) than of greater Dignity; for Chap 3. he sheweth that the Primacy among Presbyters was from their Seniority; and more fully, Ch. 4. p. 273. credibile est (saith he) circa medium secundi saeculi non alias in Ecclesia fuisse cognitos Episcopos quam qui primatum in presbyterio adepti essent, cum primos faceret non electio, ex merito sed ordinationis tempus: quem morem diu in Ecclesia durasse, Testis est ille Author qui Ambrosii nomine, com­mentarios in Epistolas Pauli scripsit: and a little below, [...] dabatur ei qui ordinatione antiquior caeteris esset. C. etiam. 6. osten­dit jurisdictionem episcopalem ortam partim ex distinctione nominis Episcopi a Presbyteri appellatione; partim principum Christianorum in­dulgentia, partim pontificum Romanorum aliorum (que) ambitione & usur­patione. [Page 16] Who then can imagine that he thought that in Cyprian's time (which was before the Church had Christian Princes) the Bi­shops had sole Jurisdiction. The last of his Authors that he citeth is, the Provincial Assembly of London; what Book he meaneth, I know not: neither doth he himself, for what appeareth: For the Vindication of Presbyterian Government & Ministry by the Ministers and Elders of the provincial Synod of London, hath not a word on that Head, neither for him nor against him: wherefore I can guess at none but jus Divinum Regiminis Ecclesiastici, written (as the Title page beareth) by sundry Ministers of Christ within the City of London: In that Book I find nothing that hinteth the Concession that he al­ledgeth: But on the contrary, p. 140. (interpreting [...] men­tioned, 1 Cor. 12. 28.) they have this passage, not the Prelatical Bishops, pretending to be an Order above preaching Presbyters, and to have the Reins of all Church-Government in their Hands only: For in Scripture Bishop and Presbyter are all one Order,—hereunto also the Judgement of Antiquity evidently subscribeth, accounting a Bishop and a Presbyter to be one and the same Office in the Church; as appeareth par­ticularly in Ambrose, Theodoret Jerome, and others. I shall not hope to say any that is convincing, if what I have brought do not perswade the unbyassed Reader that our famous Presbyterians have the same Sentiments of the Judgement of the first Antiquity, about the power of Presbyters in the Church, that I expressed in the place that our Author maketh such a pother about: he bringeth also Spanhem against me, which I wonder at; seing the words himself citeth a­mount to no more than manifesta [...], which none of us ever denyed to have crept early into the Church: but he dealeth not fair­ly with that learned Writer, (if this Appellation may be used without his offence) for he curtaileth his words, leaving out what displeaseth him. viz. quanquam de primis (Episcopis) controversum, diversi­ne an superioris ordinis haberentur. he dealeth yet less Christianly with the same Author, both in detracting from his knowledge of Anti­quity; and also in mis-representing his words, out of which he would make good his Charge: in that he saith Spanhem denyeth Exorcists [Page 17] to have been in the Church in the third Century: whereas he doth not mention Exorcists in that place, but only Ostiarios, Copiatas, Acolythos: These last our Author will prove to have been in the Church in Cyprian's time, out of Cyprian, Ep. 7. 34, 45, 59 and 77. And mentioneth several Names of Men in that Office. I was at the pains to read over all these Epistles on this occasion, and find not a word in any of them, either of Acolyths, or of any of the persons whom he nameth: it is like the Epistles of Cyprian are di­versly numbred in diverse Editions: my Edition of Cyprian is 1593, cum notis Pamelii. I find the Epistle of Cornelius in Eusebi­us, Lib. 6. C. 42. (he calleth it 43) how genuine that Epistle of Cornelius is, or the Account that Ensebius giveth of it, I shall not now enquire: what I am now concerned in is, that the Learn­ed World beareth Testimony to Spanhemius, so as this Author will not be able to derogate from his Credit: And I doubt not but he can give grounds for what he wrote. I hope I have said enough to shew that I am not so arrogant, nor so rash, as to reced in this matter, from the Sentiments of these great Patrons of Presby­tery that he hath brought against me.

§. 14. He proceedeth (pag. 5.) to his other Arguments. His first Argument (which he manageth to pag. 11.) is built on three Foun­dations, or Pillars; the first is, that every Church was, in Cyprian's time, ruled by a Bishop, Presbyters and Deacons. This I deny not: only I observe a few things: one is, that our Controversie is not about the Name Bishop, being appropriat to one and not given in common to all the Presbyters, as at first; but about that Bishop, or first Presbyter's Power;; which this his Discourse doth not touch. Another thing that I observe is, that it cannot be denyed that the Deacons, in that Age, and may be sooner, had more Hand in the Government of the Church than was allowed by Di­vine Institution; by which they were only Servants, not Rulers; and their work was only about the Poor. I thirdly observe our Author's unwarriness, in here asserting that the Church was ruled by Bishops, Presbyters, and Deacons; and yet he pleadeth for the [Page 18] Bishops sole Jurisdiction, in most of his Book: This I impute to want of a good memory. What he hath p. 6. of Superinducing a Bishop where one already was, and that there could be but one Bishop in a Church, will after fall in to be considered: where he insisteth more directly and fully on it. His second ground that his Argu­ment is built on, is, that the Presbyters in that Age were Preaching-Presbyters, and not Ruling-Elders, such as we have in the Presbyte­rian Church. That the Bishop in that Age was distinct even from Preaching-Elders, or Ministers, we deny not; and that there were many such where was but one Bishop, we acknowledge: so it is with us; there are many Ministers where there is but one Mode­rator, and many Ruling-Elders, where there is but one Minister or Parochial Bishop. What sort of Officers in the Church the Presbyters, distinguished from the Bishop were, in the Primitive times, is controverted among some: Dr. Hammond held that on­ly Bishops were of Divine Institution, and were in the Apostolick-Church; the consequent of which is, that Presbyters must be a device of men and brought in afterward: this is solidly refuted by the learned Mr. Durham on Revelation, ch. 3. p. (mihi) 230. The Author of the Book Intituled, An Inquiry into the Constitu­tion, &c. of the Primitive-Church in the first 300 years, who pre­tendeth that this work is done by an impartial Hand, he also hath a like Notion, p. 72. and maintaineth that Presbyters are not neces­sary to the Constitution of a Church; that they are equal to a Bishop in Order; and have all the Power that he hath; but inferior in De­gree; that they were ordained Preachers; but had no particular Charge; but were imployed by the Bishop in any piece of Church-work, as he thought fit, and so were his Curats, or Assistants. But of this afterward. I deny not that there were Presbyters in the third Cen­tury, such as our Author contendeth for, that is persons authoriz­ed to preach the Gospel and administer the Sacraments, distinct from Bishops. For his Sarcasm against Ruling-Elders, who have no Authority to Preach, affirming pag. 8. that there is as profound si­lence of them in Cyprian's Writings and time, as there is of the So­lemn [Page 19] League and Covenant, or the Sanquhar Declaration; this sheweth more of his Spite against that Church-Office, than of his Skill to refute it.

§. 15. It might have been expected from this peremptory Con­fidence, that he should have attempted a Refutation of what many Learned Men have written on that Subject; if he lookt into that Controversie: the London Ministers, (whom he citeth) could have taught him, at least, to speak more soberly: so Blon­del de Jure Plebis, p. 79. &c. Smectym. L'Arroque Conformity of the Discipline of the Church of France with the Primitive Church. Calvin. P. Martyr. and many later Writers: at least he might have had some regard to Arch-Bishop Whitgift, (a Zealous Pleader for Prelacy) as he is cited by Synod Lond. Vindication of Presby­terial Government. I know (saith he,) that in the Primitive Church, they had in every Church Seniors, to whom the Government of the Church was committed; but that was before there was any Chri­stian Prince, or Magistrat. I hope then that it was in Cyprian's time will not be denyed. May be, on second thoughts, he will abate a little of this Confidence, when he considereth these few Citations following: which do plainly prove that both before and after Cyprian's time, there were Ruling Elders, who were not Preachers, acknowledged in the Church, Origen. Lib. 3. contra Celsum: [...], &c. There are some appointed, who do enquire into the Life and Manners of them who are Admitted; that they may debar from the Congregation, such as commit vile things; and receive such as abstain from these; and make them daily better. Tertul. Apol. C. 3. Praesident probati qui (que) Seniores, honorem istum non praetio, sed testimonio adepti. These were before Cypri­an. After him were Jerom, on Isaiah 3. 2. Et nos habemus in Ecclesia Senatum nostrum, &c. August. Ep. 137. Dilectissimis Fratribus, Clero, Senioribus, & Ʋniversae Plebi Ecclesiae Hippo­nensis. Where he maketh a plain Distinction between the Clergy, and these other Elders, and also the Body of the People: these Elders then were not Teachers, and they were above the People. [Page 20] The like he hath, contra Crescentium, Lib. 3. C. 1. Omnes vos Episcopi, Presbyteri, Diaconi, & Seniores scitis. Et ibid. C. 56. Peregrinus Presbyter, & Seniores Ecclesiae Musticanae, &c. The same Augustin, in his account of the Purgation of Caecilianus, and Felix, accused by the Donatists, mentioneth several Letters Re­corded in the publick Acts, (which must certainly speak the Lan­guage of that Age,) wherein Ruling Elders distinguished from Preaching Presbyters, are plainly, and often mentioned: as Epis­copi, Presbyteri, Diaconi, Seniores: again, Clerici, & Seniores Cirthensium: also a Letter directed Clero & Senioribus: and ano­ther, Clericis & Senioribus: Likewise the Epistle of Purpurens to Sylvanus hath these words, Adhibe [...]e Clericos, & Seniores Plebis, Ecclesiasticos Viros, & inquirant diligenter quae sint istae Dissentiones: where it is clear that the Ecclesiastical Consistory was then made up of these Elders, as one sort of its Constituent Members; and that they had Authority to take Course with Disorders in the Church, in Conjunction with the Teachers of the Church. E­ven Gregorius Magnus the Pope, in the end of the sixth Age, shew­eth that such Elders were still in the Church; Tabellarium (saith he) cum consensu Seniorum & Cleri memineris ordinandum. Al­so, Lib. 2. Epist. 19. Si quid de quocunque Clerico ad aures tuas pervenerit, quod te justè possit offendere, facile non credas, sed prae­sentibus Ecclesiae tuae Senioribus est perscrutanda veritas, & tunc si qualitas rei poscit, Canonica Districtio culpam feriat delinquentis. Is it imaginable that there were no Ruling Elders in Cyprian's time, in the third Century, and yet after three hundred years, they were revived again; when Episcopal Tyranny, and manifold Corrup­tions in the Church were come to a greater height? Isidor. Hispal. Sent. Lib. 3. C. 43▪ Prius docendi sunt Seniores Plebis, ut per eos infra positi facilius doceantur.

§. 16. It is yet more fully against this Author's bold Assertion, that even in Cyprian's time it self, this Office was in the Church; as Witness the Writers of that Age, Basil. in Psal. 33. Quatuor gradus Ministrorum constituit, quod sciz. alii sunt in Ecclesia in­star Oculorum, ut Seniores; alii instar Linguae, ut Pastores; alii [Page 21] tanquam Manus, ut Diaconi; &c. And Optat. Milevit. Lib. 1. adv. Parmen. telleth us of certain precious Utensils of the Church, which in a time of Persecution, could neither safely be transpor­ted, nor hid in the Earth; and therefore they were committed to the Custody of the faithful Elders of the Church. From all this it is evident, that if express and distinct mention be not made of this sort of Elders by Cyprian, it is either because he had no occa­sion; or that he comprehended them under the general name of Presbyters, as the Scripture sometimes doth under the name of Bi­shops: for it is not to be imagined that Cyprian, in this, was of a different Sentiment from the Church, before, in, and after his time.

§. 7. His third Foundation for his Argument is, that the Bi­shops Power, Authority, Pastoral Relation, extended to all Christi­ans within his District: and a little after, the Bishops Prelation, what ever it was, related not solely to the Clergy, nor solely to the Laity; but to both equally and formally: this we are no way con­cerned to oppose; for we think every Minister hath a Relation to the Universal Church, and Authority with Respect to all the Mem­bers of it: and more particularly within the Presbytery whereof he is a Member: and yet more fully toward these of the Congre­gation he is set in, whether Elders or People. Neither is our Question about the Extent of the Bishop's Power, as to Persons, so much as about the Solitude of this Power; whether Church Power reside in his Person alone, or be in the Community of Presbyters. I might dismiss this whole Section; but that his Proofs seem not so much levelled at this Conclusion; as at some other things which we cannot so easily comply with: he telleth us of Cyprian's defining the Church, to be a People united to the Priest, and a Flock adhering to their Pastour: he bringeth Citations to prove, that where a Bishop is wanting, the People hath no Ruler, the Flock no Pastour, the Church no Governour, Christ no Prelate, and God no Priest: and he will have Presbyters to be but Vice-Pastours. Now how far is all this from his Conclusion; viz. that [Page 22] the Bishop's Power extendeth to all the People? All this tendeth to prove the Bishop's sole Jurisdiction, which is afterward to be considered, where he insisteth on that point on purpose: but here here he doth nothing but make a Parade with a parcel of imper­tinent Citations: I shall only now tell him; that this may be well understood of a Parish Bishop or Minister. For Presbyters being Vice-Pastours, that is afterward answered. Wherefore I now con­sider his Application of his three Conclusions to what he would prove; viz. that a Bishop in Cyprian's time, was neither the Pa­stour of a Flock, nor the Moderator of a Presbytery; in my sense of the terms: not the first for Cyprian at Carthage, Cornelius at Rome, &c. had many such Pastours under them: yea, it was so over all the World. Not the second; because a Presbyterian Moderator as such, is no Church Governour at all: hath no direct, immediat, formal re­lation to the People, but only to the Presbytry. This is the goodly Argument in which our Author early triumpheth, as sufficient, if there were no more, to ruine our Cause.

§. 18. This Triumph will be found to be before the Victory: That I may give a full and direct Answer to his Argument, I must distinguish what our Author confoundeth, viz. the signification of the word Bishop in the Apostles time, it signified any ruling, ordi­nary Officer in the Church: hence Phil. 1. 1. all Church-Officers are so called, except the Deacons. And 1. Tim. 3. 1, 2, &c. The Apostle giveth Directions to all the Ruling-Officers in the Church, and then vers. 8, &c. telleth what manner of Men the Deacons should be. If the Apostle had known any other ordinary Church-Officers, these Canons had been very lame: and indeed it is no wonder that the Bishops (not being here comprehended) do what they will; for we know no Scripture, rules neither for their Quali­fications, nor Work: and Tit. 1. 5, and 6. the Elders that were to be set up in every City are called Bishops, v. 7. the same Word in after Ages, as it was sometimes given to Pastours of particular Congregations, so it was ordinarily given to the [...] the primus Presbyter or Moderator in the Colledge of Presbyters: and the same [Page 23] that sustained the later of these Relations had also the former, and laboured in the Word and Doctrine, and managed Congregational-Discipline in a particular Parish, taking the Word Parish in our modern sense. Wherefore if the Citations he bringeth for Episco­pal Power can rationally be applyed to either of these Notions of a Bishop, our Cause is safe from his Assaults. That the Moderator of the Colledge of Presbyters is called Bishop, not only is evident from Jerom, Ʋnus è Presbyteris electus est qui caeteris superponeretur—E­piscopi noverint se magis consuetudine quam dispositionis dominicae ve­ritate, Presbyteris esse majores, & in communi debere Ecclesiam regere: but this Author cannot deny it; tho' he pleadeth for an extravagant Power to that his Moderator; about which Power I now debate with him.

§. 19. That the Pastour of a particular Flock was also (in the Primitive Times) called a Bishop, is certain from this, that the Scriptures dividing the Church-Officers in Bishops and Deacons, are by the Fathers so applyed: as I have shewed elsewhere. Like­wise we find Bishops in small Villages, where were no number of Pastors, over whom the Bishop might praeside: as is fully proved by the learned Mr. Clarkson, Primitive Episcopacy stated, &c. c. 2. p. 19, &c. and that by multitudes of Instances, as also Testimo­nies of Fathers, asserting it to be then usual, Sozomen Hist. l. 7. c. 19. telleth us that in Arabia [...]: he saith the same of Cyprus, and extendeth his Assertion to other Countries, [...]. Mr. Fuller (tho' Episcopal, yet a person of more Ingenuity than many others) History of the Holy War, lib. 2. cap. 2. p. 45, & 46. speaking of Palestine, at this time (saith he) Bi­shops were set too thick for all to grow, and Palestine fed too many Cathedral-Churches to have them generally fat: Lydda, Jamnia, and Joppa, three Episcopal Towns, were within four Miles one of another:—neither let it stagger the Reader, if in that Catalogue of Tyrius, he light on many Bishops Seats which are not to be found in Mercator, Ortelius, or any other Geographer; for some were such poor Places as they were ashamed to appear in a Map.—For in that Age, Bishops [Page 24] had their Sees at poor and contemptible Villages. Concil. Antioch. in their Epistle concerning Paulus Samosatenus they mentioned Bishops [...]. I know Dr. Maurice pretendeth to refute Mr Clark­son's Book: neither shall I judge who hath the better in most parts of that Debate; but I see no sufficient Answer to what I have here quotted. Yet do I not joyn with Mr. Clarkson in the whole de­sign of his Book. These two Notions of a Bishop being familiar in the Primitive Times, it is no wonder if we find the Fathers, some­times speaking of a Bishop in the one Sense, and sometimes in the other.

§. 20. I now Answer his Argument: a Bishop in Cyprian's time was always the Pastor of a particular Flock, and Moderator in the Consistory of Ruling-Elders; but sometimes he was also the Mode­rator of a Colledge of Presbyters; and so might have many Presby­ters under him; that is, he was above them in Dignity; and we deny not but that by reason of his fixation in that Office, he by cu­stom had crept into some more Power over them than was due: but that in Cyprian's time, he had the sole Power of Jurisdiction, and Ordination, or such Authority as our Diocesans pretend to; I ut­terly deny. For the other part of his Argument, that he could not be a Moderator, because a Moderator as such, hath no Church Power, nor is a Church Governour. I Answer first; the Assertion he here reflecteth on, cited by him pag. 3. that a Moderator, as such, hath no Church Power, was not meant, that there might be a Moderator who hath no Church Power, and so taking As specificative: as he absurdly improveth it, p. 36. affirming that a Heathen may be the Moderator of a Presbytery without repugnancy to any Principle of Chri­stianity, tho' not without indecency and inconvenience. I say this is a most absurd Assertion, both because a Heathen Moderator could not understand the Affairs of the Church; And because he would emba­rasse them: and because it is against common sense, and the Sentiments of Mankind, that an Enemy of the true Religion should have the Conduct, and main hand in mannaging the Affairs that do so nearly concern it: Yea, this his Assertion contradicteth it self: for [Page 25] he acknowledgeth that this were Indecent and Inconvenient, and I hope he will not deny, that it is a Principle of the Christian Religion, that all things be done Decently, and in Order: and that both Nature and Religion require, that we should shun what is inconvenient, especially to so high Concernments as are these of Religion. That Assertion then, that he aimeth at, is to be under­stood reduplicative; that is, that a Moderator acquireth no Church Power by his being Moderator, above what he had as a Pastor of the Church: and here a Sub-distinction is to be used, he acquireth indeed an Ordinative Power, in that he ordereth the Meeting to a­void Confusion, and many call it pre re natâ; but he acquireth no Decisive Power: he getteth a Power to be their Mouth, not their Will, or Commanding Faculty: to keep Order in the Manage­ment of what cometh before them, not to Determine what is Debated among them, as it is expressed in the place he citeth; and which might have prevented this Cavil, if he had heeded what was said. To conclude what I have to Reply to this his Argument, it is no Proof of such a Prelacy in Cyprian's time as he pleadeth for, that it related to the Laity, as well as the Clergy: for so doth that of our Moderator: that is, he ordereth the Affairs which concern them, which are managed in the Presbytery: and that Cyprian did more, or, that he managed the Affairs concerning the Laity, with­out the same Authoritative Concurrence of the Presbyters, is the Question, and is not concluded by this Argument.

§. 21. He undertaketh, p. 11. easily to collect another Demon­stration against my Notion of a Bishop, from the way, how in Cy­prian's time, he was promoted to his Chair; to that Sublime Top of the Priesthood, as he calleth it. This is to fright us with big, bur empty Words: if he bring a concludent probable Argument, tho' short of a Demonstration, we must stoop. To Cyprian's Words, the Sublime Top of Priesthood, I should not doubt to give a satisfy­ing Answer, if I could find the place, and consider the purpose he is speaking of; but my Antagonist hath made my Work very difficult; not by the strength of his Arguments, but by leaving me [Page 26] at uncertainty where to find any one of his Citations, unless I ei­ther stumble on them casually, or read all Cyprian's Epistles for e­very place that is cited: for he knoweth there are several Editions of Cyprian; and he hath neither told what Edition he useth, (I have no other at present, but that Printed by Le Preux, 1593.) nor nameth he to whom the Epistle is Directed: whether this be done de industriâ, or not, I shall not judge: but I am sure it is a great neglect: especially considering that Cyprian's Epistles are quite otherways numbred by Scultetus, than in the Edition menti­oned, but I find neither of these can help me to find his Citations. All that I shall say about this Sublimity he talketh of, is, that the Fathers used to speak big words concerning the Gospel Ministry; which both Papists and Prelatists have abused: also the Bishops Power was elevated to a higher Dignity, tho' not greater Autho­rity, than the Presbyters, and that was their Sublime Fastigium Sa­cerdotii. This his Argument also, he buildeth on several Propo­sitions. The first is, There could be no lawful Promotion to a Bi­shoprick, where a Bishop had been setled, unless there were a clear, Canonical, and unquestionable Vacancy: it was a received Maxim then, that there could be but one Bishop at once in a Church. Our present Debate is no way concerned in this Principle, whether it be true or false. For taking a Bishop for Moderator; we think there should be but one at one time: and that another ought not to be chosen till the place be void, by Death, Deposition from that Office, or Cession. If by Bishop you understand the Pastor of a Flock, whether there be one or more over a Congregation, is nothing to our purpose; seing the Question is about the Power of the Bishop, whether it be in one, or more Persons.

§. 22. Yet I shall observe a few things on his Discourse of this his Principle. 1. If I were willing to be very critical, I would ask him, what did they in those days, when there was a real, and lawful Vacancy; but not clear, nor unquestionable; as in the Contest between Cornelius and Novatianus at Rome: and many o­ther Instances that might be given, of most Unchristian, and some­times [Page 27] Bloody Contentions, between Bishops pretending to the same See: I hope the sound Party might, and did place a Bishop; tho' the Vacancy was questioned. Next I oppose to his Principle, Dr. Hammond, on Rev. 11. p. 662. who telleth us, there were two Bishops at once in Jerusalem, Antioch, Ephesus, and Rome, he nameth them: and giveth Reasons why distinct Congregati­ons under their respective Bishops in each City were necessary: he saith also it was so in other Cities: and his Reasons do prove that it must be so in all Cities: where there are many People. I insist not on the Bishops at Philippi, Phil. 1. 1. At Ephesus, whom the Holy Ghost had made Bishops, Act. 20. 20. Thirdly, I ob­serve that all the Citations he here bringeth, hath this Tendency, to shew that Novatus in intruding himself in the Bishop's See at Rome, was to be blamed, seing Cornelius was already duly setled in that Place. This was a plain Case, the Presbyters and People of Rome had chosen Cornelius to be Pastor of a Flock, and their constant Moderator, as was the Practice of that Time: Novatia­nus was not only unsound in other things, but he got a Faction to choose him for Pastor and their Moderator, and he with them, set up another Presbytery, in Opposition to that wherein Corneli­us was fixed: I know no Presbyterian who would not condemn this Practice as much as Cyprian did: and it is observable that the Citations here brought by our Author, do not so much con­cern the Unity of a Bishop; as the Unity of a Church, which in­deed Novatianus had broken: I confess Cyprian here used Expres­sions a little too vehement, in that he not only denyeth them who make such Rents to be Pastors, being unduly Chosen, and Ordained; but denyeth them to be Christians: it was a great Sin,, and deserved the highest Censure; but it is hard to Un­christian all who make a Schism: but I impute this Fervor to the Temper of that Age, rather than of the Holy and Meek Cy­prian: and it is like, these Wise Men saw a peculiar Reason at that time, for thus Opposing the Seeds of Ruine to the Church, which often lurk unobserved in Schism.

[Page 28]§. 23. His second pillar of this Argument is this Assertion; there was no canonical vacancy but where the Bishop whose the Chair had been was dead, had ceded, or was canonically deposed. Let this pass. The third is, when a See was thus canonically vacant, the Bi­shops of that province met, choosed and ordained one in presence of the people whom he was to govern. I object nothing against this, save that the Bishops choosed the Man to be ordained: we say the People had the choice, with the Eldership: but this Contro­versie he waveth, as not belonging to this Argument; and so do I. His fourth Proposition is, that the person elected received new Imposition of Hands, and new Ordination; tho' he had been or­dained a Presbyter before: this he prosecuteth p, 14. and citeth many Testimonies to prove what he alledgeth: he saith, no doubt that each of these was raised to the Episcopacy by a new Or­dination: and of Sabinus, that he was ordained by Imposition of Hands: I deny not that even an ordained Presbyter behoved to be chosen to the Office of Bishop, before he could exercise it: so it is with our Moderator. That there was more Solemnity in installing a Bishop then, than we use in making a Moderator, cannot be denyed: that was consequential to the Bishops being constant­ly and for Life in that Office, and to that Prelation, or Dignity above other Presbyters that he then had. Neither shall I contend with him about Imposition of Hands to have been in that case used; (tho' after search, I cannot find the place he citeth) for it is well known, that in the Apostolick Church (and it is like it con­tinued in after Ages) Imposition of Hands was used when Men were sent into a special piece of Work, tho' no new Office, or new Power was given; as Act 13. 3. I hope he will not say, that Saul, by that Imposition of Hands, was promoted unto a higher; or new Office, being already an Apostle. But our Question is, whether the Bishop had a superior Power over Presbyters, which resided in his person alone: this we deny, and affirm that it is not proved by the Citations he hath brought. The Zeal that even false Bishops used to have all the Formalities in their promo­tion [Page 29] that were used by any other (which is one of his Topicks) is as little probative; Nor should I wonder if they exceeded: they had need of all the Pomp that could be, to make up the want of Real Right, to strenthen their weak Title. He concludeth, p. 15. that now my Definition of a Bishop is routed a second time. Let the Reader judge.

§. 24. He cometh to apply his former propositions, and to conclude his Argument from them. How (saith he) can the Maxime of but one Bishop at once consist with the Bishops being a single Presbyter; seing in Rome and Carthage were many Presby­ters, and yet each of these was but one Church. Ans. 1. It consist­eth well with the Notion of a Moderator. 2. It consisteth well with the Notion of a Bishop in lesser places, where was no such plurality of Presbyters; of which before. 3. I have said enough above to discredit this Maxime, in the sense our Author useth it 4. There might be a plurality of Presbyters in a particular Con­gregation; not only Presbyters that were only ruleing, but-Preachers also: For it is observed by some, that in the primitive Times, they ordained many more preaching Presbyters in Churh­es than they had present Work for: So Mr Clerkson, primitive E­piscopacy, Ch. 5. p. 93. and he buildeth on Nazianzens Autho­rity, who Orat. 1. Sheweth that the Officers in Churches were some times as many as these whom they had the Charge of. [...] (saith he) [...]. It is probable, that then the Christians having no Universities, the Churches, especially in great Cities, or where were learned Bishops, were Colledges for Bree­ding men to the Ministry, and that when they were ripe, they or­dained them and imployed them; that so they might be Semina­ries out of which vacant Parishes might he provided: and if any will say, that the Bishop had such Authority over these Presby­ters as our Professors of Divinity have over the Students, It may pass for a probable Conjecture: Only these were ordained, ours we do not ordain till we fix them in Churches: and in that time I find no such unordained Licentiats as we have.

[Page 30]§. 25. He again asketh, If a Bishop were but a single Presbyter, why such a do, and so many Bishops conveened to elect and ordain him. This is in part answered above. I add, we also have a Meeting of ma­ny Ministers to ordain a Presbyter to a single Flock: and also when a Moderator is chosen. As for calling Bishops of a whole province to Elect and instal a Bishop at Rome, and at Carthage, that was needful, because these were the fixed Moderators in these Provinces; So our Moderator of a provincial Synod is chosen by no fewer than the Ministers of a whole Province: and the Mo­derator of the General Assembly by Ministers from the whole National Church. What he saith about their New Ordi­nation is already Answered. That which he calleth ridicu­lous is pretty ridiculously by him proposed: Viz. that so much ado was made about making two men Presbyters of Rome, who were al­ready Presbyters of Rome. He meaneth Cornelius and Novatianus. It was about making them Moderators of the Colledge of Pres­byters, not in Rome, but in the whole Province: and indeed it was lamentable, rather than ridiculous: Both that that Promotion began then to be more esteemed than was meet; and was lookt on as a Prelation above the other Brethren (tho' it was far short of what our Author contendeth for) and also that there should be such unchristian Contests made about it Alas some such things have fallen out where a Diocesan Episcopacy was not pretended to. Our Sentiments about a constant Moderator he entertaineth in ridicule, p. 16. rather than refuteth them by Arguments: this I do little regard. Had the excellent men of the Cyprianick Age seen, or known the fatal Consequents of it, as we have; I judge they would not have allowed it as they did. I. refer the Reader for satisfaction in this Point, to Mr. Baillie, Ʋnlawfulness and danger of limited Episcopacy: and another peice bearing the same Title, which he defendeth against a Reply made to it. That the Presbyters of Rome did often meet during the Vacancy of the See; and that they had a Moderator in their Meetings, none will deny: but what he inferreth is in consequential; that they might as easily [Page 31] have chosen a Bishop, if he had been but Moderator. For not only the Custom of having the Moderator fixed, made it more hard than to choose one to be their Mouth for one Meeting, or two; but also, (as I have said) the whole Province was to be concerned in him. He argueth p. 17. in many words, if he were Moderator, why the people was to choose him, or why was it needful that he should be chosen in their presence. A. Because also he was to be Pastor of that Flock. That he was no Church-Governour as Moderator, is answered above: But it cannot be said he was no Church-Gover­nour under another Relation; viz. as Pastor of the Congregation of Rome, or a Congregation in it. That he was chosen by 16 Bi­shops. i. e. saith our Author, sixteen Moderators was not then needless, seing he was to be Moderator over them to; that is over that Province. If sixteen parochial Bishops met to choose a Mo­deraror of a Presbytery, or sixteen Moderators from sixteen Pres­bytries met to Elect him who was to praeside continually in the Synod; This cannot infer either sole or superior Jurisdiction. Fur­ther if we should grant that in these days, a Presbyterie used to take the help of other Presbyteries, or their Moderators, or that help was by Custom imposed on them, this will indeed prove that some of the Priviledges of Presbyters began then to be abridged; but not that their ruling Power in the Church was transferred on a single person, the Bishop. What he further argueth p. 18. from the Bishops new Ordination, is already answered.

§. 26. His next Argument (and some that follow) is taken from the Bishops relation to his particular Church; viz. That he is the principle of Ʋnity to her: who ever adhered to him was in the Church, a Catholick Christian; who separated from him, was out of the Church, and a Schismatick. Under this Head, he hath no less than six Considerations, which either are intended as Arguments, or signifie nothing. Before I come to examine these, I shall take some notice of his Argument, as it is here generally proposed. And 1. I observe, that this very Argument is fully with as much strength mannaged by the Papists, for the Pop's universal headship over the Christian Church: they plead that we are not of the Church Catho­lick, [Page 32] are not to be reputed Christians, are Dividers of Christ's Body, &c. because we do not adhere to the Pope, whom they hold to be the Principle of Ʋnity to the Christian Church: and the Papists reckon the Protestants as Hereticks, because they do not believe this; and Schismaticks, because they live not in Communion with the Pope, and that Church whereof he is Head. 2. This Doctrine, as it is by our Author crudely, and indistinctly proposed, will Un-Church some of the best and soundest Christians: for have there not been Bishops, who had as good Title to their Sees (to speak in his own Dialect,) as any could have; who afterwards turned Hereticks? How many Arian Bishops were there, whose Right to their Places was not contested? Will he say that all the Orthodox who separated from them, were guilty of Schism, and all the Aggravations that his Citations, p. 19, 20. load it with? Are we not commanded to withdraw from them who teach unsound Doctrine, 1 Tim. 6. 3, 4, 5. And our Lord warnes his People against Wolves; and the Apostle gave Warning to the Elders of Ephesus, that of themselves, (and our Author will say they were Diocesan Bishops,) should men arise speaking perverse things, and drawing Disciples after them. This Argument will prove, (if it hath any force) that these their Followers were the sound Christi­ans, and the rest Schismaticks; because the one sort adhered to their Bishop, the Principle of Ʋnity; and the rest departed from him. I am far from charging my Antagonist with owning these Consequents; but I see not how he can shun the Consequence, unless he retract this his inconsiderat Opinion. Thirdly, I wish he had explained this Term, the Principle of Ʋnity: which he ought the rather to have done, because he saith, p. 18. near the end, this is a Point of great Consequence. What he saith for clea­ring it, is very insufficient: his Metaphors out of Cyprian, de Ʋni­tate Ecclesiae; prove nothing: viz. that of the Sun and Beams, the Root and Branches, the Fountain and Streams: if they prove any thing, they prove more than, I suppose, our Author will al­low: for Cyprian, in the very page where he useth these Simili­tudes, [Page 33] (p. mihi 297.) speaketh of Peter's Primacy, and placeth the Unity of the Christian Church in him: tamen ut Ʋnitatem manifestaret, unam Cathedram constituit, & Ʋnitatis ejusdem Ori­ginem ab uno incipientem sua authoritate constituit: hoc erant utique & caeteri Apostoli quod Petrus, pari consortio praediti & honoris & potestatis, sed exordium ab Ʋnitate proficiscitur. And a little be­low, quam Ʋnitatem firmiter tenere & vindicare debemus, maxime Episcopi, qui in Ecclesia praesidemus ut Episcopatum quoque ipsum unum atque indivisum probemus. Where it may be observed, 1. That either Cyprian was absolutely for the Pope's Supremacy, or he had no such meaning as our Author designeth. 2. That Cy­prian doth not so much speak of the Peoples adhering to their Bi­shop, (which in a sound Sense I am for,) as Bishops cleaving to­gether, and not breaking the Churches Peace, by Divisions among themselves. 3. That he is to be understood of a Principle of Ori­gination, rather than of a Principle of Dependance: that Peter first was in Commission by Christ, (the truth of which I shall not now enquire into,) and that all were obliged to adhere to that one Doctrine that he taught: not that he had Authority over the rest; and they must not Dissent from him in any Case: Cyprian plainly teacheth the contrary, in that very place: that the rest had equal Authority with him. And if we should apply all this to a Bishop, or Minister in a Parish, it amounteth to no more but this; he receiveth the Word from the Lord, and delivereth it to the People; and if they depart from this, they are Schismaticks, and break the Unity of the Church: which we all acknowledge. I observe, 4. That this his Principle is indeed of so great Moment, that if it be true, there are neither Churches nor Christians in the World, but such as owne a Diocesan Bishop: few in our days are Christians, but these of the Romish, and Church of England Com­munion: all the Reformed Churches must be Re-baptized, and their Ministers Re-ordained: (as Cyprian, and some other thought of the Schismaticks of that time,) I hope all his Brethren are not of this Opinion. Yea it hath been condemned by the most famous [Page 34] of his Party. When, Anno 1610. some Scots Bishops were to be Consecrated at London, some moved that they might be first Or­dained Presbyters; their Ordination without a Bishop being null: Bancroft Arch-Bishop of Canterbur [...]y withstood that Motion, and told them, that thereof there was no necessity: seing where Bishops could not be had, the Ordination given by Presbyters must be estee­med lawful: otherwise that it might be doubted, if there were any lawful Vocation in most of the Reformed Churches. This was Ap­plauded by all the other Bishops. Spotswood. Hist. Lib. 7. ad An. 1610. p. 514. Whence I infer that either Cyprian was not of this Author's Opinion, nor can his Words be so understood; or that the English Bishops were opposite to him and Cyprian too.

§. 27. What he saith further for clearing this his Notion about the Principle of Ʋnity, is both absurd and groundless: viz. that he (the Bishop) was the Head of all the Christians living within his District, and they were one Body, one Society, one Church, by depending on him, by being subject to him, by keeping to his Commu­nion. I say this is absurd: because then Separating from the most Heretical Superstitious, yea, Idolatrous Bishop, were unlaw­ful, as above noted. It is also groundless; for neither Cyprian, nor any other, uses such indistinct, and universal Assertions in this Matter. I come to examine his several Propositions, by which he pretendeth to make out this his Argument. The first is, that the Antients highly Valued Church Ʋnity, and laid no more Stress on any thing than it; and no Sin they Represented as more Hainous, or more Criminal than the Sin of Schism: And here he is at the Pains to fill almost two Pages, with the Commendations of Unity, and hard Names given to Schism, out of Cyprian, Firmilian, and Concil. Carthag. I do not find that he is so Copious, and mu­stereth up so numerous Forces against any Disputable Point, as in this where he hath no Adversary: for who ever spake against Unity in the Church, and took the Defence of Schism. Where­fore all this I pass with a few short Observes. First, Tho' we have Account of seven several Councils at Carthage in the Antient Re­cords, [Page 35] yet this Author always citeth Concil. Carthag. without a­ny discrimination: if he miscite Places, how shall this Error be discovered: for I think few will be at Pains to read over all the Acts of these Councils, for every one of his Citations; which are not a few. 2. We may from this Discourse gather what Senti­ments this Author hath of Presbyterians; seing the Design of his Book is to prove them Schismaticks; that is (according to his Citations) Renegadoes, Apostats, Antichrists, Malignants, Pari­cides, false Christs, Christ's Enemies, Blasphemers, the Devils Priests, Retainers to Korah, to Judas, Villains; and much more of this Stuff. Either he Applaudeth all this, or not: if not, his Citations are impertinent; if so, he chargeth us with all this Guilt: and I ask him, if he thinketh it just, that we should throw back all this Dirt on himself and his Party, whom we reckon to be the Authors of this Schism that is now in this Church: for my part, I am far from dealing so by them: I think they are in an Error, and that that Error misleadeth them into some Practices that are sinful, and that have bad Consequecens to the Church; but I hope there are good men among them for all that. 3. The Schisms that occasioned these vehement Discourses among the Fa­thers, were chiefly these of the Donatists and Novatians; which were like to ruine Christianity, and to make the World cast at it, while it was not well setled, nor universally received. I hope our Differences tho' they have sadder Effects, than I am willing to mention; yet go not that far. 4. It is well known that the Ho­ly Zeal of the Fathers, and the excellent Rhetorick they were en­dowed with, made them overlash sometimes in their Expressions: and it is evident that not a few of the Popish Errors had their Original, and some seeming Patrociny, from their flights of Rhe­torick; their Figurative Expressions, and some Logical Niceties that they used. This is not my Apprehension alone; the Lear­ned Daille, Right Ʋse of the Fathers, hath the same Observation, Chap. 5. The Fathers themselves were aware of this, with res­pect to the Writings of one another: Hieron. Ep. 139. ad Cypri­an. [Page 36] Plerumque nimium disertis accidere solet, ut major sit intelli­gentiae difficultas in eorum explanationibus, quam in iis quae expla­nare conantur. And in Matters of greater Moment, they spake sometimes unwarily, not foreseeing what ill Use might be made of their Expressions; as Jerom also giveth us ground to think; Apolog. contra Ruffin. vel certe (saith he) antequam in Alexan­dria quasi Daemonium meridianum Arius nasceretur, innocenter quae­dam & minus cautè locuti,—& quae non possunt perversorum ho­minum calumniam declinare. Petavius maketh also the same Ob­servation, tho' a Jesuit, in Panar. Epiphan. ad Haer. 6, 9. Yea, the same Author hath this Passage; Not. in Epiphan, multa sunt à Sanctissimis Patribus presertim à Chrysostomo in Homiliis aspersa, quae si ad exactae veritatis regulam accommodare volueris, boni sen­sus manca videbuntur.

§. 28. I observe, 5. That tho' our Author would fright us also with what the Scripture saith of Unity, and against Schism, (which I confess is enough to make us love the one, and hate the other,) yet I do not find this strain used against all Divisions, in Scripture without Discrimination; but that another Spirit appeareth in these Inspired Writings, and that more of Christian Forbea­rance is Recommended, 1 Cor. 1. 11. and 3. Ch. 1. Divisions are reproved, and with strong Reason condemned: so 1 Cor. 11. 18. but that Weight is not laid on them that our Author speaketh of: and Philip. 15. 16. Forbearance, and Joyning in Uncon­tested Truths and Duties is enjoyned. And I am sure the Diffe­rences of these Times, were Things of more Moment, than our Bishops Mitres, or Lordly Domination are: The Church might be in Peace, if they either would shew us Divine Warrant for their Prelation, or not trouble us with their Usurpations.

§. 29. His second Proposition is, for the Preservation of Ʋni­ty, and preventing of Schism, in every particular Church all were bound, in Cyprian's time, to live in the Bishop's Communion, and to owne and look upon him, as the Principle of Ʋnion to that Church of which he was Head and Ruler. I see not wherein this differeth [Page 37] from the former Proposition: I am sure it containeth no new Mat­ter: and therefore I should have taken no notice of it; but that p. 21. he bringeth some Citations that need a little to be exami­ned. Altho' I can by no Diligence find some of the Places that he citeth, yet by chance I have light on these: and the Words he useth afford a plain Answer to his Argument brought from them. For his first Citation out of Ep. 33. (I find it in Ep. 27.) it ma­keth nothing at all for the Bishop's sole Power, nor for his being further the Principle of Ʋnity, than what I have above granted. The Case was this, some of the Lapsed who had been received to the Peace of the Church, (as they pretended) by the means of some Martyrs; wrote to Cyprian that they were now received by the Church, and desired that they might be more fully restored by Cy­prian and the Church with him: Cyprian took it ill that they should write to him as from a Church, whereas they that had recei­ved them, nor they themselves, were no Church; but in this had neglected the Authority of them who were truly the Church. In all this Cyprian saith nothing but what is according to the Princi­ples of Presbyterians: if any should pretend to receive Penitents, even tho' they were Elders in a Congregation, or Ministers in a Presbytery, without the Moderator, without the Elders, or the Presbytery, respectivè; we should blame them, for Usurpation, and disorderly Walking. And it is very observable, that Cyprian in this very Passage saith, that Ecclesia in Episcopo & Clero, & omnibus stantibus est constituta: then it is not the Bishop who is the Church: what he saith of the Church as being built on the Bishop, is already cleared: he saith indeed, omnis actus Ec­clesiae per eosdem praepositos gubernatur: in which our Author shew­eth but little Skill, when he translateth these words, all her (the Churches) Affairs are ordered by them as the Chief Rulers: where it should be turned, by the same who are set over her (the Church:) and I think that it will not be denyed that Presbyters are Praepositi, and are set over the Church: he saith no more then, but the Church is founded on the Bishop, that is, his sound Do­ctrine, [Page 38] as was before explained, and her Affairs are ruled by the same Praepositi; that is, the Bishops, and others having Ecclesiasti­cal Authority with them: For Presbyters are the same with Bi­shops in this; and that Cyprian meaneth so, may be gathered from his varying the word Episcopus into Praepositus. Again grant­ing, that all the Acts of the Church are ruled by the Bishop, this will not prove that they are ruled by him alone. His other Testimony out of what he calleth Epistle 43, is far less to his pur­pose; Felicismus, with his Faction (who formerly had opposed Cyprian's Election to be Bishop) in his retirement, not only with­out him, but without the Concurrence of the Presbytery, or Con­gregational Eldership, (I shall not determine which of these the Church of Carthage was then governed by) received some of the lapsed: which I, as well as my Antagonist do reckon a very disor­derly Action; this Cyprian doth justly blame: And that on this Ground, that they set up another Altar in that Church, that is, they threw off the Church Authority that was regularly placed in Carthage; and set up another beside: we also would blame them who would cast off the Authority of the Presbytery, or Kirk-Ses­sion, and set up another. What is Cyprian's meaning is yet clear­er from what our Author unwarily citeth out of his Book de unit­tae Ecclesiae. An esse sibi cum Christo videtur qui adversus Christi Sacerdotes facit? Qui se à cleri ejus & Plebis societate secernit? Where he describeth Schisme to be when some depart from the Rul­ers and Members of the Church (not from the Bishop alone) and that is to be understood, while they keep God's way.

§. 30. His third Preposition is, that Cyprian maketh the contempt of one Bishop, or undutifulness to him, the original of Schisme. I am so far from opposing him in this, that I think when people begin to quarrel with the meanest of Christs Ministers, (unless his Life, or Doctrine, or Government, give just cause) that they sin against God, contemn his Ordinance, and are on the brink of Schisme; if not Haeresie also: And I am sure all that he citeth out out of Cyprian on this head, amounteth to no more except a word [Page 39] or two, which I shall a little consider. When he speaketh of one Bishop, I understand him of one Praeses, whether in a Congregati­onal, or Classical Presbytrey, and that in conjunction with them: who opposeth such Authority opposeth Christ's Institution. He mentioneth p. 23. as also p. 32. The Bishops Monarchical power in the Church; and maketh Cyprian prove it by the Bees who have a King, the Beasts who have a Captain, and Robbers who have a Chiftain. It is evident to any who consider Cyprian's other Writ­ings, that he never arrogated to himself a Monarchical Power over the Church; for he plainly disowneth it as we shall after have oc­casion to shew: But he is here dealing with one Pupianus, who had reproached Cyprian as proud and arrogant, here Cyprian defen­deth himself, and retorteth the same Charge of Arrogance on Pu­pianus in that he took on him to arraign the Bishops and Rulers of the Church; and had denyed his power in the Church: and he sheweth what Inconveniency it were to the Church, if all this time the Church of Carthage had been governed by a Man who had no Authority: and in this he bringeth the similitude of the Bees, &c. Will any think that Cyprian was so weak as to take this for a sufficient Argument to prove Monarchical Power in the Church: he only bringeth it as a similitude to illustrate this Truth, that there must be a Government in the Church, and it had been ill with the Church of Carthage, if so long a time they had One over them who was no lawful Ruler: which is no Determination of the Extent of Cyprian's power; Neither was that the Question between him and Pupianus.

§. 31. I proceed to his fourth Proposition, p. 24. The Bishop was so much the principle of Ʋnity; the people had such Dependence on him, and was so virtually in him, that what he did as Bishop, was reputed the Deed of the whole Church; which he ruled. And to confirm this, he bringeth Instances, that Churches were blamed for communicating with criminal Bishops, and that they did not separat from them; and are commended for the Bishops owning the Truth. Had our Author thought fit to peruse and consider his Papers be­fore [Page 40] he printed them, it is like we should not have been troubled with such crude Notions. For 1. How can this be reconciled to what he had a little before-pleaded, concerning the horrid sinful­ness of separating from their Bishop; and this without any di­stinction or Limitation. 2. He is so unwise as to add one word that spoileth all his Design, viz. As Bishop, for what a Bishop acteth as Bishop, he acteth in the Consistory, or the Presbytery; and by the plurality of their Votes: and that is indeed the Fact of the Church Representative, and of the Church diffusive too, if they shew no dislike of it; But this is no Semblance of Proof of the Power of Bishops that he pleadeth for. Cyprian's Rhetorical flourish in say­ing, that when Cornelius confessed the Faith before the Persecutors, the whole Roman Church confessed; Is no more but that Cornelius gave a faithful Testimony to that Doctrine, that he had preach­ed among that People, and that they received, and did still owne; is this an Argument that Cornelius had the sole Power of Church-Government in Rome. Yea, all this might have been said of any Member of that Church who had so confessed, and the Church did not reclaim, but professed the same Truth; It is far less probative, that Cyprian desired to suffer at Carthage, rather than else where, that he might in Confession be the Mouth of them all. And least of all is it an Argument, that he calleth them his Bowels, his Body, their Grief was his Grief, &c. We must abandon all Sense and Reason, if these pass for concludent Arguments. Of the same weight is what he bringeth out of Pontius, of the Blessedness of the people of Carthage, who suffered together with such a Bishop. I beg the Readers pardon for troubling him with such silly Arguments, which need no Answer.

§. 32. His fifth Proposition, that the Bishops being the principle of Ʋnion to his Church, was held before the Cyprianick Age: This, I say needeth no further Animadversion: for it bringeth no new thing; Neither is it to be imagined that Ignatius, whom he citeth, meant that the sole Authority of the Bishop, rather than the Doctrine that he taught from the infallible Word of God, was the Princi­ple [Page 41] of Ʋnity to the Church: Or, that they who belong to Christ are with the Bishop, whether he teacheth Truth or Error: It is a vast mistake that he saith, that Cyprian, Ep. 33. pleadeth for the divine Right of Episcopacy in that Ep. (which is (mihi) 27) he pleadeth for the Divine Authority of the Church, and her Bi­shops; that is, Pastours: not for a Divine Warrant for the Prae­lation of some of them above others: nothing can be more evi­dent than the concurrent Testimonies of Antiquity against this Fancy: Scripture, and the most Antient of the Fathers speak of Bishops and Presbyters indistinctly; when the Distinction began to be taken notice of, Jerome saith that it was brought in by the Pres­byters themselves: Ep. ad Evagr. as also on Tit. and Aug. Ep. 10. referreth to Ecclesiae usus. Yea, Concil. Nic. 1. Can. 6. maketh the Distinction of Bishops, as Metropolitans, &c. To be mos anti­quus: All that followeth, §. 37, 37, 36. doth also confute this Opinion. But this I insist not on, because our Author hath put off the proof of that Divine Institution of Episcopacy, to his next Essay, p. 94. His sixth and last Proposition is, that the Principle of the Bishops being the Center of Ʋnity is most reasonable and accountable in it self. We may now expect some Herculean Argument, and the highest Effort of his Skill: And I am willing that the whole Controversie be hanged on this Pin. All that he bringeth for Argu­ment is, every particular Church is an Organical, political Body; and there can be no Organical Body without a Principle of Ʋnity, on which all the Members must hang, and from which being separat­ed, they must cease to be Members; and who so fit for being Principle of Ʋnity to a Church as he who is Pastour, Ruler, Governour, Cap­tain, Head, Judge, Christs Vicar, &c. Not his Conclusion on­ly, but an Assumption is understood, viz. the Bishop is all this, ergo he is the Center of Ʋnity; and his quod erat demonstrandum followeth a little after, it is scarce possible to prove any thing of this nature more demonstratively. One might make sport with this Argument, which is introduced, and backed with such Parade: But I am in earnest in this Debate. There are here no less than [Page 42] three Premisses expressed, and a fourth necessarily understood, be­fore we can reach the Conclusion; which every Logician will con­demn; and when we are at last, through all these Stages, ariv­ed at the Conclusion, it is above distinguished, and his Argu­ment can reach no more than is by us confessed: Besides this, it is hard to shew how these his Premisses hang together, or what Connection they have. Further, that the principle of Ʋnity in a political Body is one person and cannot be a Society, the Consist­ory, or the Presbytery in the Church, will hardly be proved: by this Argument there can be no Unity in a Common-wealth, but only in Monarchy, Aristocracy, and Democracy in a Nation are here not only made unlawful, but impossible. that the Bishop is fittest to be the Principle of Unity in the Church is gratis dictum: Yea, it is [...]: Notwithstanding of the metaphorical Ap­pellations that our Author giveth him, from some of the Antients. Yea, if a Society cannot be the Center of Unity in a particular Church, who shall be the Center of Unity among Bishops; we must surely have the Pope for this use, which is indeed the native conclusion of our Author's Argument that he braggeth so much of. But this will afterward occurre.

§. 33. He cometh now (p. 27.) to another Argument: a Bi­shop in Cyprian's age, was supreme in his Church, immediatly subject to Christ, had no Ecclesiastical Superior on Earth: the Church was one, but divided into many Precincts, each had its Bishop who was their Supreme. I am no further concerned in what he saith on this head; but what he bringeth for the Bishops Supremacy. Where­fore I insist not on his first Proposition, concerning the Equality of Bishops; I only observe that he is for Parity in the Church; and if it be found among Bishops, I know no Scripture nor Reason that condemneth it among Presbyters. To the same purpose is his second Preposition, and his Third, all which are levelled against the Supremacy of the Bishop of Rome; whose cause I do not in­tend to plead. Wherefore I come to examine his 4th Proposition, p. 31. by the Principles of these times, every Bishop was Christs [Page 43] Vicar, within his own District: So, say I, is every Minister of the Gospel; understanding by Vicar, one who deriveth his Power from Christ, and to him must give account of it. He saith further, that a Bishop had a Primacy in his own Church. If he mean that he was primus Presbyter; I denyed it not, if that he had the sole Power in his own person, or that the Presbyters had not a coordi­nate power with him in the Government of the Church, I deny it. Neither is it proved by Cyprian's words, which he citeth; Cathe­dram sibi constituere, & primatum assumere: which I cannot find by what Directions he giveth, and therefore cannot tell what might be further said for vindicating them. The next Expression admit­eth of the same Answer, viz. that he managed the Ballance of Go­vernment; it is not said that he did this by himself; Our Modera­tor manageth the Ballance of Government, but with the Presbytery. The sublime Sacerdotii fastigum, signifieth no more than primus Presbyter: The Antients use as big words for as low things: nei­ther do I know any higher Degree in those days: If my Antago­nist will prove it, he must use other Topicks, than words that may admit various significations. the same I say of the Expressions that follow, the vigor Episcopatus, the sublimis & divina potestas gubernandae Ecclesiae; This last may agree to the meanest Member of a Presbytery; Are not Presbyters called by Cyprian such as are divino sacerdotio honorati: and gloriosi sacerdotes as himself citeth. p. 7. To what purpose he citeth Jerome for the Parity of Bishops, and saith that I will not reject his Testimony, I understand not. I shall neither oppose him nor Jerome in that Principle.

§. 34. He bringeth another Argument, (p. 32.) from the High Priest among the Jews, and saith, that a Bishop was the same to Christians, that he was to the Jews. I see the learned Author is very unhappy in stumbling upon popish Arguments, and he can say litle for his Bishop, but what they say for their Pope: And it is evident, that the Papists from this Medium, argue with much more shew of Reason: For the High Priest had universal supream Authority over the universal Church, that then was; The Papists [Page 44] infer the Pope's universal Head-ship: tho' I am far from thinking this Argument concludent for them; yet what shew of Confe­quence can it have for a Bishops Power in his Diocess? Or with what Face can this Author say, that a Bishop is the same to Pres­byters and Deacons, that he was to the Levites, unless he say that a Bishop was the same to all the Presbyters and Deacons in the World that the High Priest was to all the Levites in the world. Cyprian's Reasons, brought from the High Priest, have much more Sense in them than these of our Author: For he pleadeth no more from that Topick, but that as the High Priest was to be obyed, and not resisted, so is the Bishop. As the High Priest was reverenced, even by Christ, so is the Bishop; we say the same: that a Bishop acting in his Sphere, with his Consistory, or Presby­tery, should be obeyed and respected: and we count it the same sort of Sin in Schismaticks, who rebel against this Church Autho­rity, with Kora's Rebellion against Aaron: but it is utterly incon­sequential to infer Church Monarchy from Aaron's Power. I wish he had brought any thing that might look like proof of this consequence. He saith, p. 34. that the Christian Hierarchie was copied from that of the Jews; and he bringeth Arguments for it, such as they are, one is from the Names, Priest, Priesthood, Al­tar, Sacrafice, &c. which he calleth a pregnant Argument; I can­not but still observe how much the Papists owe him; not only for their Pope, but for their unbloody Sacrifice, what? must we have all that of the Old Testament whereof we retain the Names? If so, we must have a new Gospel. This Argument is easily de­livered of its Pregnancy, by denying the Consequence. His other Argument is from an Ep. of Clement of Rome, who lived in the Apostles times: wherein he exhorteth to Order, and every ones keeping his Station, and then reckoneth up several Subordinations under the Old Testament. A. Clement useth the Old Testament hierarchy as a simile, to illustrate New Testament Subordination of Officers in the Church; ergo we must have the same Officers, and they must have the same Power that these had, non sequitur: [Page 45] Neither was such a Consequence intended by Clement: For a se­cond Answer, our Author may know that that, and others of the Epistles that go under Clement's name are rejected, as none of his, by Learned Men, and on solid Grounds.

§. 35. He hath a long Discourse, beginning p. 34. at the end, to shew that my Definition of a Bishop, is consistent with none of the three Principles last mentioned, which were current in the Cyprianick Age; much less with all three together. I have already shewed, how far these Principles were held in that Age; and how our Notion of a Bishop agreeth with them all. What seemeth to be further Argumentative in this Harangue, I shall consider. He saith the Bishops being the Principle of Ʋnity, doth not consist with his being a single Presbyter; where there were four­ty six Presbyters; as at Rome: there would rather be fourty six Principles of Divisions, and make the Church a Monster with fourty six Heads. Answ. 1. I retort this Argument: In the first Coun­cil of Nice, (for Example) where were three hundred Bishops, what was the Principle of Unity? or, were they three hundred Principles of Division? And a Church Meeting, or a Church Re­presentative, that was so Monstrous as to have three hundred Heads? What he will answer in the one case, I will answer in the other. And indeed this Argument destroyeth the Parity of Bishops, which he pleadeth for, as well as of Presbyters; and its Native Conclusion is, we must either have the Papacy over the Church, or Anarchy in it. A. 2. Where there are many such Presbyters as our Author pleadeth for, we say the Bishop was the [...], and not a single Presbyter. A. 3. In a particular Flock, where are many Ruling, but not Teaching Presbyters, the Bishop or Mini­ster, is such a Principle of Ʋnity, as I have above owned: and where there are more Bishops in one Church, the Principle of U­nity, is their Teaching the same Doctrine: as is above explained. He next alledgeth, that a Moderator cannot be the Principle of Ʋ ­nity in a Presbytery; seing as such, he is neither Pastor, Gover­nour, nor Christian; but may be a Heathen. A. This wild Noti­on, [Page 46] that a Heathen may be Moderator in a Presbytery, I have fully refuted, §. 8. To the first part of his Argument, I say, that not the Moderator alone, but with the Presbytery, is the Principle of Ʋnity, while they all Teach the same Truths, and adhere to the one Rule of our Faith, and Practice, the Word of God: any other Bond, or Cement, by which Men can be Uni­ted, which lyeth in the Authority of a Man, rather than in the true Doctrine, is an Antichristian Fancy; and tendeth to enslave the Conscience to the Will of Man. We know no such Uni­ting Head as he telleth of, but Christ, Ephes. 4. 15, 16. Nei­ther did ever Cyprian dream of such a Head of the Church Next he will make our Notion of a Bishop inconsistent with his other Principls, the Bishop's Supremacy, and Independency. I have al­ready shewed, that the Church in Cyprian's Time, knew no such Supremacy, nor Independency: but held, and Practised a Subordi­nation, not of many to one, but of every one to the Collective Body, and of every lesser Body to the greater, of which it was a part. I see no Reason nor Scripture Ground for Independency, whether of single Pastors and Congregations, or of Presbyteries, or of Bishops; and their Provincial Synods. His third Principle, the Hierarchy under the Gospel, being the same with that under the Old Testament, I have refuted, as a groundless Fancy; and therefore am under no Obligation to shew the Consistency of our Parity with it.

§. 36. From p. 37. he layeth down Principles that would af­ford stronger, and more pertinent Arguments, than any we have yet met with, if he can but sufficiently establish these Principles. He mentioneth three, viz. 1. The Bishop's sole Power in many Acts of Government and Discipline. 2. His Negative in all. 3. That all Presbyters were subject to his Authority and Jurisdiction. If all this be true, our Cause is lost: but we are not afraid to try it with him, through his help whose Cause we plead. Before I en­gage in this Debate with him, I desire the Reader will reflect on what I observed, §. 10. that if we can bring Testimonies to prove [Page 47] a Parity of Power among Presbyters: and that Domination o­ver them by one, was condemned, or disowned in Cyprian's Time; his bringing Testimonies to the contrary, will not be found Con­cludent: for Contradictory Assertions derogate from the Autho­rity of the Asserter: or seeming Contradictions must be reconci­led by a fair Exposition: or, such Testimonies will prove, that the Practice and Principles of the Churches of that Age, were not Uniform; any of which would weaken his Cause. I shall not here repeat the Citations that are full to this purpose, which I have on diverse Occasions mentioned. Nor need I confine my self to Cyprian's Age alone: seing our Author pretendeth to no less Antiquity for his Way, than from the Apostles down ward; yea, all the Ages of the Church; and all the Churches of every Age: and we acknowledge that after the third Century, Church-Government was much altered to the worse. I shall begin with Ignatius, both because his Testimony is Argumentum ad Hominem, at least, seing my Antagonist, and his Party, lay so much Stress on his Epistles: also, because if he speak for Parity, it may abate the force of all that they bring out of his Writings to the contra­ry. What I shall alledge from him, I find cited by the famous Arch-Bishop Ʋsher, in his Original of Bishops and Metropolitans, Ignat. Ep. ad Trallianos. [...], &c. be subject to the Bi­shop as to the Lord; and after▪ be subject to the Presbytery as to the Apostles of Jesus Christ our Hope. Also [...], &c. he that doth any thing without the Bishop, and the Presbyters, and the Deacons, such an one is defiled in Conscience. And again [...], &c. farewel in Christ Jesus, being subject to the Bishop, and also to the Presbyters. Here it is plain that Church Authority, to which the People must be subject, is not given to the Bishop alone, but to the Presbytery also; and indeed to them both acting conjunct­ly. I need not transcribe what is, with much plainness, cited to our purpose, by Blondel; out of both the Clements, Polycarpus, Justin; and others of the first of the Fathers. I only mention Clem. Alexand. Strom. Lib. 7. Penes Presbyteros est Disciplina [Page 48] quae facit homines meliores. Tertullian Apolog. c. 39. Praesident probati quique Seniores. Viz. In their Meetings for Discipline: where were Admonitiones, Castigationes, & Censurae Divinae. He is speaking of the Discipline of a Congregation; and ascribeth the Government of it to a Community, not to a single person. The Clergy of Rome in their Epistles to Cyprian, (which is Ep. 31.) do plainly declare their Opinion about the receiving the Lapsed; that it should be done collatione Consiliorum cum Episco­pis, Presbyteris, Diaconis, Confessoribus, & stantibus Laicis: this they mean of the general Method that should be laid down for it; it should be Advised about by as many as can give Counsel: but when they speak of the Authoritative Sentence; they say, it should not be done ab uno: then not by a Bishop acting by sole Autho­rity. Cypr. Ep. 10. §. 3. Writing to the Clergy of Carthage, and shewing the evil of overturning Church Discipline, as had been done by some of their number; he telleth them, Erunt rei qui praesunt, & haec fratribus non suggerunt, ut instructi à praepo­sitis faciant omnia cum Dei timore. Where it is evident that they owned them as praepositi; and charge on them the Duty of giving faithful Warning, according to that their Character: whence it followeth that he did not look on himself as being the only prae­positus, or Ruler of that Church. And Ep. 28. he commendeth the Clergy of Carthage, (while himself was absent from them) that they had debarred from Communicating with them Gaius Presbyter Diddensis, and his Deacon, who had Communicated with the Lapsed: and he telleth them that they had Acted like Men of Integrity, and according to the Discipline of the Church: integre & cum Disciplina fecistis. If he had the sole Power, this Fact of theirs had been quite contrary to Church Discipline. If any say, that they did this with the Advice of some of Cyprian's Collegues, that is, Bishops. A. Whether these were Bishops or not, we know not: but they only gave Advice, the Authorita­tive Act was by the Clergy of Carthage. Ep. 55. §. 17. Cyprian compareth the number of Presbyters and Deacons who had con­curred [Page 49] in condemning (affuerunt judicio & cognitioni) some Schismaticks; with the number of them that stood for them: which is a clear Argument that the Clergy, with the Bishop, not onely consulted, but judicially determined, in Church Affairs. And in the same Epist. §. 21. speaking to Cornelius Bishop of Rome, he expres­ly mentioneth the Clergy as ruling the Church with Cornelius: his Words are, Florentissimo clero illic tecum praesidenti. Also Epist. 58. he hath Words of the like importance, §. 2. Qui cum Episcopo Presbyteri sacerdotali honore conjuncti. It is also evident in many of Cyprian's Epistles, that he divideth the Clergy in Praepositos (which Word doth manifestly signifie Rulers) and Deacons. So Epist. 62, 65. and elsewhere. I only add out of Cyprian Epist. 6. §. 4. Doleo enim quando audio—nec à Diaconis aut Presbyteris regi posse. Pamelius's Note on this Passage maketh it yet more plain for us; tho' he was a Papist, and no Presbyterian. Hinc (saith he) non obscurè colligitur, viguisse adhuc Carthagini, aetate aucto­ris, praerogativam Presbyterorum & Diaconorum primitivae Ecclesiae; qua communi totius Presbyterii, i. e. Presbyterorum & Diaconorum collegii, consilio, administrabantur omnia ab Episcopis: And he ci­teth to confirm this, Ignatius, as I have before cited him. If any say Pamelius attributeth to the Presbytery but Consilium; it is plain that Cyprian speaketh of their Ruling Power.

§. 37. Contemporary with Cyprian was Firmilianus Bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia; who doth fully declare for Presbyterial Government, in his Epist. to Cyprian, which is the 75. of Ep. Cypr. for §. 3. he hath these Words, Qua ex re necessario apud nos fit; ut per singulos annos seniores & praepositi in unum conveniamus; ad disponenda ea quae curae nostrae commissa sunt; ut si quae graviora sunt, communi consilio dirigantur. And §. 6. Omnis potestas & gratia in Ecclesia est constituta, ubi praesident majores natu ( [...]) qui & baptizandi, & manum imponendi & ordinandi possident po­testatem. It is to be observed, that frequent mention is made in this Epistle of Episcopi, Bishops, and Pamelius thinketh that this Ep. being turned out of Greek into Latine by Cyprian, to whom [Page 50] it was written, by Praepositus is meant Bishop, and by Senior Pres­byter, whence it is evident, that here all Church Power is ascribed to the Presbyter that is given to the Praepositus or Bishop. At the same time was Pontius one of Cyprian's Deacons▪ and his constant Attendant, and who well knew his Principles; he wrote Cyprian's Life, and in that History he hath these Words, Nulla mora, nulla dilatio Presbyterium & sacerdotum statum (that is presently after his Conversion to Christianity) accepit: quis enim non omnes honorum gradus crederet tali menti: where it is plain that Pontius thought that all Church Degrees were included in Sacerdotium & Presbyterium; which he taketh for one. And a little below he joineth Sacerdotium & Episcopatus as the same Office that Cyprian was chosen to, while he was Neophytus, and as was thought No­vellus. From all this it appeareth that Cyprian was made Priest, Presbyter and Bishop all at once, as being the same thing. Gregor. Nazianz. (who flourished in the fourth Century) in his Apolo­gy, telleth us of the Apostles making Canons for Bishops and Presby­ters, 1 Tim. 3. and Tit. 1. Whether their Office may be called a Mi­nistry, or Rule of Government; his Words are [...]. He saith likewise of them, that they (by their pro­motion to be Presbyters) ascend from being ruled to be Rulers: that they have Authority, not over a Flock; but over mens Souls: and other very sublime Powers he ascribeth to them. And in his Ora­tions, he is as profuse in extolling the Dignity and Authority of Presbyters, as any other in exalting Bishops. He saith, as many as are ordain'd, are chosen to the high Thrones of Presbytery [...]. That he speaketh not of Bishops as distinct from Presbyters, is plain, for the design of his Discourse, especially in his Apology, is to shew how the Apostle directed Bishops and Presbyters by the same Ca­nons, without distinguishing them, or their work; and that one­ly custom had raised the Bishop above them as their Praeses.

§. 38. I next bring Ambrose as a Witnes for us; in his Epistle to Syagrius, he sheweth, that when he and Syagrius had severally passed Sentence on a Delinquent, the Church was unsatisfied with the Sentence [Page 51] of Syagrius, and gave the reason, because he had done it by himself, sine alicujus fratris consensu; but acquiesced in the Sentence passed by Ambrose, because (saith he) hoc Judicium nostrum cum Fra­tribus & Con-Sacerdotibus participatum processit. Whence it is plain to have been the Principle of those days, that the Bishop had not sole Jurisdiction: however some were then Grasping at it. Chrysostom. Homil. 11. in 1. Tim. [...], &c. omitting the Order of Presbyters, he (the Apostle) passeth to the Deacons. Why so? Because there is no great Difference: for they are Ordained for Teaching and Governing ( [...]) the Church; and what he had said of Bishops, he applyeth to the Presbyters. If then Chrysostom was for the Bishop's sole Jurisdiction, let any judge. August. Ep. 19. quanquam secundum honorum vocabula quae jam Ecclesiae usus obtinuit, Episcopatus Presbyterio major sit, tamen in mul­tis rebus Augustinus Hieronymo minor est. Where it may be observed, to our purpose, 1. That Augustine placeth the Praelation of a Bishop above a Presbyter, in the Title of Dignity, but speaketh not a word of Superior Power. 2. He not only insinuateth, that that Diffe­rence (such as it was) had its Original, not from Divine Insti­tution, but Humane Custom; but he speaketh of it as lately set­led, jam obtinuit: this was after 420 years: it was neither con­stant, nor universal, till then. Salvianus maketh the Levitae & Sacerdotes to be the Apostles Successors; not mentioning Bishops as distinct. So Gildas frequently speaketh of Bishops and Presby­ters promiscuously. I hope I may also adduce Jerom, a Presbyter, as a Witness, as well as they do other Fathers who were Bishops. He giveth all manner of Church Power to Presbyters, and not to Bishops only. Ep. ad Heliodorum. Presbytero (saith he) si pec­cavero, licet me tradere Satanae in interitum carnis. Et Ep. ad Demetrium; sunt quos Ecclesia reprehendit, quos interdum abjicit, in quos nonnunquam Episcoporum & Presbyterorum Censura desae­vit. Ambrose giveth Account, Ep. 80. of the Excommunication of Jovinianus, and others with him, by Syricius Bishop of Rome; whose words to Ambrose were, omnium nostrum tam Presbyterorum, [Page 52] quam Diaconorum, quam totius Cleri scissitata fuit Sententia. It is shewed, §. 37. that Penitents were to be received by the Bi­shop and Clergy; as Cypr. Ep. 12. it were then strange, if they were cast out by the Bishop alone. I desire the Reader (who can) for further satisfaction, would read Paul Baynes Diocesan's Trial: and Mr. Peregrin Letters Patents of Presbytery: they having somewhat that is singular on this Subject.

§. 39. Let us now examine what he is pleased to bring for the Bishop's sole Power in the Church; and against the Parity that we have Asserted. And first, I shall examine his three Principles a­bove-mentioned. The first of which is, there were several consi­derable Acts of Power, belonging to the Government and Discipline of the Church, which belonged solely to the Bishop; several Powers Lodged in his Person, which he could manage by himself, and with­out the Concurrence of any other Church-Governour. Of this sort he reckoneth eight, viz. Confirmation, Ordination, Settling Pres­byters, Disposal of Church Revenues, Imposing Charitable Contri­butions, Convocating the Presbyters and Deacons, Indicting Pub­lick Fasts, Delegating two of his Presbyters. These I shall consi­der distinctly, with his Proofs for what he Asserteth about them. For the first of these, Confirmation of the Adult, who had in their Infancy been Baptized; at first it was no more, but after diligent Instructing them in the Grounds of Religion, bringing them to the Pastor of the Church, (and probably before the Eldership) that they might be tryed in their Proficiency, and so declared fit to receive the Lord's Supper: in which nothing can be blamed. Afterward it came to be more Theatrically managed, and Impo­sition of Hands was the Ceremony by which it was set off: till at last it came to be esteemed a Sacrament. Now when it was thus turned from the Simplicity of God's Ordinance, to be a Pompous Device of Man, (not a few of which were crept into the Church in, yea before Cyprian's Age) it is not strange, if they committed not the managing of it to all, to whom Christ had committed his Ordinances; but to one of their own chusing. Our Debate [Page 53] is, whether the Bishop had sole Power of managing any of Christ's Ordinances; of which number this is not. Yet I find litle strength in our Author's Arguments for this Power in the Bishop. His first Proof is, Cypr. Ep. ad Jubajanum, it was the Custom to offer such as were Baptized to the Bishops, that by their Prayers, and the Laying on of their Hands, they might receive the Holy Ghost, and be Con­summated by the Sign of our Lord: which our Author taketh to be the Sign of the Cross. Here Cyprian useth the word Praepositis, which our Author is pleased to translate Bishops; whereas Presby­ters also were called by that Name. For Cyprian, Ep. 3. §. 1. the Roman Clergy, (when they had no Bishop,) said of them­selves, that it appeared that they were Praepositi; and thence infer­red, that it was incumbent on them to take Care of the Flock: and they speak of idle Shepherds as neglegentes Praepositi, whose Reproof was to be a Warning to them. And Cypr. Ep. and Jubajan. which is 69. §. 4. plainly calleth the Successors of the seventy Disciples, as well as these of the Apostles, Praepositos: for of them that place Luc. 10. 16. which he citeth, is to be understood. And Ep. 62. §. 1. he sheweth how Church Discipline is to be regarded, à Praepositis & Plebe. And Ep. 65. §. 4. he mentioneth Episcopos & Prae­positos, as distinct. And Ep. 21. which is Celerini ad Lucium, §. 3. quorum jam causa audita, praeceperunt eos Praepositi sic esse donec Episcopus constituatur. And de Lapsis, §. 4. Praepositos superbo tumore contemnere: it is spoken of all the Rulers of the Church. For a further Refutation of this his Principle, it may be observed, that this Confirmation, of which Cyprian here speaketh, is not that which in our days goeth under that Name; but that used in the Apostolick Church, the Effect of which, was the giving of the Ho­ly Ghost; as is clear from his citing Act. 8. 14, &c▪ for the Pat­tern of what they did, and their Warrant for it. Now that Im­position of Hands was not given to all the Baptized; but only to such as were ad ministerium ordinandi, saith Lightfoot: it was not ad sanctificationem, sed ad dona extraordinaria; saith the same Author. Piscator, Beza, Grotius, do also so expound this place: [Page 54] wherefore it proveth nothing, except our Author can tell us what Cyprian meant by it: which I can not; seing the extraordinary Gifts of the Holy Ghost were then ceased, for any thing that we know. His next Citation, out of Firmilian, destroyeth what it is brought for; for he ascribeth to Bishops the Power of Baptism, Confirmation, Ordination: his Word is, they possess this Power: I hope he will not say that Presbyters had no Power in Baptism: wherefore by Bishops here Firmilian must mean the Pastors of the Church; all of whom were frequently called Bishops at that time: yea, himself confesseth, that these spoken of, were the majores natu, whom he most absurdly pleadeth to be Bishops, as distinct from preaching Presbyters. Of as little weight is what Cornelius saith of Novatianus (Eusebius maketh Cornelius say this of Nova­tus, chap. 42.) that he was not confirmed by the Bishop; for in that place Cornelius questioned not only the Confirmation of No­vatus, but his Baptism: and that he speaketh not of the ordinary Confirmation, but of that which belonged to Priests, is clear; for he saith, how then came he by the Holy Ghost? and he is there plea­ding his incapacity to be a Bishop, on that account. But of this too much: for it doth not hurt our Cause if it be granted that Bi­shops then were so far distinguished from other Presbyters, that they usurped a Power which our Lord had not given to them, nor any man else, at that time; what ever he had before done to them whom he immediatly sent, and extraordinarly endowed.

§. 40. The second Act of Power that he ascribeth to the Cypri­anick Bishop alone is, He had the sole Power of Ordination; and that of whatsoever Clergy-men within his District. Ordinations could not be performed without him: but he could perform them regu­larly without the concurrence of any other Church-Officer: And he saith, this hath so frequently and fully been proved by learned men, that he need insist little on it. All which we deny: neither do I find any Argument here brought by him, nor have I found in the Writings of his learned men (and I may, without vanity, say, I have seen the strongest of them) which might be a rational [Page 55] ground of Conviction. Before I examine his Proofs for this Asser­tion, I shall prove the Antithesis: That Presbyters did, in that age, and before, joyn in the Ordination of Presbyters. And first, it is evident from Jerom's words, so much insisted upon by our Epis­copal Brethren, Alexandriae, a Marco evangelista us (que) ad Heracleam & Dionysium Espiscopos, Presbyteri semperunum ex se electum, in ex­celsiori gradu collocatum, Episcopum nominabant. Whence it may fairly be deduced, that till An. Christi 246, all the Power or Authority that the Bishop had, was given him by the Presbyters; they elected him, nor had he any other Ordination, or Commu­nication of Power, but what he had from them; in the Opinion of Jerome. If then the Presbyters made a Bishop; it could not be he alone, but the Bishop with them, and as one of them who made Presbyters. 2. Hilarius, who lived in the midle of the fourth Century, in Eph. 4. hath these words, apud Aegyptum Pres­byteri consignaverunt, si praesens non fuit Episcopus. Whether ye interpret Consignaverunt of Confirmation, as some, or Consecration of Church-Officers, as others, it cometh to the same Conclusion: seing our Author and his Complices, reserve both these Powers to the Bishop; and it is probable they were not divided. That they did it absente Episcopo, doth imply that they had that Authority▪ for without it they could not have done it at all. 3. Novatus a Presbyter in Carthage, while Cyprian was Bishop: Ordained Fe­licissimus: This Ordination (tho' no doubt it was irregular, being done without the Moderator and the Presbytery) yet it was not lookt on as null, but Novatus was, after that, owned by Cyprian: and Felicissimus continued to be a Deacon. To this our Author answereth p. 42. that not Novatus, but neighbouring Bishops by the procurement of Novatus, did it. But Cyprian's words are plain; Felicissimum diaconum sua factione constituit. That this Deacon was ordained by Bishops is gratis dictum. I have also elsewhere proved, that in Scotland there were Presbyters ruling the Church, long before they had Bishops: which could not be if none but Bishops could Ordain them.

[Page 56]§. 41. Cyprian Ep. (mihi) 33. in ordinationibus clericis, sole­mus vos ante consulere, ut mores & merita singulorum communi con­silio ponderarem, &c. In that Ep. he telleth the Church what was his usual practice; and we have cause to think that he lookt on it as his Duty not to Ordain without the Presbyters: Com­mune consilium here can import no less than Deliberation and Au­thoritative Decision, for it was common to him and them. In the following part of the Epistle, he excuseth his Ordaining An­relius a Lector, without them, from the evidence of a Divine Call: and the present Distress and Scattering of the Church might excuse this necessary diverting from the common Road: yet he telleth them, he did not this by himself, but hunc igitur fratres dilectissimi, à me & à collegis qui praesentes aderant ordinatum sciatis; quod vos scio & libenter amplecti, & optare tales in Ecclesia nostra quem plu­rimos ordinari. He maketh the like Excuse, Ep. 24. for his Or­daining Saturus a Lector and Optatus a Sub-deacon: only here he had before hand the common consent; but his Circumstances (be­ing in his Retirement) did not suffer this to be done in and with the Presbytery; but that he did it not alone, we may gather from the former instance. This doth sufficiently shew that Ordinations were not performed without the Determination of the Presbytery. But it is also manifest, that in the solemnizing of them, by impositi­on of Hands, the Presbyters had their Share with the Bishop. Cypr- Ep. 10. §. 2. There is mention of impositio manum Episcopi & cleri, and that two several times. If it be said, that this Imposi­tion of Hands was for absolving Penitents; the consequence is good from the one to the other, seing our Author joyneth Confirmation in order to Communion (of which this is a sort) with Ordina­tion, as two Powers reserved to the Bishop alone. Ep. 67. §. 4. he saith of Cornelius Bishop of Rome, that he was ordained Suffragi [...], Cleri & Plebis, Concil. Carthag. 3. Canon. 22. Nullus ordinetur clericus non probatus, vel Episcoporum (not Episcopi) examine, vel populi testimonio. Concil. Carthag. 4. Can. 3. Presbyter cum ordinatur; Episcopo eum benedicente, & manum super caput ejus tenen­te, [Page 57] etiam omnes presbyteri qui adsunt manus suas juxta manum Epis­copi super caput ejus teneant. This is exactly our practice, if ye al­low the Moderator to be the Cyprianick Episcopus. Our Author him­self seemeth to insinuat, that the Presbyters with Cyprian, used to con­cur in Ordination; while he premiseth to his proofs for sole Ordi­nation, that passage out of Ep. 14. (as he quoteth it) a primordio Episcopatus mei statueram nihil sine consilio vestro & sine consensu plebis, mea privatim sententia gerere. I say, if this be not meant of Ordination, it is here very impertinently brought in. Nor can his Comment on Cyprian's words help him, viz. That this was his voluntary Condescendence, that he was not bound to: To prove which he putteth Statueram in majusculis as if it were not usual with good men when they enter on an Office, to resolve to keep within the bounds of their power; to manage it lawfully; as well as to cede in what is their Right. But that Cyprian's words can­not bear that sense, I prove by the Reason he giveth; sic mutuus honor exposcit: the mutuus honor must be that due regard that he had to their Authority in the Church, and they ought to have to his: it had been a dishonouring of them, and setting them lower than Christ had set them in his Church, for him to mannage her Affairs without them. And Ep. 18. he maketh this Matter yet clearer; Quae res, cum omnium nostrum consilium & sententiam spectet, prae­judicare ego, & soli mihi rem communem vindicare non audeo. Where it is manifest, that it was conscience of Duty, and not good Nature onely, that induced him to this Conduct. Also that he attributeth to Presbyters not consilium onely, but sententiam; not onely a consultative Power, but also definitive, or decisive. The Apostle who had indeed a sole Jurisdiction, spake in another Dia­lect, 1 Cor. 5. I have judged already. Cyprian durst not do so, be­cause he knew he had not that sole Power.

§. 42. Let us now hear his Proofs for the Bishop's sole Power of Ordination. The first is, What is said of the Ordination of Aure­lius, which I have already shewed to be against him. Wherefore I shall onely take notice of his Observes on this Passage, by which [Page 58] he would force it to speak for him. 1. That his Power was the same in all Ordinations. I shall not much contend about this: only, if they put the Power of Ordaining Officers of their own de­vising into the hands of whom they would; it doth not thence fol­low that they might, or did so dispose of Ordaining Power with re­spect to these whom God had appointed, and about whose Ordi­nation he had given Rules in the Word. 2. He used only to ask their Counsel about the manners and Merits of the person to be Or­dained; not their concurrence in the Act of Ordination. This is a Mistake, he asked not their Counsel only, but their joynt Suffrage, as is above shewed. That their Concurrence in the Act of Ordi­nation is not here mentioned, is not to his purpose; seing it is con­sequential to their Office, and Church Power. That it is fairly imported in the instance of Aurelius that they used not to concur, is a groundless Imagination; For this is a single Instance in an extra­ordinary case, and he spendeth a whole Epistle in making Apologie for it: Yea, he more than insinuateth the contrary, when he tel­leth what he used to do, and giveth a singular Reason for what he now did. I wonder that common Sense doth not teach him that such an Act doth not import a Custom. 3. That it was intire­ly of his own easiness and condescendency that he consulted them in the matter: This I have above refuted; and it is inconsistent with what himself elsewhere saith, that the Bishop was the Monarch, and the Presbyters his Senate: I hope he will not say that it is ex bene­placito that Kings consult their Parliaments: Unless he be for the Turkish Government both in Church and State.

§. 43. Another Testimony (which he calleth Remarkable p. 40.) is Cyprian Ep. 41. had given a Deputation to Caldonius and some others, to examine the Ages, Qualifications, and Merits of some in Carthage, that he, whose Province it was to promote Men to Ec­clesiastical Offices, might be well informed about them, and promote none but such as were meek, and humble, and worthy. His Remark is, he speaks of himself in the singular Number, as having the power of promoting; and he founds that Power, and appropriats it to him­self, [Page 59] upon his having the care of the Church, and the Government of Her committed to him, For A. I observe a few things on this dis­course. 1. This Delegation of Caldonius and the rest, was not to Carthage, as our Author dreameth; which appeareth by the end of the Epistle, in which he bids Caldonius, &c. read this Ep. to the Brethren, and transmit it to Carthage to the Clergy: which had been incongruous if their Errand and Work had been at Carthage. Next, this is in consistent with what Cyprian, and our Author saith was his Practice; viz. to consult the presbyters about who were fit to be ordained: It is strange that he should send Strangers to Carthage for such Enquiry, and to inform him, with the neglect of the Presby­tery. 2. It is also clear from the Epistle, §. 1. That this Negotia­tion was about some Sufferers who belonged to the Church of Carthage (may be, banished, or imprisoned, or confined some where) where they were in necessity; for he saith he sent them, ut expungeretis necessitates fratrum nostrorum sumptibus, &c. That they might pay their Debts (as Pamelius expoundeth it) and that they might furnish them for following their Trades, if they so in­clined: And the enquiry about their fitness for Church-Work seem­eth to be intended on the by; for he bringeth it in with simul etiam. 3. That he speaketh of himself in the singular Number, doth no way infer that he alone was to promote any who were quali­fied among these Sufferers: Neither his having the care of Church Government committed to him: For ego cui cura incumbit pro­moverem, saith nothing at all of sole care, nor of sole Power. Not only a Moderator, but any Member of a Presbytery, to whom the Ordination of Ministers belongeth, might say as much; might desire to know worthy persons, and give the Reason, that it is not Curiosity, but it belongeth to my Office to Ordain such as are fit, and therefore I desire to know their qualities. His next Citation hath no more strength: For it saith no more than that some in a State of Schisme have been ordained by false Bishops; whence he inferreth, that all Ordinations in the true, and in the false Church were perform­ed [Page 60] by Bishops. This is not the Question; but whether they were ordained by Bishops acting each of them alone.

§. 44. He next bringeth Ep. 39. where Cyprian writeth to his Clergy, that he had Ordained Celerinus; and Ep. 29. Satu­rus, and Optatus; and that tho' some of them were but young, and he Ordained them to Inferior Offices; yet he designed they should sit with him in their Riper Years: that is, (saith our Author) he designed them for the Presbyterate. And he very Learnedly obser­veth, that Cyprian telleth his Presbyters this in a very Authoritative Stile, even in a Stile by which Superiors used to signifie their Will and Pleasure to their Subjects; with a be it known unto you. Here a little Reflection will serve. 1. Here is still the old Fallacy; Cyprian Ordain'd these Persons, ergo, he did it alone. 2. It is so far from that, that of Celerinus he saith expresly, it was done by him and his Collegues, Ep. 34. §. 1. As in the former, Ep. 33. he had said of Aurelius. 3. The present Dissipation of the Church, made some things necessary, which were neither usual, nor com­mendable out of that Case: as that Cyprian, with such as he could then get to concur with him, Ordained some Persons without the Concurrence of the Presbytery; who then, it seems, through the Persecution that was at Carthage, could not get that Work ma­naged. 4. For Cyprian's Stile in his Epistle to the Presbytery, I think many moe will smile at his Fancy, than will be convinced by the strength of his Reason drawn from it: Cyprian's word is, Sciatis, which our Author putteth in majusculis, to give his Ar­gument some more pith: but who knoweth not that this Expres­sion signifieth barely a notifying of a thing to another; and is commonly used (especially in the Latine Tongue) to Superiors, Inferiors, or Equals. It is a token of a mind deeply im­pressed with the Majesty of a Bishop, (as he elsewhere expres­seth himself,) when this word doth so sound in his ears. The Ordination of Novatianus, which he next bringeth as an Argument for him, rather is against him: it was an Act condemned by the Clergy and People, by Cyprian's constant Practice; and that which [Page 61] he lookt on as Duty, (as hath been shewed before,) and was the Practice of an Aspiring Pope: yea which himself promised should not be made a Praecedent. Can any body think this is a good Ar­gument to prove the Custom of that Age? Neither can it be made appear, that this Ordination was performed by the Bishop alone: especially seing our Author saith, the Bishop prevailed and Ordained him. It is like he prevailed with some, at least, of the Clergy, tho' they did at first much resist it. He saith, p. 42. that any concurrence of Presbyters with the Bishop in Ordination, is not to be found in Cyprian's Works, nor in his Age. I hope the Reader is by this time convinced of the contrary. He next, p. 43. brin­geth for Proof, the second Canon of the Apostles, commonly so called, which is, let a Presbyter be Ordained by one Bishop, as like­wise a Deacon, and the rest of the Clergy. But our Author might know, that the Authority of these Canons, is controverted even a­mong Papists: as Sixtus Senensis, Lib. 2. ad vocem Clemens, p. (mihi) 62, 63. And Caranza. Summa. Concilior: and others shew. The Contentions that are about the number of them, make them to be all suspected. Rivet. Critic. Sacr. Lib. 1. C. 1. p. 93. and P. Martyr. Loc. Com. Class. 4. C. 4. p. (mihi) 779. bring sufficient Grounds for rejecting them, as neither done by the Apostles, nor collected by Clement, as is alledged. Again if this Canon were admitted, it proveth not the Conclusion: for one Bishop Ordaineth, when the Moderator with the Presbytery doth it: and that Canon is observed, when no more are called to­gether to the Ordination of a Presbyter. His Comparison of the Bishop's Power in this, with the Rights of Majesty in giving Com­missions, is vain Talk: unless he can prove a Monarchy, and that absolute in the Church, which can never be done: for the Canon mentioned, being universally received in Cyprian's time, it is not without Doubt, as he alledgeth, for all Beveregius's Arguments which he boasteth of; but produceth none of them. One thing I cannot pass, p. 44. he telleth, that after Cyprian's time, it was appointed by the Canons, that Presbyters should concur with the Bi­shop [Page 62] in Ordinations: which overthroweth all his Discourse of the Bishop's Majesty, Soveraignty, Incontrollable and Ʋnaccountable Power, &c. And it is evident to any who is Conversant in the History of the Church, that Episcopal Power did rather continu­ally increase, than suffer Diminution, till it arrived at the height of the Papacy, (which in the best sense, is his Sublime Fastigium Sacerdotii.) And then indeed the Pope began to clip the Wings of other Bishops, that he might crow over them.

§. 45. His third Prerogative of the Bishop in Cyprian's time, is his full Power, without asking the consent or concurrence of either Clergy or People, to setle Presbyters within his District. And on this occasion he ridiculeth our Principle of the peoples Power of choosing their own Ministers. All the Prooff of this confident Asser­tion, and insolent Contempt of them who are otherwise minded, is, Cyprian Ep. 40. wrote to Carthage, that they should receive Numi­dicus as a Presbyter among them: and our Author addeth, probably he was ordained before. 1. If our Author had pleased to state and argue the Question about the Power of Election, I should have been willing to joyn Issue with him. Or if he had thought fit to an­swer what I have elsewhere written on that Head, in a Book that he hath seen, and cited, when he thought he could say something against it, I should have considered the strength of what he would say: but he doth wisely shun that Controversie: neither shall I dip in it, further than is necessary for answering his Book. 2. If Nu­midicus was ordained before, then was he also placed in Carthage before; and we have cause to think that he was ordained by the consent and concurrence of the Presbyters of Carthage: at least our Author cannot prove the contrary, which is necessary for establish­ing his Conclusion. 3. He who animadverteth on Pamelius's Notes on Cyprian, hath these Words, on the beginning of the Epistle, Etsi vocatio Numidici magis erat extraordinaria quam ordinaria, tamen non sine plebe Carthaginense Presbyterio ascribitur: whence he infer­reth, that Ordinations without their consent, are profanae & irritae. 4. His work is to prove that it was the Practice and Principle of [Page 63] the Cyprianick-Age, that a Bishop by himself placed Ministers: this cannot be inferred from one single instance; and that in a time of Persecution and Dissipation; and where there was so signal appea­rance of Divine determination, that Cyprian's words are, admoni­tos nos, & instructor dignatione divina, sciatis, ut Numidicus Pres­byter adscribatur Presbyterorum Carthaginiensium numero. Any who desireth to be fully satisfied in this Point of Election of Pastors, let him read Blondel. Apolog. Pro sententia Hieron. from p. 379. to the end, even to p. 548. where it is traced through all the Ages of the Church.

§. 46. The Bishop's fourth Priviledge is, he had the Disposal of all the Revenues of the Church. This our Author maintaineth p. 44, &c. he had the full Power of this, saith he, ibid. I here observe, that if we should yield all that he asserteth, it maketh no­thing for the sole Power of the Bishop in Jurisdiction, or Govern­ment of the Church: for these distributions were always reckoned a Service, not any Act of Government in the Church: the Ob­ject of Church Power are not [...]. Further, I observe, that the Authoritative Direction in managing these Matters, did belong to all Church Rulers: The Apostles had the Power; but they were not at leisure to attend the managing of these things, as our Author's Bishop is; but committed it to Deacons, who were Offi­cers appointed for that very end, Act. 6. I observe thirdly, that however to be thus imployed, might sute well with the way and temper of the the Bishops of our time; who generally are more imployed about Secular Affairs, than in Preaching: it was not consistent with the Labour of the Primitive Bishops about the Gai­ning of Souls. Fourthly, it is evident, that in the Ages after the Apostles, the Deacons had the Charge of the bona Ecclesiastica; ergo, not the Bishop only. Origen in Matth. 16. Mensis Eccle­siasticarum pecuniarum Diaconi praesunt. Item, Diaconi qui non bene traetant pecuniarum Ecclesiasticarum mensas, & semper de eis fraudant, & ipsas quas dispensant non secundum justitiam dispen­sant & divites fiunt de rebus pauperum, ipsi sunt numularii pecunia­rum, [Page 64] mensas habentes quas evertet Dominus. It is fifthly to be ob­served, how absurd it is, and what a snare, for any one man to have the sole Disposal of all the Goods of the Church, who may take what he will of them, for his propria portio, (to use our Au­thor's words) and give what he will to the other Church-Officers, and to the Poor. This is a Trust might make bad Bishops (and such there were even in Cyprian's time) a Scandal, and might expose the best to Obloquie: and lay a Foundation for perpetual Grum­blings and Discontents in the Church: to prevent which, the Lord by his Apostles, appointed Deacons to superintend that Affair, Act. 6. Let us now hear what our Author pleadeth for his Opi­nion: he telleth us that the Bishop not only had his propria portio, which he will have to be the third of all; and he observeth, that this made Fortunatianus and Basilides so earnest for Restitution to their Sees, after Deposition, (and in our days maketh many Sell, or Ruine the Church for these Lucrative Promotions) but he affir­meth the Bishop had also the Disposal of the rest. For which his Proof, first as to the Clergies part; Felicissimus is blamed for con­tending about his share, contrary to his Duty to his Bishop: and others are praised who took their shares as the Bishop should please to dispense them. A. 1. That the Bishop here is meant in his sole, or single Capacity; and not rather in Conjunction with the Presbytery wherein he praesided, is denyed, and can never be proved. Yea, the contrary is evident, Ep. 41. (which he citeth) where spea­king of them who were so tractable, he useth these words, & vo­bis acquiescere maluisse; that is, submitted to their (the Presby­teries) Determination about their shares. 2. If a School Boy should make such a Version of Latine into English, as our Author here doth, he would be lasht for it. He turneth, Episcopo Dis­pensante, as the Bishop should please to Dispense them: whereas the Bishop's Dispensing, was nothing but his giving out Sentence as the Presbytery had Determined; not as he, by himself, pleased. Likewise, he taketh no notice of these words, & vobis acquiescere maluisse: which is a great Error in Translation. 3. It is evident [Page 65] from Cyprian's own words, that he did not act solely in this Mat­ter, but with the Authoritative Concurrence of the Presbytery; for a little before the words cited, he saith, cumque post haec om­nia, nec loci mei honore motus, nec vestra authoritate & praesen­tia fractus, &c. where he blameth Felicissimus for despising the Bishops honour, and the Presbyters Authority: clearly insinuating the Difference of the Bishop and Presbyters of his time, that he had more Honour than they; but not more Authority. The same way are we to understand Cyprian's promoting Aurelius and Celeri­nus only to the Degree of Lectors; but entitleing them to the Main­tenance of Presbyters: viz. that Cyprian might propose this to the Presbytery, tho' he could not effect it without them: his words are, Presbyterii honorem designasse me illis, & ut sportulis iisdem—he designed it, because they were choice Young-men, but it was the Presbytery concurring with him, that must make this effectual. He saith for the Poors part, the Bishop's Power in Distributing it, is so evident from Ep. 5. and 41. that I need not insist on it. A. In Ep. 41. (which is that we were just now Debating about) there is not one word to that purpose; but that he had sent some to relieve the Necessities of some Sufferers: but out of what Fond, whether his propria portio, or any other, is not said. And if it were out of the Churches Stock, it is not said he did this without the Presbytery: he might very well say he did it, when the Pres­bytery appointed it, and he put it in Execution. What he saith in the 5. Ep. is as fully against our Author's Design, as any thing can be. He bids them, both in Discipline and Diligence, act both their own parts and his. And he hath these words quantum autem ad sumptus suggerendos, sive illis qui gloriosa voce Deum confessi, in carcere sunt constituti, sive iis qui pauperes & indigen­tes laborant, & tamen in Domino perseverant, peto ut nihil desit: cum summa omnis quae redacta est, illic sit apud Clericos distributa propter ejusmodi casus, &c. Is it not here evident, that the Cler­gy are intrusted with the Poors Money, and are to distribute it as need requireth: and that this Distribution in Cyprian's Absence, [Page 66] was a doing of their own Work and his; so that they Acted not as his Delegats. Further, they Acted their own part and his, when one of them did praeside in their Meetings in his Absence: which was, in these days, his peculiar Work; neither do we find that he Deputed one to praeside; but left it to the Presbytery, to choose whom they thought fit. He next bringeth the 38. and 41. Ca­nons of the Apostles, to prove what he designed. I have above shewed what Weight is to be laid on their Authority. Nor do they give this Power to the Bishop alone; but the Bishop is to be lookt on, with respect to what is there said, as praesiding in the Presbytery. What he citeth out of Justine Martyr, saith no more, but the Bishop hath [...], the Care of the Ecclesiastical Goods: which we willingly yield to him, and to every one of the Presbytery: but it is not said, he alone hath this Care. He would have us believe, that this sole Power of the Bishop, is fairly foun­ded on Scripture: but citeth no place. I know no more where to find these places of Scripture, than I know where to find some places of Cyprian that he citeth. I am sure Act. 6. maketh no­thing for him; but on the contrary. Neither 2 Corinth 8. and 9. Chapters. For Paul was a Delegate in carrying that Contri­bution to Judea: and if he had claimed more Power; it will be hard to prove the Bishop's Power to extend as far as that of an Apostle.

§. 47. The Bishop's fifth Power that he alone possessed is, of imposing charitable Contributions on all the Christians within his District, for the Relief of Strangers, &c. For which he refer­reth to Ep. 62. and 78. but citeth no words. I can find nothing to that purpose in either of them, as in my Book. For his alled­ging Soter Bishop of Rome, whom Dionysius of Corinth commen­deth for this Practice, cited by Eusebius, Lib. 4. Cap. 23. (mihi 22.) there is no more in it, but that Dionysius commendeth that Church for their wonted charitable Distributions to other Chur­ches; and that Soter had observed, and improved this Custom: this may be fairly expounded of exhorting to Charity without [Page 67] Authoritative Imposing of Contributions; which any Minister may do. And if he did impose, it is not said he did it by himself, tho' he is only mentioned; as, perhaps, being singularly active in stirring up both the Presbytery and the People: and he was to pub­lish in the Church, the Presbyteries Determination in this. What is there in all this for a sole Power in this Matter? His next full Power is, Indicting of Fasts: for which he citeth Tertullian de Jejun. But it is observable that Tertullian speaketh of Bishops in the plural number; now it is not to be thought that no Fasts were Indicted but by a Meeting of Diocesans: wherefore Episcopi must be the Presbytery. Or if he mean the several Bishops in their se­veral Churches: it may be rationally understood of the Bishop's intimating to the People, what is by common Consent Determi­ned; not what he enjoyneth by his sole Authority. The seventh Branch of the Bishop's Prerogative is, to Convocate the Presbytery and Deacons. And let him enjoy it, for it is what we grant to our Moderator: and there is a natural necessity, that it be in the Power of some person to call them together, when any emergent doth require it. And seing in Cyprian's time, the Bishop was the constant Moderator, it was consequential that he should be the constant Conveener. But what Prerogative, or sole Power this doth infer, or what Ecclesiastick Authority above the Brethren it importeth, I cannot understand. Let any who hath clear use of reason judge, how this proveth the Bishop's managing the Affairs of the Church like a chief Governour, as our Author drea­meth, p. 48. Neither doth it appear, that the Bishop might convocate the Presbyters at pleasure, (as he fancieth) but when there was cause: as in the Instance he bringeth there was. He bringeth in, on this Occasion, an Observation, that Cornelius re­ceived these persons about whom he called the Presbytery, without as­king the Peoples consent; but acquainted them after it was done. But our Author hath forgot what he had a few Lines before said, that after they were received in the Presbytery, the People were made acquainted with it; not one word of the Bishop's receiving them [Page 68] by himself. This is nothing contrary to Presbyterian Principles and Practices. Yea (as if he had design'd to refute himself) he citeth a Letter of these Persons, shewing that they were recon­ciled to the Bishop, and to the whole Clergy: where is then the Bi­shop's sole Power of receiving Penitents? He propoundeth to him­self an Objection; that the Presbyters at Rome met in a Vacancy, after the Bishop's Death: and at Carthage, in the time of Cyprian's Retirement. To the second Instance he Answereth, that Cypri­an left a Delegation for their Meeting: which he proveth strange­ly: he wrote, (Ep. 5.) that they should faithfully perform his Of­fice and their own: where, saith he, we have distinct Offices, and an express setling of a Delegation. A. For distinct Offices, his Mistake of the Latine Word hath misled him; it is fungamini illic & vestris partibus & meis: I see not but one Presbyter may say this to another. For his Delegation, I think few others can perceive it in these words; may not any Member of a Presbytery, but especially the Moderator, say the same, by a Letter to the Presbytery? It importeth no more but a Warning to be vigilant in their Work. See §. 46. His next Citations is out of Ep. 14. (It is Ep. 6.) Where Cyprian commands them to perform the Office of Vicars to him. Cyprian's words are, hortor & mando ut vice mea fungamini circa gerenda ea quae administratio religiosa deposcit. Here is no more but what any of Christ's Ambassadours may say; he chargeth them to do their Duty; and he had Authority from Christ, not as Bishop, but as a Pastor of the Church, and Christ's Ambassadour, to enjoyn this. If Cyprian had our Author's mea­ning, then all Religious Administration must cease, without the Bishop's presence, or Delegation: which is absurd. For his mea vice, it signifieth no more, but that his Absence might be supplied by their Diligence. Cyprian's warm recenting what some of them did without his allowance; shall be elsewhere considered: it was, that some Presbyters without both their Moderator, and the Pres­bytery, received some of the Lapsed: which was wholly irregular, and blame worthy. He next, to the Presbyters Meeting, sede [Page 69] vacante, Answereth; that they might meet; but they might only determine in ruled cases. That is gratis dictum: but if they might act in any case, it is an Argument that they had Church Power in their Persons; and that it was not solely in the Bishop. The last of the Bishop's Prerogatives that he pleadeth for, (tho' he tel­leth us, p. 50. that he could collect more,) is, his Delegating, not his Presbyters in common, but two of them, Rogatianus and Numi­dicus, with two Bishops, Caldonius and Herculanus, to consider the state of the Poor at Carthage, and to pronounce the Sentence of Ex­communication against Felicissimus and Augendus: which they exe­cuted against them, and some others. If this Discourse prove such a Power of Delegation, it will also prove such a Power in one Bishop over another; which our Author will not allow; seing he asserteth, p. 27, 28, 35. that every Bishop is supreme, and hath no Ecclesiastical Superior on Earth. 2. Sending a Messenger to do for us, what we are restrained from doing, is not always an Act of Authority: one Friend may send another, if he yield to it, as well as a Master may send his Servant. 3. That which hath most Weight in our main Cause, (tho' it be impertinent to the present purpose,) is, that these Persons were to Excommunicat Felicissi­mus, &c. To which I Answer, that this Excommunication might be Determined by the Presbytery, and it was Cyprian's part, as Moderator, to intimate it; for which he substituteth the Persons named. Here is no sole Power of Excommunication. This is Countenanced by Cyprian's own words, in that Ep. §. 2. that Felicissimus had despised both him and the Presbytery. Nec meo honore motus, nec vestra authoritate fractus: It seems he had been tried before them, and Sentenced for Contumacy. Further, he was also suspected of Adultery; which Cyprian would not judge by himself; but referred it to their Meeting, ibid.

§. 48. Having now examined our Author's first Principle, I proceed to the second, which he advanceth, p. 50, &c. It is, that in every thing relating to the Government of the Church, and her Discipline, the Bishop had a Negative over all the other Church-Governours, [Page 70] within his District: he had the supreme Power of the Keyes. He setteth about the proving of this Point with a high Degree of Confidence: but let not him that putteth on his Armour boast as he that putteth it off. He pretendeth to shew, that Pres­byters could not Baptize, nor Administer the Lord's Supper, nor Excommunicate, nor Absolve, nor Make, nor Rescind Ecclesiastical Laws, without the Bishop's Allowance. For a foundation to our Answer to all his Discourse on this Head, I shall re-mind the Rea­der of a Distinction of Presbyters above-mentioned. They were in Cyprian's time, of three sorts. 1. The Ruling Elders, who were no Preachers, and who with the Bishop, (or Parish Mini­ster,) and other Preaching Presbyters, (if there were any,) made up the Consistory, by which the Affairs of the Congregation were managed. These, I confess could Administer no Sacrament, nei­ther without, nor with the Bishop's Licence. And for Acts of Ru­ling in the Church, it is probable enough, that they could do no­thing without him who was Praeses in their Meetings, except, may be, in some extraordinary Cases. 2. There were in some Churches, (especially in great Cities) some Presbyters who were Ordained to the Work of the Ministry, but had no particular Charge, and were as our Probationers, or Students in Divinity Schools, (on­ly with this Difference, that ours are not Ordained,) these might not Baptize, nor Administer the Eucharist, yea, nor Preach with­out the Allowance of the Bishop, or Parish Minister. And it is so also among us: if some Ordained Ministers happen to live in a Parish, whereof they are not Pastors, (as sometimes falleth out in great Cities,) it is disorderly for them to exercise their Mi­nistery within another man's Charge, without his Call or Allow­ance. These Presbyters, in Cyprian's time, were in somethings, like Evangelists, whom the Bishops imployed, when themselves could not overtake all their Work: and if these be called the Bi­shop's Curats, (as our Author doth all Presbyters,) I shall not much reclaim. These were, as the Sons of the Prophets, bred by the Bi­shop for the Ministery: of this sort of Presbyters, see P. Baynes [Page 71] Diocesan's Tryal, p. 63. A third sort of Presbyters, were the Ministers of the several Parishes, among whom the Moderator of the Presbytery, or other Church Judicatory, was in a peculiar manner, called the Bishop: and they also often were called Bishops, with respect to their own Parochial Charge. Now, if our Author mean, that a Bishop in a City had such Power over the Presby­ters, or Ministers in the Villages, or Places about, that they might not Baptize, &c. without his Allowance, I utterly deny it; and maintain that every such Presbyter, Minister, or Parochial Bishop, (by what ever name ye design him,) had in Cyprian's time, as full Power in his Parish, as the great Bishop had in his, tho' the one was more in esteem than the other.

§. 49. I shall now consider his Proofs for what he affirmeth. He beginneth with Baptism, and pretendeth to prove, that Pres­byters could not Baptize without the Bishop's Leave. His first Cita­tion is, Cyprian saith, Bishops give the first Baptism to Believers. Which we deny not, if ye understand it of Parish Ministers. But if he mean Bishops in Cities, who were the Praesidents in Pres­byteries, we deny that Cyprian asserteth that. His next Testimo­ny is out of Cyprian, Ep. 73. and Firmil. and Fortunatus Bishop of Thurobaris: But it is evident, and he confesseth it, that the Que­stion by them treated, is, whether Presbyters, who by Heresie, or Schism, had departed from the Communion of the Church, might Baptize, and if they they did, whether that Baptism was valid, or the Person was to be again Baptized, and that Baptism esteemed null: And in this we do so far agree with these Fathers, as to think that all the Administrations of such Hereticks, or Schismaticks are irregular, and to be condemned: and that none ought so to se­parate from the Church, while she keepeth the Way of Truth, and requireth no unlawful Terms of Communion of her Mini­sters, or other Members. But none of these Fathers, did ever As­sert, that in the Church, a sound Presbyter could not Baptize with­out the Bishop's Leave, within the Limits of his own Charge. That they mean no more than I say, is evident, for they plead, [Page 72] that none can Baptize out of the Church, nor Bind or Loose out of the Church, and they say expresly, that none can Baptize, but they who are Founded in the Evangelical Law: and I hope it will not be de­nyed, that Ministers of Congregations are Founded on that Law, as well as these of great Cities, who were then called Bishops, be­cause of their Praecedency in Church Meetings. That Bishops are named▪ in these Reasonings, as having the Power of Baptizing, maketh nothing against us, because all Parish Ministers were so cal­led; and none without their Allowance ought to intrude on their Charge, in this, or any other Administration: and because the Authority for Baptizing, and other Church Work was Communi­cated from the Presbytery, by their Praesident, the Bishop: he in­deed gave the Power; but not by his own sole Authority, but by that of the Presbytery. The testimony of Tertullian cometh next: who saith, de Baptismo, cap. 17. the High Priest, who is the Bishop, hath the Power of Baptizing, and after him, (or in Subordination to him, saith our Author,) Presbyters and Deacons. A. 1. Tertullian doth not speak of Bishops, as distinct from the Pastors of particu­lar Flocks; but from Presbyters who had no Charge: if this Au­thor put another meaning on his words, let him prove it. 2. Tertullian a little above, puto autem licuit & tingere, cui licuit praedicare: I hope he will not say, that Tertullian thought, that no Minister might Preach without the Bishop's Leave; tho' he might think that the unsetled Presbyters, ought to Preach in no man's Charge without his Leave. 3. Tertullian a little below, alloweth Laicks, yea, Women, to Baptize, in case of necessity, without the Bishop's Leave: as he doth in the place cited, the Deacons to do it with the Bishop's Leave, all which I look on as spoken with­out Warrant. 4. Tertullian groundeth his Discourse on this; that the honour of the Church requireth, that the Bishop's Allowance should be had; and on this occasion, condemneth Emulation, as the Mother of Schism: and citeth that place, all things are lawful, but all things are not expedient. From all which it is easie to gather, that he only condemned them who Baptized without Church Authority, [Page 73] which the Bishop, as Mouth of the Presbytery, did Communi­cat. 5. It is wholly without Warrant that this Learned Author addeth to Tertullian's Words, and in Subordination to him: dehinc (which is that Father's Word) doth neither signifie, nor can im­port so much: all that can be built on it, is a prior Dignity to the Bishop; in this, and other parts of the Ministerial Work. His last Citation is Ignatius, it is not lawful to Baptize without the Bi­shop. A. That is, without the Authority of the Presbytery, which the Bishop as their Praeses, conveyeth.

§. 50. He Asserteth next, (p. 52.) that no Presbyter could Ad­minister the Eucharist within the the Bishop's District, without his Leave, or against his Interdict. To this, what hath already been said, is a full Answer. No Presbyter might do this within the Charge of a Parish Bishop, without his Leave: nor yet in a Pres­byterial District, without the Allowance of the Presbytery, given out by their Episcopus Praeses. His Proofs are exactly like the for­mer; Cyprian (severely and justly) lasheth some Schismatical Presbyters, who by themselves, without Cyprian, and without the Presbytery, did Administer the Lord's Supper to some of the Lapsed, who were not duely Reconciled to the Church: I know no Presby­tery that would not condemn this, if it were done within their Bounds; yea, they would think their Authority contemned; and their Moderator slighted, who should have been Applyed to, to call the Presbytery for Consulting about this: who, with them, should have Authoritatively Determined in this Matter: and this Neglect of the Bishop was in that time, the more conspicuous, that his Praecedency was constant, and known to all; which was the cause the Bishop is so often named, in these things that con­cerned not him alone, but the whole Community. It is to the same purpose, which he next alledgeth of Dionysius Bishop of Ale­xandrià, giving a Command that any Lapsed, in danger of Death, if Supplicating for it, should have the Eucharist. For that may be understood of Dionysius enjoyning this to the unfixed Presbyters of Alexandria, that it should be done within that Parish, where­of [Page 74] Dionysius was Pastor: or of the Presbytery, by Dionysius their Praeses, to be observed within their District. What Ignatius saith, that that is only to be esteemed a firm, and valid Eucharist, which is Celebrated by the Bishop, or by his Authority: this, I say, admitteth of the same Answer; that none ought to Celebrate that Holy Ordinance in any Congregation, but the Pastor of it, or whom he doth call to do it for him: I might call in Question the Authority of these Epistles of Ignatius which he citeth; but I will not digress into that Controversie; sub judice lis est, Theologi cer­tant. There is nothing of any more Weight in his next Citation; where Cyprian, against the Novatians, declareth that there could be no true Sacrament among them, because they are out of the Church; and had assumed to themselves an Episcopal Chair, and a Power of Baptizing▪ and Offering. It is plain that this is meant of them, who had cast off the Churches Authority, that was exercised by her Pastors, (who are here called Bishops,) but it no way pro­veth, that some Pastors of the Church, must depend on one of them, for this Authority. It is tedious to repeat the same thing so often; in Answer to so many Arguments, which are materially the same. After all these numerous Testimonies, he cometh p. 55. to an Artificial Argument, in which kind of Arguings, he seem­eth not to be very formidable; he supposeth he hath fully proved the Bishop to be the Principle of Ʋnity; the Chief Governour, that by Consequence the supreme Power of the Keyes belongeth to him: that he was the visible Head of the Church; it is highly reasonable on that account, that he should have the chief Power of Dispensing the Sacra­ments: and that they might not be Dispensed without him. I have already shewed the Weakness of all these Grounds he buildeth up­on: and therefore the Consequence built on them, must fall to the ground: we are no less sensible than he is, of the evil of Recei­ving, and continuing unworthy Persons in the Church; and that the Governours of the Church must be Judges in this matter; but we are not yet convinced, that the Bishop by himself, rather than the Community of Church Rulers, are that Judge: and I must take [Page 75] leave to tell him, that (however it was in the Primitive Times,) in our Days, the excluding of unworthy Persons, Ministers and others, hath been much more to be observed, where the Church is ruled by a Parity of Presbyters; than where it is governed by one Prelate.

§. 51. This Learned Author, supposing that he had proved the Bishop's Negative in Administration of the Sacraments, hence inferreth his Soveraign Interest in Excommunication, Absolution, Enjoyning Pennance, &c. Which Consequence I shall not con­test with him: but I hope the Reader is now satisfied, that he hath not sufficiently established the Antecedent: nor will we yield that Cyprian, or his Contemporaries had, or laid Claim to such a Prero­gative. But our Author, tho' he thinketh he might supersede the Proof of his Negative in these other things, yet, because he will give all possible Satisfaction, he undertaketh a Deduction of further Powers in the Person of Cyprian: of which we have a long Histo­ry, beginning at p. 56. I have nothing to observe on the account he giveth of Cyprian's Conversion, Promotion, (save what I have obser­ved out of Pontius, of his Promotion to be Presbyter and Bishop simul & semel: but what ever be in that, it hath no great Influence on our Cause,) the Opposition he met with, his Eminency for Grace and Gifts, the wicked Courses his Enemies took, while, under the Persecution by Decius, he retired from Carthage; how they got some of the Confessors and Martyrs to Countenance them; and they upon this, were emboldened by themselves, to Absolve some of the Lapsed. Nothing of this I contradict, except what I now said. He hath run thus far without a Check; and therefore ariveth at the Confi­dence to say, p. 58. now consider what followeth, and speak your Conscience, and tell me, if St. Cyprian was not more than either single Presbyter, or Presbyterian Moderator, I shall yield him yet a little more, in what he saith of Cyprian's Meekness and Humi­lity; of his being alarmed with this Practice, that this was an un­paralelled Practice, and that Cyprian did zealously and vigorously oppose it. And for all this I shall speak my Conscience, and shall [Page 76] give Reason for my Light, that Cyprian was no Diocesan Bishop, in our modern sense; and that he neither had, nor claimed sole Power, nor a Negative, in the Government of the Church; and that, bating what I yielded in stating the Question, §. 9, 10. He was no more but a single Presbyter, that is a Parish Minister, or Presbyterian Moderator. And indeed all that he here bringeth, and looketh on as so strongly Argumentative, is already Answe­red, he having cited all, or most of the places before, which he here quoteth. He bringeth three Epistles of Cyprian to prove his Assertion.

§. 52. The first is that to the Confessors and Martyrs: where I find nothing but a sharp Reproof of them for going without their Line: and he blameth those Presbyters who had absolved the Lapsed so disorderly: only what seemeth here to contain an Argu­ment is, that they should have Petitioned the Bishop for restoring of these Lapsed, and not done it without him. The Answer here is easie; and often before given, that the fault of these turbulent Pres­byters was, that they took this Act of Church Power on them­selves, without the Presbytery; whereas the regular way had been to Petition the Bishop, that he might call the Presbytery, and that he with them might cognosce of that Affair. I have laid down suf­ficient warrant for thus understanding his words, from his decla­red purpose, founded on Conscience of Duty, to do nothing with­out the Concurrence of the Presbytery, see §. 12. And it is like, I may after bring yet further Evidence, that his Principles led him to this Conduct: At present, I take notice of that plain Passage, Ep. 15. ad Clerum, speaking of receiving the Lapsed, quaeres (saith he) cum omnium nostrum Concilium, & Sententiam spectet, praejudica­re ego, & soli mihi rem communem vindicare non audeo. And he desireth that that Affair might be put off; donec pace nobis à Do­mino redditâ, in unum convenire, & singulorum causas examinare possumus: if Cyprian seem to my Adversary to speak in pure Prelati­cal Stile, as he saith, p. 6. He seemeth to me here, to speak in the Stile of a Presbyterian Moderator. Of the same Importance is the [Page 77] next Epistle cited, which was to the Clergy of Carthage, (he doth not call them his Clergy, as our Author wordeth it; and if he had, there had been no Argument in it,) he sharply reproveth (not the Presbyters in common, as our Author fouly representeth the matter; for he writeth in a loving Stile to them: but) some of the Presbyters who had received some of the Lapsed most irre­gularly; and that because they had not taken the due course for receiving these Lapsed, which should have been done per impositi­onem manuum Episcopi & Cleri, not by the Bishops sole Authority. He doth indeed here speak like a Bishop; that is a faithful Pastor; but not as a Bishop pretending to sole Jurisdiction; or a Nega­tive in the Government of the Church. His third Epistle is to the People; where we have the same Complaint of the Irregularity of the Schismatical Presbyters; and complaineth that the honour of his Priesthood, and of his Chair, was not reserved to him. This can never evince that Cyprian pretended to a Power to manage that Affair by himself: I see nothing here inconsistent with the Power, or the Stile of the Moderator of a Presbytery, or Pastor of a Congregation: save that the Moderator then, being constant, his part in the management of publick Affairs was more obvious, and therefore more taken notice of. He hath yet a further Cita­tion, wherein Cyprian telleth the Clergy, that they ought to inform him of every thing that happens; that so I may (saith he) Advised­ly and Deliberatly, give Orders concerning the Affairs of the Church; let any one compare this Translation with Cyprian's own words, which are faithfully enough set down by our Author in the Mar­gin: Is limare Consilium to give Order? It is to polish, and a­mend his Advice▪ and make it more exact: he then, in his Re­tirement, wills them to write often and distinctly to him of all Oc­currences, that he, as making such a figure in their Society, might give the more accurate Advice about what was to be done: this is no Prelatical, but a plain Presbyterian Stile.

§. 53. On this occasion he is pleased p. 61, 62.) to take notice of, and tragically aggravate a Passage in rational Defence of [Page 78] Non-conformity, p. 179. where he thinketh Cyprian is reflected on as shewing too much Zeal in that Cause (viz. of his Episcopal Au­thority being neglected) and that possibly he stretched his Power a little too far, as afterward many did: he was a holy, and meek man; but such may be a little too high: This he stretcheth his Invention to expose, as contradictory to it self; injurious to Cyprian, and an uncharitable, or ignorant Sugestion: his more sedate Thoughts after all this Huffiness, may inform him better: That Author as he was not so straitned with his learned Adversaries Arguments, as he imagineth (they being the very same which now I have exa­mined) so he was far from speaking Contradictions, nor did he seek to reconcile Pride and Patience, Superciliousness and Self­denyal, Huffiness and Humility, carnal hight and Christian Holi­ness: He was far from thinking on such ill Qualities with respect to that excellent person: Further than that the best of men have sinful Infirmity mixed with their Graces, and best Gifts. He might know and I shall not charge him with Ignorance in this) that Sin and Grace are consistent in gradu saltem remissiore: And that tho' it were ridiculous to say, that Moses was the meekest Man on Earth, and yet he was Huffie, and Proud, and Passionate: or that Job was most patient, and yet he was impatient- Notwithstand­ing it may be said, with our Author's leave; that neither of these holy Men was so perfect in the grace for which he is commended, as to have nothing of the contrary evil: Further I am of Opinion, that what might be imputed to the excellent Cyprian, was rather the Fault of the Age he lived in, than his personal Fault, there was then a Tendency toward Church-Domination, which did shew it self much more afterward: Tho' I still maintain it was not arrived at that Pitch that this Author imputeth to that time. He spendeth a great many words to prove that Cyprian did not stretch his Power too far in this matter: all which is lost labour; for that was no otherways imputed to him, than with a possibility; and on Ac­count of his mentioning his own Episcopal Power more than he did the power of the Presbytery (which power of the Presbytery [Page 79] he doth yet clearly owne, as I have proved) This had a shew of Usurpation; and did in time introduce it: It was the Genius of that age, to have too big thoughts of that Praelation of being primus Presbyter: And the best of men in that time were tinctu­red with this mistake. Wherefore he might have superceded his proving what Figure the Martyrs then made, I know their Interest went far, as to receiving the lapsed; yet I still think that they nei­ther pretended to, nor was then ascribed to them, formal Church-Authority. What he largely discourseth, p, 64. of Cyprian's dealing with the disorderly Presbyters, not by Huffing, but by rea­son and Argument, is as little to our purpose; in that, he did rationally, and Christianly: Yet in these Reasonings, as he in words, taketh more notice of his Episcopal Authority, than of the Presbytries Power, so upon the matter doth not derogate from the one, nor unduely highten the other: as hath been al­ready shewed. I wonder at the Insinuation that my learned An­tagonist maketh, p. 65. as if any had imagined it questionable, whether Cyprian, or the Presbyters that he blameth, were guilty of Ʋsurpation: They did usurp most intollerably in doing that by themselves, which should have been done by Cyprian and the Presbytery: And it was no Usurpation to reprove, and threaten them with Censure for so doing. The power of the Presbytery was not here questioned; but the power of particular Presbyters who took the Power of the Presbytry upon them: And therefore the Presbytery who were not guilty, had no Right of their own to defend against Cyprian; but had just cause to joyn with him a­gainst these Usurpers. It is as insignificant, that the seditious Pres­byters repented, excused themselves, and desired a Form from Cy­prian: For it is ordinary for some to go from one Extreme to a­nother. Besides that seeking a Form from him was to ask it from him, and the Presbytery, not from him alone. That these Pres­byters were generally condemned for their factious Practices, I think none doubteth, and it is to little purpose to prove it so laborious­ly as our Author doth.

[Page 80]§. 54. Yet because in his Proofs of it some things are inter­spersed which may look like Arguments against what I plead for, I shall make some Observes on this Discourse. He giveth us ac­count of Cyprian's writing to the Presbytery at Rome, they having then no Bishop. This I hope is a Token that Cyprian thought not that all Church Power at Rome dyed with the Bishop; but that Presbyters are Church Rulers, and not the Bishop only: In the return that the Presbytery at Rome, made to Cyprian, he fancieth that he findeth some Arguments for Episcopal sole Power: which I shall a little consider: He saith they ascribe to him a supreme and unaccountable Power: I find no words that can be so constructed in either of the two Epistles that they write to him on that Subject; but on the contrary, they seem to insinuate a Parity with him, while they frequently call him Frater. It would be thought great sauciness, in our days, for Presbyters to write in that Stile to so great a Bishop as Cyprian was esteemed to have been, by our Pre­lats. Next, they compare him to the Master of a Ship; who doeth not act in parity with the other Sea-men; A. omne simile claudicat. a Moderator of a Presbytery may be so compared, as having a main hand in the Conduct of Affairs. Again the words of that Epistle import no more than making Cyprian the Steersman: who tho' he be at the Helm, and the Safety of the Ship dependeth much on his Skill and Management, yet he is not always the Commander of the Ship; and the Safety of the Ship should yet more depend on the Steersman, if he were fixed, and always so imployed; as Cyprian was in the Ecclesiastical Ship at Carthage. He saith, that the Ro­man Clergy tell Cyprian (and pray take notice of it, saith he) that they could determine nothing in that matter, wanting a Bishop. This is a Misrepresentation: for they tell their Mind plainly in the first of their two Epistles to Cyprian; that he did well in repres­sing that Insolency of some Presbyters; that the lapsed should not be suddenly received, and give the Reason, recens est hoc lapsorum vul­nus, & adhuc in tumorem plaga consurgens; & idcirco certi sumus, quod spatio productioris temporis, impetu isto consenescente, amabunt [Page 81] hoc ipsum ad fidelem se delatos medicinam. And in the second E­pistle they add another Reason why it was fit to delay that Affair of of censuring the lapsed, because they wanted a Bishop, not be­cause the Bishop was to be the sole Judge in that matter; but because the Bishop was he, qui omnia ista moderetur (these are their own words) he was to preside in that Affair. Seing then there was another reason for delaying, even where there was a Bishop, as in Carthage, it was a superadded reason why at Rome it should be delayed, the Pres­byterie being incomplete, by the want of a significant Member. If it be said, could they not choose a Moderator? Answ. That Office through custom being then fixed, and the Honour and Revenue that belonged to it being so considerable, it was not easie to get it done of a sudden; and the iniquity of that time of Persecution did add to the difficulty, as themselves express it; Nondum enim Epis­copus, propter rerum & temporum difficultates constitutus. Our Au­thor vitiareth their words, when he maketh them say, who onely could define, &c. There is no such words in this Epistle: it is said indeed of the Bishop, eorum qui lapsi sunt possit cum authoritate & consilio habere rationem. But that saith nothing of sole Authority, but such as was to be acted in the Presbytery, and with their concur­rence.

§. 55. He observeth likewise, that they commend Cyprian, that he did not determine in that matter by himself alone; but took the advice of many: and this they impute not to the incompetency of his Authority for it; but to his condescendence. Ans. He doth whol­ly mistake this Matter, for the Roman Clergy, in their Letter to Cy­prian, do not at all take notice of what he did, or might do, with respect to his own District, nor his advising with his own Presby­tery; but that he had taken the advice, in such a weighty case, of general concernment, of other Bishops, and of the Clergy at Rome, And it is certain, that he, with the Presbytery at Carthage, might have determined in this Matter with respect to themselves; and it was Prudence, and not want of Power, that made him advise with others. He bringeth another Testimony to the plenitude of Epis­copal [Page 82] Power, from an Epistle from the Clergy of Rome, while they wanted a Bishop, to the Clergy of Carthage, when their Bishop was in his retirement: in which case, saith he, they had the best occa­sion of speaking their mind freely, of the power of Presbyters, and the usurpation of Bishops: in this Epistle he fancieth that he findeth Arguments for Episcopal sole Power: as first, they say, of them­selves, and these at Carthage, that they were only seemingly the Go­vernours of these respective Churches; and only keep the Flock instead of the respective Pastors, the Bishops. I had occasion to consider this Passage before, I blame his want of Wisdom, that seing he is plea­sed to give us this Translation of this Passage, he hath yet set down the Latine in the Margine: out of which one may easily discover his Error, without turning to the Epistle it self: It is a strange Tran­slation, Videmur Praepositi, that is, we only seem to be Governours. I am sure, the Marginal Notes on this Epistle saith, they were Pastores constituti. And Pamelius from this Passage argueth for the Authority of the Church of Rome over other Churches; and he that animadverteth on Pamelius saith, Clerus Romanus Cartha­ginensem agnoscit, quemadmodum & alios aliarum Ecclesiarum pasto­res, esse Christiani gregi praepositos: wherefore videmur must rather signifie certainty than doubting, in this place; it appeareth not only to our selves, but to all, we are acknowledged for such. And that they did not mean by vice Pastoris, a vicarious Power delegated from the Bishop, is manifest, for the Bishop was dead, and we find no Power he left them▪ neither could he do it. Yea it is e­vident that they lookt on a Power residing in themselves, of which they were to give an account: si negligentes inveniamur—quo­niam perditum non requisivimus, &c. What is said of the lapsed continuing in their Penitency, that they might obtain Indulgence from them who can give it: the Word being ab eo qui potest prae­stare. It might be understood of Pardon from Christ, on their sin­cere Repentance, seing he alone can make Indulgence effectual: but if that seem strained, the Bishop with the Presbytery, not by him­self, may fitly here be understood. He doth again, pag. 69. mis­represent [Page 83] the Question, in these Words, Let any man judge whether St. Cyprian or his presuming Presbyters had taken too much on them at Carthage: But this mistake I noted before. Another Argument he bringeth, is from some Martyrs and Confessors, in an Epistle to Cyprian, commending him for his conduct in opposing and censuring these Presbyters. I also commend him for it: Ergo I think he had sole Power to manage that Affair: the consequence is naught. He haleth in another Argument into this Discourse: these Martyrs and Confessors desire, that Cyprian being so glorious a Bishop, would pray for them: which they would not have done had they thought him a proud aspiring Prelat, that is a Limb of Antichrist, as this Author would fain give him out to have been: It is an injurious Calumny: I never said, nor thought so: and no man can Wire-draw my words (with any sense or reason) to that meaning. I esteem Cyprian's Grace, Virtues, and Learning as much as he doth: and do judge that his Prayers, while he was on Earth, were worth asking: and that he was a glorious Bishop; but all this will not infer his sole Power, nor his negative.—Cyprian's excommunicating these Presbyters, and that fact being approven by others, is not argumenta­tive, unless he can prove that this Cyprian did by himself, without the Presbytery. He next bringeth the Canons of the Apostles (the insufficiency of which Authority I have above-shewed.) And Ig­natius, that nothing should be done without the Bishop, nor in opposi­tion to him: And that the Bishop should be honoured. All this is sufficiently Answered above. When a Bishop that is any Minister of the Gospel, acteth in his Sphere, and keepeth to the Rule the Word of God, to oppose him, to depart from him, not to honour him, is highly sinful. But I am sure Cyprian nor Ignatius never meant to enjoin absolute & illimited obedience to a Bishop, nor any man else. As for doing nothing without the Bishop, we grant that they who are under a Ministers charge, Prebyters or others, should act nothing in the Consistory without him; but this also must suffer a limitation; if he should prove so perverse as to oppose, and hin­der every thing that is good, or what is necessary to be done; I do [Page 84] not think that Ignatius would blame the Presbyters for acting with­out him: otherwise there were no remedy but the Church must be ruined. If it be said, in that case they should complain. To whom must this Complaint be made: for a Bishop hath no Superior on Earth; if we believe this Author.

§. 56. The last of his three Principles, which he advanceth p. 72. is, that. all the Church-Governours within his District, Presbyters as well as others, were in St. Cyprian's time, subject to the Bishops Authority, and obnoxious to his Discipline. This Principle and all that he saith for establishing of it, we might safely yield, without any hazard to our Cause: for we always maintained, that a Bishop, considered as a Paroch Minister, hath Authority over the Ruling-Elders, and the unfixed Preaching-Presbyters, if any be within his Parish; also considered as Moderator of the Presbytry, he is still a Minister, and hath Rule over all the Ministers, and People and Elders within the District, over which that Presbytery hath the o­versight: but our Question is, whether he, by himself, hath the sole Authority; or he, as a Member of the Consistory, or Presby­tery, hath a share in that Authority which resideth in that Body, or Community. This last we grant: the former we deny. His Proofs can never reach the conclusion that we deny: the first of which is, that Cyprian saith, that our Lord chose Apostles, that is Bishops and Governours (where by the way Note, that Cyprian owneth other Church-Governours, beside Bishops, and therefore they have not the sole Authority) and the Apostles chose Deacons to be the Bishops and Churches Ministers. Any body may see that this doth concern all Church-Rulers, not sole Power in the Bishop. Next he telleth us that Cyprian called Fabianus Superior, with respect to the Roman-Clergy: which is a mistake: He calleth him simply Praepositus (which as I have above-shewed, was a Title given to Bishops & Pres­byters) and if he had not called him their Praepositus, that doth not import sole Power. In an Epistle to Rogatianus, Cyprian insinuat­eth that he was Ruler of the Church, ergo he had sole Power: it is a [...]lish consequence: this may be said of every Elder of the Church. [Page 85] He is scarce of Arguments when he is forced to falsifie Cyprian's words: qui in Ecclesia Praesidemus: he translateth, who have the chief Power in the Church; beside that it is easie to distinguish be­tween chief Power, and sole Power; to which all are subject. Also Praesumus he turneth govern the Church. That the Bishop is said to be one, and set over the Church, may well agree either to a Pa­rish-Minister, or the Moderator of a Presbytery, who was called [...]. His next Essay is from the Bishop's calling the Clergy his Clergy; for which he is at pains to cite many places. If this were constantly done (which was not) what doth it signifie: that manner of speaking is as common among Presbyterians, as it was in Cyprian's time: and it signifieth no more but Elders of the Church, whereof Cyprian was Pastor; as the Elders of any Parish are called the Elders of such a Minister: and Elders usually call their Minister our Minister. It is a frivolous Question, by what Rule of Grammer, Rhetorick, Logick or Politick could he be so called if he had no Power or Jurisdiction over them. A. There is no Rule in any of these Faculties against it: tho' he have no sole Power; If he have a share of the Power that the whole hath over every one, and have the Conduct in managing that Power, by be­ing their Moderator.

§. 57. He will let all this pass for a mere Praelusion, not being scant of Arguments. Wherefore we must now expect what is more pungent: that is, the three Principles he had before proved so fully, viz. The Bishop being the principle of Ʋnity; having su­preme power: being the same with the High-Priest under the Old Te­stament, do prove this Point. To this formidable Argument I oppone what hath been discoursed on these Heads: I leave the Reader to judge whether he hath fully proved these, or I have fully overturned them: Next he argueth from Cyprian's saying he could by his Episcopal power, Depose or Excommunicate a Deacon who had rebelled against him, and praising another Bishop for so acting, yea I shal allow him what he after faith, that this power extended also to censuring of Elders: Do not our Moderators usually so practise [Page 86] when there is cause: but not by theit sole Power, but with the Consistory, or Presbytery. We Presbyterians may tremble at his next Blow: For he saith, he will leave his Reader no imaginable scru­ple. But these big words dwindle away into this feeble Argument; that Cyprian might have censured Felicissimus and some with him, who first opposed his Promotion, and after he had taken them into fa­vour, apted disorderly in receiving some of the lapsed, without the Praeses, and the Presbytery: of this case before: it is wholly in­significant here, unless he can prove, that Cyprian might do this by himself, without the Presbytery: which himself disowneth, as I shewed above: All that followeth (which is a Repetition of what he hath often alledged having little to say, when he braggeth of Superabundance) is already plainly answered. He is run a little weak; but he reinforceth his Arguments with Confidence and Repetitions.

§. 58. Hitherto he hath set forth his Cyprianick Bishop in his Majesty, Absolute and sole Power, &c. In his own particular Church; p. 78. he giveth us account of him, as he stood related to the Catholick Church: and here he expecteth matter enough for another Demonstration: which is a big Word in Disputation. We shall here also, by Divine Assistance, try his Strength; and tho' we will not brag of Demonstrations; yet shall endeavour to bring what Light and Strength the subject doth afford. His long Dis­course about the Colledge of Bishops, I have read with Attention; and considered with what Application I am capable of, but can­not find his Demonstrations in it: yea cannot see wherein it is con­ducive to prove his point: only some Hints he hath interspersed that seem to have somewhat of Argument, which I shall consider, after I have taken a general View of the whole. He observeth that all Bishops were Collegues, and made up one Colledge. Next that this Colledge was the principle of Ʋnity to the Catholick Church. Thirdly, that the grand Concern of the Episcopal Colledge was to pre­serve and maintain the one Communion; which together with one Faith, made them capable to be the principle of Ʋnity to the Catholick [Page 87] Church: and that this was their work he proveth first, they thought themselves bound to maintain Peace. 2. Every Bishop was a Mem­ber of this Colledge; and therefore great care was taken about their promotion. 3. He being promoted sent communicatory▪ Let­ters to other Bishops, giving account of his Promotion. 4. If there was any Debate whether his Promotion was Canonical, the rest of the Bishops enquired into it. 5. If he turned Heretick, or Schismatick, he was turned out. 6. While he kept the Faith and Ʋnity of the Church, he was encouraged, Consulted, Corresponded with, &c. 7. While he continued a sound Member of the Colledge, all Letters concerning the Peace and Ʋnity of the Church, were directed to him. Lastly, p. 87. he observeth (cum nota) resist this Evidence saith he, if ye can) that every Heretical, or Schismatical Bishop, with all that retained to him, was ipso facto out of the Church: At last, p. 88. He thinketh he hath another Demonstration against my Notion of a Bishop in Cyprian's time: For how could a single Pres­byter, or Presbyterian Moderator, have born such a part in relation to the Catholick Church, and her Ʋnity and Communion.

§. 59. I must Examine the Strength of this long Demonstrati­on; and what he addeth to fortifie it: and then shall return to take notice of what he intermixeth in the several parts of it, in which our Debate may be concerned: For Answer then to this Argument, as it standeth. I deny the Assumption, viz. That what he hath here asserted cannot agree to a single Presbyter, or presbyterian Moderator. His three Assertions do well agree to e­very Presbyter; that is, Pastor of a Congregation: He is a Col­legue to all Bishops, that is such Pastors. The meeting of such (either by their Delegats; or if they could all come together) is as capable to be the principle of Unity to a Provincial, or Nation­al Church, yea, to the Universal Church, as if so many Diocesans should meet. It is as much the concern of these Presbyters, or Parish Bishops (and I hope they do as much mind it) to main­tain one Faith and one Communion. Doth he think that our Mi­nisters do not think themselves bound to maintain Peace: Or 2. [Page 88] That there is litle care taken about their promotion or giving them charge of the people, and admitting them to a share of the Govern­ment. 3. Tho' it be not our custom to send communicatory Letters of our settlement in a Charge; yet every Presbytery notifieth to the neighbouring Presbyteries the Name of him who is to be fixed in a Charge: that they may have opportunity to object: and the Names of all who are ordained, are recorded. 4. If a Presbytery ordain any person unduely, or if there be Competition, the supe­rior Judicatories enquire into it. 5. We also turn out, not only Heretical and Schismatical Ministers; but them also who are scan­dalous in their Conversation, or supinely negligent in their Mini­sterial Work. 6. We also encourage and admit to the Govern­ment, them that do well. 7. Letters that concern a particular Con­gregation; are, with us, directed to the Minister: these concern­ing the Presbytery, to the Moderator: we also cast out bad Mini­sters, and such as adhere to them; if the Cause be weighty: but we use moderation to the people who are led away by Schismatical Ministers, when their Separation is founded on lesser mistake: & if in this we differ from the Cyprianick Age, his Party should not blame us; having tasted so much of our lenity. Let it then be conside­red how impertinent this whole Discourse is, and how insufficient to prove the Episcopacy of the Cyprianick-Age that he pleadeth for.

§. 60. He useth several enforcements of this Argument, p. 88, & 89. which I shall briefly consider. 1. The Colledge of Bishops are still considered as Church-Governours notoriously distinguished from Presbyters. Answ. This distinction lay in the dignity that the declensions of that time from Apostolick simplicity gave them: not in any Power that they had which Presbyters had not. 2. A Presbyter was never called a Bishops Collegue. Answ. If this were granted, such a negative Argument, and that drawn from words, and ways of speaking (which doth often vary) is not very con­cludent. I have shewed that the same Power is ascribed to them, see▪ §. 62. where the contrary of what he asserteth is shewed. 3. We [Page 89] have no Vestige of a Presbyterian Moderator in these times. Answ. There was then a Moderator, who was called the Bishop; who presided in their Meetings: tho' there was no such changing of the Moderator as is among us: that I have yielded: but the fixedness of the Moderator, and the parity of the Power are consistent: tho' I deny not that the one made way for destroying the other; as After-ages did shew. 4. Our Author repeateth all the Acts of, and concerning Bishops, that he had insisted on, and affirmeth that they could not consist with a single Presbyter, or Moderator, which I have above-denyed, and made the contrary evident. That he calleth all the Acts of Government and Discipline his (the Bi­shops) and his alone; is to beg the Question, for we deny it, and he should prove it.

§. 61. I must now return to p. 78, and glean some Passages, which I was obliged to overlook, that I might have this long Ar­gument (stretching from thence to p. 90.) intirely in view, and give a general Answer to it. He maketh the Bishop the Principle of Ʋnity to a particular Church, and the Colledge of Bishops the Principle of Ʋnity to the Catholick Church; and Christ the Princi­ple of Ʋnity to that Colledge. And addeth, I hope not being a Ro­manist, you will not require that I should prove the highest Step of this Gradation. Here I observe first, the Discourse is about a vi­sible Head, or Principle of Ʋnity to the Church; which cannot be ascribed to Christ. Wherefore this is wholly impertinent; or, if it have any sense, it tendeth to make his Reader a Romanist, whom he supposeth not to be one already. For if the particular and Catholick Church, have a visible Principle of Ʋnity; and that which he maketh to be the Ʋniting Principle, have nothing that is visible to make them one among themselves, they who can re­ceive his Doctrine about a Principle of Ʋnity, will see a necessity of a Pope to unite the Bishops, as much as of a Bishop to unite the Presbyters. 2. If Christ be the Ʋniting Principle of the Col­ledge of Bishops, why doth he not serve for the same use to Pres­byters, yea, to all Christians. And indeed he is the real Ʋniting [Page 90] Principle to all; they only are in the Union of the Church, who cleave to his Doctrine, and observe his Laws; even tho' they se­parate from the Bishop who departeth out of that Way. 3. I de­sire to know of him, why he thinketh the Romanists will put him to prove the highest Step of this Gradation, more than Protestants will? Doth any of them deny Christ to be the Principle of Ʋnity to the Church? They only make the Pope his Vicar in this, be­cause they think such an one is needful in the Church, who is visibly Conversant among men: and doth not our Author sup­pose the same necessity of such a visible Uniter till he come to the Colledge of Bishops, and he leaveth them Headless, that is, without a visible Head. Where it may be rationally concluded that this Doctrine is either Popish or palpably absurd. The next thing I notice is, p. 79. he saith all Christians hold one Faith to be necessa­ry to the Ʋnity of the Church; but in Cyprian's time one Communi­on was thought as indispensible: they held there is but one Church, and that this could not be without one Communion. If by one Com­munion, he mean (for he walketh in a Cloud in this Matter, whether of Design or not, I know not,) that Communion of Saints which is an Article of the Creed; which consisteth in Uni­on of them all with Christ, and Unity in Faith and Love, &c. I acknowledge the necessity of it, but I know not what respect it hath to Episcopacy, more than Presbytery. If he mean Local Communion, it is impossible either in the Catholick Church, or in the Diocess of a modern Bishop. If he mean Communion by having the same Ceremonies and Government in the Church. Tho' I confess that is desireable, and by all good means should be endeavoured: (for we should have no Ceremonies, but these which are of Divine Institution, and the one Church Government that he hath appointed, should be every where exercised,) yet there may be one Church, where this Communion is not: and if the Cyprianick Age was somewhat too strick in this Matter, it was their Mistake, (of which above,) but it is no Proof of Episcopacy, (in the sense of our Debate,) to have been in that Age. And [Page 91] indeed, if our Author maintain this Principle, he will (conse­quentially to it) Unchurch most of the Reformed Churches, as the Papists do them all on the same score: if by this one Commu­nion he mean, that all Christians must be United to some one Bi­shop or other, which Bishops agree among themselves, and have Communion in the Episcopal Colledge; he will find hard to prove that Cyprian taught so. Yea, then there is no Communi­on in the Church, without an oecumenick Council of Bishops, which we have litle hope to see: and many doubt that the World did ever see it: tho' there have been Councils so called; because in them were represented all the Churches of the Empire. Fur­ther, if this was the Opinion of Cyprian's time, how will he prove that these Bishops in whom Churches were to be United, were a­ny more than Parish Ministers, and that the one Communion of that time, was more than that every Christian must be the Mem­ber of one Church, where Christ's Ordinances are dispensed by a Bishop, that is, a Minister of the Gospel.

§. 62. Tho' I am not concerned to question the Practice of Bi­shops sending their Communicatory Letters, to signifie that they were promoted. Yet I see no sufficient Proof of it from the two or three Instances that he bringeth. It must be either a Law, or a great Train of Instances, in many several Nations, in greater and lesser Churches, and under diverse Circumstances and Cases of these Churches` that will bear the weight of so universal a Con­clusion. But I pass this: for it doth not much concern our main Question. He will find it also hard to prove, that these Letters were sent to all other Bishops, (as he affirmeth, p. 80.) that had been a Work of no small Labour: I suppose they did thus correspond with some next adjacent Bishops, or who were of spe­cial note; which we also do, as I shewed before. That there were Metropolitans in Cyprian's time, he asserteth; and I deny it not. But they were but Moderators of the greater Meetings, (as the Bishops were of lesser ones,) of the Parochial Ministers and El­ders: as also were the Primats, and in Affrick especially, the el­dest [Page 92] Bishop or Minister, had this Dignity: but it was Praeceden­cy, and Dignity, wherein they were above their Brethren, not Power and Authority, but this our Author toucheth but transi­ently; and so I shall not insist on it: only I ask him; how do Metropolitans, in our modern sense, agree with his Opinion that every Bishop was supreme, and had no Ecclesiastical Superior on Earth: See §. 9. p. 82. where he is Discoursing of purging out a Heretical Bishop; his thoughts seem to run somewhat mud­dy. He saith the Colledge of Bishops might do (to him) the e­quivalent of a formal Deposition; they could refuse him their Com­munion, and thereby exclude him from their Episcopal Colledge: and they could oblige all the Christians within his District to abandon him. And because he saw that his former Assertion of the supreme Power of a Bishop, and his having no Ecclesiastical Superior, would be objected; he saith no Bishop was superior to another in point of Power and Jurisdiction. How to make all this hang to­gether, is not easie to know. 1. To wreath the yoke of the Bi­shop's Domination on the Church, he establisheth Independency a­mong Bishops: whereas no Reason can be given, why Parishes should not be Independent on one another, as well as Provinces. I look on both these sorts of Independency, as contrary to the U­nity of the Church; and on Subordination, as of Natural and Divine Right. 2. If the Colledge of Bishops had not formal Power to depose a Heretical Bishop: by what Authority could they oblige the Christians to abandon him, and to choose ano­ther: if he say, the Fundamental Law of sound Faith and Uni­ty; or as he speaketh, of one Faith, and one Communion, obliged the Christians to this. A. That is antecedent to the interposing of the Authority of the Episcopal Colledge, and they were obli­ged to it, tho' there were no such Colledge. 3. That no Bishop hath Power over another Bishop, is no more than we say of Pres­byters. But it is strange that the Community of Bishops, hath not formal and direct Power over every one of their own num­ber; both with respect to his Communion with them; and with [Page 93] respect to his particular Charge; that maketh a wider door both for Heresie and Schism, and for Peoples Beeing, without remedy, under the Plague of bad Ministers, than any thing that Parity can be charged with. 4. The People are here left Judges of the Bi­shop's Haeresie, and other Incapacitating ill Qualities; and so to de­termine whether they will leave him or not: the Colledge of Bi­shops can do no more but inform them, and tell them what they are obliged by the Laws of one Faith, and one Communion to do. 5. What if the Bishop will not leave his Charge, nor the People abandon him, hath Christ left no Ordinance in his Church, as a Remedy of this Case? The Colledge of Bishops cannot excom­municat him, nor them: that were to exercise formal Authority over him or them: if they then, will not yield to the Colledges Information or Advice, they may go on in their way without further Controlement. Thus we see that men will venture to ru­ine the Soundness, Peace, and Purity of the Church, that they may establish a Lordly Prelacy over the People of God. What he insisteth so much on, p. 86, 87. about directing publick Let­ters to the Bishops, and their being signed by them: is not worth our notice. We also count it regular for our Moderators to be so treated: but there was some peculiar Reason, why it was so pun­ctually observed in that Age, because the Praeses of their Meeting was fixed, and it was Interpretatively a Degrading of him, or que­stioning his Title, to do otherwise: but this importeth no supe­rior Jurisdiction. He telleth, p. 87. that every Haeretical, or Schis­matical Bishop, and all who adhered to him, were ipso facto, out of the Church. This I do not believe, for how shall a man be known to be Haeretical, till he were tryed and judged? His Proofs amount to no more, but that such were dealt with as out of the Church; and may be the manner of Process against them, is not mentioned: but such a negative Argument, will not prove that no more was done to cast them out: if that be the Episcopal course of Censure, wee intend not to follow it: and if that were the way in the Cypri­anick Age, it maketh its Example less Venerable and Argumenta­tive, [Page 94] but it saith nothing for the Bishop's sole Power: he saith p. 89. that a Bishop never called a Presbyter his Collegue. A. If it be understood of Presbyters without a Charge, there is Reason for it: he had no joynt Charge of the Congregation, we use the same way of Appellation. But if it be meant of a Moderator, with respect to the other Brethren; I answer we find Presbyters calling the Bishop Brother; as was noted before: Yea, Concil. Carthag. 4. Canon. 35. it is Decreed, that tho' a Bishop in consessu Presby­terorum sublimior sedeat, intra domum Collegam se Presbyterorum cognoscat. This, its true, was a litle after Cyprian's time: but it was when Church-Domination was rather growing than decreasing.

§. 63. His strength is now far spent, when in the end of his Book, he wasteth so many words to set off an Argument, which is fitter to be smiled at, than laboriously answered. It is that the Christian Bishops in Cypria's time, made such a Figure in the Church, that they were the Chief Butt of the Malice of Persecutors: others might live in Peace at Home, when they were forced to Flee. And he is at pains to prove this, which I think was never questioned in any Age of the Church. Their Station made them conspicu­ous, (for I deny not they were above Presbyters in Dignity,) their Parts (some of them) made them to be jealoused: their Zeal for God, made them hateful to the Promoters of Satan's Kingdom. But all this can never prove that they had the sole Go­vernment of the Church; nor that they had Jurisdiction over Pres­byters, who were fixed in the Church, to oversee any part of it. Many Presbyters, Deacons, yea private Christians, who were e­minent for Ability to confound the Adversary: for Zeal and Ho­liness; or for their Station in the World, were persecuted as well as their Bishops. That this is neither strange, nor concludent of Episcopal Power, is evident (not to fetch an Instance from far,) in the late Episcopal Persecution among our selves: the Ministers were mainly Hunted, Intercommuned, Imprisoned, forced to Hide or Flee: and the more eminent or zealous they were, the harder it went with them: yea, some who were freer than ma­ny [Page 95] others, of what was thought Sedition, Disorder, or Rebellion, yet were hardly used, for the Hurt that it was thought they might do to that which was the great Diana of the Ascendent Party. And yet all this will not prove that they had, or pretended to, or were thought to have Jurisdiction over their Brethren. I do therefore deny the Consequence, the Bishops (some of them for I will not say it was the Lot of them all) were mainly persecuted; Ergo, they and not the Presbyters had the Authority in Governing the Church. If Decius had such a dread of a Bishop being setled in Rome, that he would more patiently have endured a Prince to rivall it with him for the Empire: I am sure he had not so much Cause as his Successors had; from the Successors of that Bishop: Of no more Force is his Argument drawn from Galienus directing his Edict to the Bishops, when he stopt the Persecution: For we deny not that they had an eminent Station in the Church, and had a chief Hand in the Di­rection of her Affairs, whether ye consider them as Parish-Pastors, as they all were; or Moderators in greater Church-meetings, as some of them were. I have (as he willeth his Reader to do) considered and weighed his Arguments without partiality, and in the Ballance of Justice: But am not yet convinced, that the Schisme that is in the Church is chargeable on us; but on his Party. Let the Reader judge whether of us have best grounds for our Opinion.

§. 64. He concludeth with making excuse, from the bulk of his Book, that he doth not (as he first intended) prove Episcopal Praeemenencie to be of divine Right, as being Christ's Ordinance, and handed down to us from the Apostles in the constant Practice of the Ʋniversal Church. This is the constant Cant of that Party; but I have met with none who was able to evince this tho' the learnedest among them; and not a few of them, have essayed it. If this Author shall think fit to make another Effort, as he declar­eth himself ready to do, if commanded by him to whom he writs this long Epistle) and if he bring any thing new; and not fully answered already: I doubt not but his Arguments will be exami­ned to better purpose, than what is, or can be done, by such a mean hand as mine is.


AFter the former Sheets were almost Printed, I met with two Books at the same time, which I had not before seen: the one called the Fundamental Charter of Pres­bytry, &c. with a Preface of 167 Pages, by a nameless Au­thor: the other an Inquiry into the new Opinions (chiefly) pro­pagated by the Presbyterians in Scotland; with some Animadversions on the Defence of the Vindications of the Kirk: by A. M. D. D. This latter Book seemeth to have more of Argument than some others which I have seen from some Scots Episcopalians, if not from the same Hand: I have much desired that our Debates might run in that more pure Channel; and rejoice to see any hopes of it. I am sorry that now I have no time from necessary, urgent, and daily work, to consider this Book so as to Answer it, if I shall not be Proselyted by it. I intend to try it's strength as soon as I shall have leasure, if the LORD give Life and Health; and if it shall not be sooner Answered by some other Hand; which I do much wish.

§. 2. The former of these two Books is expresly levelled against an Act of the Parliament of this Nation; and is a direct Refuta­tion of it: and therefore the Examination of it is out of my Road; and is most fit for such as are conversant in the Affairs of State, and know the Politick which moved the Parliament so to contrive their Act. I do judge that he who shall undertake it will find no hard task. Beside, the Presbyterian Ministers did never look on the In­clinations of the People (which that Act mentioneth in it's narra­tive) as the fundamental Charter of Presbytry; however the Par­liament might wisely consider it in their Consultation and Deter­mining, and mention it rather than what did more sway some of [Page 98] them. We always did, and do, found the Government of the Church by Parity, on Divine Institution; and look on Prelacy as contrary to Christ's appointment.

§. 3. What I now undertake is, a transient view (such as the Press hastening to an end of the former Discourse, will allow) of his Preface: which I hope may be lookt on as a due Refutation of it: nor can I imagine that any judicious and unbyassed man will judge, that such a parcel of Stuff, deserveth a laborious▪ Examina­tion: he hath need of a hardened Nose who can insist long in an exact Anatomatical Scrutiny into such a rotten Carion. The Au­thor hath out-done his Brethren (yea, and himself too) in Bil­lingsgate-Rhetorick: he seemeth to be eminently gifted that way; to the silencing of who ever will oppose him; as some learned acute men have quickly had their Mouths stopt when the Tongues of some of these good Women have been let loose against them. I had rather own in my self all the dulness that he is pleased to impute to the man whom he designeth to expose, than enter the Lists with him at that Weapon: and I do freely confess I am not qualified for it; and if I were, I should think it unsutable to my Character (how­ever mean) and inconsistent with a good Conscience. Such im­potency of Mind, and such injurious Defamation, is not well con­sistent with Christianity; nor is sutable to that Learning that is re­quired in them who write Polemick Divinity: for, Scolding is no Scholarship. If his Adversary was weak, he should have knockt him down with strong Arguments; not bespattered him with dirty Re­vileings: the one would have ruined his Cause, the other but be­dawb'd his Person; and it may be easily wiped off. If the Cause which my Adversary owneth, need this Conduct, it is weak, and not worth contending for: if not; they who do so manage it are no credit to it.

§. 4. I refer the Reader who would have a view of this Author's Qualities more truly than he Characterizeth other men, to the Bi­shop of Sarum's Vindication: where, if he be not aimed at, he is very plainly chastised in Effigie: for G. B. & G. R. seem to have [Page 99] been stung with the same kind of Serpent; if not the same indivi­dual. He had dealt more wisely, if he had not convinced the Rea­der, by this management, of the very same ill Qualities in himself, that he so frankly attributeth to another. I am sure he hath shewed litle Wisdom in bringing Instances to prove his confident Assertions: had he contented himself with bold Saying, and quibling Insinua­tions, of what he thinketh fit to load one with; some who know neither him, nor the person who is the Butt of his Malice, might have believed some part of what he alledgeth (they who know that person, however they cannot but see many Infirmities in him, have other thoughts of him; and indeed better than ever he could deserve: and they who know this Author will judge that his Tongue, nor Pen, is no Slander.) But now his Proofs are so ex­ceedingly unsuted to what they are brought for, that a litle atten­tion may serve to improve them as Weapons against himself, and as Evidences of these things in himself which he designeth by them to fasten on another. I perceive he hath been at pains to read all that hath been written by G. R. on several occasions; and what he thinketh fit to ascribe to him; to see what he could pick up in these Papers wherewith he might reproach the Author: in which also he hath (innocently and without design) done him a Kind­ness: for if so critical an Eye could find no more to try his Skill upon in all these Writings, it is like there are many things in them which he could not Blame: for, exceptio firmat Regulam in non exceptis. It is a wonder if such a person as he exposeth could say so much to any purpose.

§. 4. I shall not insist on his civility to the Parliament, and their Act; nor his modest Reflexion on himself; nor his great care ex­prest to sute his Discourse to the English-Nation, even in the Words and Phrases: nor on the account he giveth of the helps he used. Only I take notice how much pains he is at to prove (through 14 Pages) that the Book commonly called Knox's History was not written by John Knox: I know none, who is much conversant in our Scots Affairs, who is contrary to him in this: and if G. R. was [Page 100] so absurd as to cite that Book under the Name by which it is com­monly called; if it hence follow that he thought John Knox was the Author, let him pass for as ignorant as our Author will have him to be: if this be no good consequence, I hope it is no great evidence of this Author's Learning so to infer. That John Knox did not compose that Book, (tho' much of the Materials of it was ta­ken from his Manuscripts) hath been held by Presbyterian Brethren, before this Author went to School: neither do I know any of them who are earnest to have it believed that he wrote it: yea, this Au­thor himself citeth it always under the Name of John Knox; as he confesseth: and why might not another do so too, without de­bating about the true Author of it; which had been a needless di­gression from his Purpose.

§. 6. After he has disgorged a great deal of Gall against G. R. and declined him for an Antagonist (who hath the same aversion from entering the Lists with him, unless he deal more like a Chri­stian, and a Disputant) we might (but it is in vain) expect he should be more composed: his Bile overfloweth through all his Sheets. He mentioneth some Passages in my Writings that he will not insist on; only noteth them with a Nigrum Theta, as proofs of my unquestionable ignorance: they are, that I hold Ruling-El­ders, who are no Preachers, to be of Divine Institution; that the Fathers, and Scripture also, owne them under the Name of Bishops. That Patronages came not in till the seventh or eight Century, or later: (where his own ignorance, or somewhat else, appeareth; the word is, they were not setled till then: it is well-known, that many Usages crept into the Church long before they were setled, ei­ther by Law, or universal Practice.) That, most, and the most eminent of the Prelatists acknowledge, that by Christ's appointment, and according to the Practices of the first Ages of the Church, she ought to be, and was govern'd in common by Ministers acting in Parity, (which is a gross Misrepresentation; for that is said of Christ's equal­ly intrusting all his Ministers with Power of Preaching and Govern­ing: which is asserted and fully proved by the learned Stillingfleet [Page 101] in his Irenicum: and what followeth is that Author's own Words, not attributed to Christs appointment as unalterable, nor to the pra­ctice of the Church. Yet I shall not decline debating of both these with him (tho' I say not they are the Opinion of Prelatists) That Diocesan Episcopacy was not setled in Cyprian's time, &c. (What Ignorance is in this, is to be judged by the foregoing Book, That the Decre­tal Epistles of Anacletus are genuine, is neither asserted nor supposed, nor is any opinion given about them: only they are used as an an­tient Writing; and argumentum ad hominem. If this one Witness be cast, we have enough beside. That it is asserted, Rational Def. of Nonconf. p. 10. that Episcopacy is not in any Protestant Church but in England: is neither truly, nor with Candor said; the Expression is, as in England: and it is easily demonstrable, that in no Protestant Church, it is in that height, or doth so en­tirely swallow up the Ruling Power of Presbyters, as it doth in England: If my Exposition of Jerom's toto orbe decretum est, be Ignorant, or Erroneous; I must so abide, till this Profound Do­ctor Enlighten mine Eyes; which he hath not vouchsafed to do. Another of Jerom's Sayings, Quid facit Episcopus, &c. excepta Ordinatione: he saith my Gloss on it, hath been sufficiently expo­sed, Hist. of the General Assembly 1690: and I say, it hath been sufficiently Vindicated, in Answer to that, and other four Pam­phlets; and Def. of Vindic. in Answer to the Apology, p. 24, 25. I shall now add, that very Exposition of that Passage, was given by Marsilius Patavinus, cited in the end of the Preface to Paul Bayn's Diocesan's Tryal: that Author lived about Anno 1324. In his Book called Defensor Pacis, against the Pope; he hath these Words, (speaking of that Passage of Jerome,) Ordinatio non significat ibi Potestatem conferendi, seu Collationem Sacrorum Ordinum; sed OEconomicam Potestatem Regulandi, vel Dirigen­di Ecclesiae Ritus atque Personas, quantum ad Exercitium Divini Cultus in Templo: unde ab Antiquis Legum▪ latoribus, vocantur OE­conomici Reverendi. This we maintain to be competent to every Parish Minister; tho' not to the Elders of the Congregation, to [Page 102] manage these in the Publick Assembly. I hope no man of sense, will reckon that Author an ignorant Person, of whom Papir. Mas­son. saith, cujus Libri extant, non cuidem Verborum, sed Rerum aepparatu, prorsus Admirandi. His Instance of my Ignorance, in Citing some Greek Authors, out of the Latine Translations of them, is so ridiculous, as it needeth no Answer.

§. 7. He next cometh to some Instances, that he seemeth to lay more Weight on. The first amounteth to no more but this, that I Cited Chrysost. out of Bellarm. and I had not Chrysostome then by me, (as our Author saith, he had not Bellarmine, when he wrote this Preface,) and answered Bellarmine and Chrysostom's Words, as he brought them: if he doubt, (as he seemeth to do,) whether I did faithfully Transcribe Bellarmin's Words, let him consult the Place: And now, when I have seen and considered Chry­sostom's own Words, I am sure that [...], is not the same way ascribed to the Bishop alone, as [...] and [...] are to him, with the Presbyters: for he deriveth these from Christ's Instituti­on, which he doth not pretend concerning that: nor indeed could he, seing he had said [...]: he must then mean, that in his time, the Bishop had an Election, and may be, also Ordination to a superior Degree of Dignity, (which was without a superior Power,) or that to him, was committed the Performance of the Ceremonie in Clerical Ordinati­ons, viz. Laying on of Hands: tho' I am sure, and have shewed, this was not the constant Practice. What our Author blameth in my sense of [...] is fully Vindicated, Gillesp. Eng. Pop. Cer. P. 3. C. 8. Diggress. 1. P. 164. His next Instance, is out of Ration. Def. &c. p. 199. where I prove the Peoples Power in Electing their Pastors, from Act. 14. 23. and that from the word [...], (not barely from the force of the word, as he, by Over­sight, or Ignorance, mistaketh; but) by the force of the word, and it's Circumstances in that Place. If Scapula be not a good Voucher for the Signification of a Greek Word, both in Profane, and Ecclesiastical Writings, his Lexicon is little worth: if he be, [Page 103] our Author has litle Judgment in declining his Authority; seing not one of the Instances he giveth of the word, is for Ordinati­on; but generally, for giving Suffrage. If we Consult Scripture, it is used Act. 10. 41. and 2 Corinth. 8. 19. in both which Places, it is used for Election. And its importing also Ordina­tion, which I alledged, he is pleased to mock at: but thinketh not fit to take notice of the Grounds brought for that Interpreta­tion, from the best Criticks: which I impute to his Unacquain­tedness with that sort of Learning; if we may be so bold, as to Question the Skill of one, who so looketh down on other poor Mortals, as Ignoramus's.

§. 8. The next Proof of Ignorance is, I was bold to reprove one of my Adversaries for commending Ministers from their under­standing Christian Philosophy: Hence our Auther spendeth about 10 Pages to prove, that that Phrase was used by the Fathers: all which is easily granted, and was never questioned by any that I know. Only I still think (and if that be to be ignorant, I can­not shun that blame) that however the Fathers did pertinently use it, and even at this time it may to very good purpose be used in some cases, yet that in a time when Socinianism aboundeth, and when revealed Religion is so much decryed, by not a few, and all Religion is by some resolved into Nature, and Humane Reason, the improvement of which is Philosophy: I say in that case, it is not so very proper a Commendation of a Minister, that is taken from Christian Philosophy, as that which is taken from that know­ledge of Divine Things, which is built on Revelation, as super­added to what we have by Nature, and is attained by Ratiocinati­on from scientifick Principles.

§. 9. He next thinketh fit to charge his Antagonist with Non­sense, the Instances are first, (Animadvers. on Stillingf. Jrenic. p. 30.) I had said that all Ceremonies of God's Worship, are Wor­ship themselves. He should have minded that it is there said that the learned Stillingfleet saith the same, Irenic. p. 65. which I still aver: and if he will not ascribe Non-sense to that unquestionably [Page 104] learned Author, why may not such an one as I take shelter under his shadow. But if this Author had understood the Distinction, that I (and many more learned than I) have elsewhere cleared be­tween Circumstances, Rites and Ceremonies, and that this last Sort, is peculiar to Religious Actions, and hath place in no other kinds of Actions, he might have understood, that such Actions are Religious, and Acts of Worship, and that they are true Worship, if instituted by Christ, and false, if divised by men. This can­not be judged Nonsense, by any who hath, with Judgement, lookt into the Controversie about Ceremonies; but it must be Nonsense to judge so of it. The Fetch, (as he calleth it) of Ceremonies that are in the place of Competentes, or Catechumeni; called in the same place Candidate Ceremonies, is no more Nonsense than other Metaphors are, if the Author be so ignorant, as to understand that Phrase literaly, it is his own Nonsense, and none of mine. The next peice of Nonsense is, that the Affirmative of the second Commandment is, that we should worship God in the way that he has prescribed in his word: Rational Def. p. 125. If this be Non­sense, I have for my Compurgators, the whole Assembly of Divines at Westminster, who in the Shorter Catechism, gave this Answer to the Question, What is required in the second Commandment? The second Commandment requireth, the Receiving, Observing, keeping pure and entire, all such Religious Worship, and Ordinances as God hath appointed in his Word. It is like this Author will not stick to charge that venerable Assembly with Error, but if he dare charge them with Nonsense, it is no great matter if poor I take a share with them. I am so dull as to understand as litle what Nonsense is in owning the Lutherian Churches, as Sister Churches, and so having Communion with them, and yet refusing to joyn with them on their Instituted Ceremonies. If any thing here look like Nonsense, it is from a Typographical Error, (which I confese that Book aboundeth with, the Correcting of the Press being commit­ed by that Author to a negligent person, while himself was at the distance of some hundrdes of Miles) it is in the Manuscript unin­stituted [Page 105] Worship: and is meant of parts of Worship not appointed by Christ, but devised by men: We can have Communion with them in owning the same Truths, (seing they own the same Funda­mental Truths with us) and in these parts of Worship that Christ hath appointed; but we cannot joyn with them in worshiping God, by their Devices, and if they intermix these with instituted Wor­ship, we must forbear Communion with them in both, rather than pollute our selves with uncommanded Worship: If this be Non­sense, I must bear that Imputation. Another Instance of Nonsense is, Second Vindication, p. 14. That the two Governments (Pres­bytery and Monarchie) of Church and State, have suited one ano­ther many Ages, since the Nation was Protestant: The Authors Antagonist had expressed his Wonder, how Presbytery could suit Monarchie in the State. I confess I was not so critical, as to im­pute to him, that he meant Presbytery in the State, and Monar­chy in the State; (For I cannot discover Non-sense where it is not, even in an Adversary, as this sensible Man can;) And I plainly answered, that these two Governments; (viz. Presbytery in the Church, and Monarchy in the State) did suit one another. Whe­ther the Non-sense is in my Expression, or in my Adversaries ap­prehension, let the Reader judge: Also whether a Handle is here given for a Cavil; or Malice, or Ignorance, hath supplyed it.

§. 10. Another thing wherein he hath a mind to find Non-sense, is Animadvers. on Stillingfleets Irenicum, p. 5. where the learned Dr. having asserted, that where there are different Opinions▪ and probable Arguments on both sides; if it be not a matter necessary to Salvation, it giveth ground to think that that matter in Contro­versy was never intended for a necessary mean for Peace and Ʋnity in the Church: On this occasion, G. R. was bold to say, that if things not necessary to Salvation, must needs be thus clearly revealed, much more this clearness is needful in things necessary to Salvation. The Non-sense of this I cannot yet perceive: and I think this Au­thor (not by his piercing Judgement, but by this tinctured Fan­cy) was the first that discovered it. And I cannot shun still to [Page 106] think, that the Fundamental Truths should be, and are revealed with more evidence, than the inferior Truths; and that the Lord would not have us to venture our Salvation, on that obscurity of Revelation, that we may not venture the Peace of the Church on; if that were at Stake. But the best is, that the peace of the Church dependeth not so much on Oneness of Opinion, about some inferi­or Truths, as in honest endeavours after that, and in mutual for­bearance where it cannot be attained. I am litle concerned in his not believing a Typographical Error, in a passage about the De­crees of God; which a Friend of his, (if not himself) had obser­ved, and I had solemnly disowned, and do still disowne, as what I never thought, spoke, nor wrote: It seems he measureth the ve­racity of others by his own. But he will prove what he affirmeth; That Book was Re-printed in England, without Alteration, or Cor­rection; Ergo it was the Authors, not the Printers Error. A wise Consequence indeed: if it went abroad with that Error, (as I deny not it did) it is no wonder it was Re-printed with it: but that it was ever Re-printed, is more than I know, or ever heard before: if he will not believe me in this, I hope some others will. He next setteth the black Mark of Non-sense, on the Arguments I bring against a stinted Liturgy of mans Composure: Rational Def. p. 226. I can see nothing but tollerable Sense, and some strength of Reason, in these Arguments; when I review them after many years: And our Author thought not fit to discover it to us, and therefore they must even stand as they were. Only this great Judge of Non-sense, sheweth us that the Lords Prayer is a set Form and disowned by Presbyterians, and therefore that must be here included: Answer, that Prayer (if a set Form; that is, if it be enjoined to be rehearsed in publick Worship) is not a set Form of mans de­vising, and therefore falleth not under the Arguments that he opposeth. Neither do Presbyterians disown that Prayer, but use it as a Directory for Prayer, and if any will repeat the words in solemn Worship, they do not censure them. He hint­eth, (tho' so confusedly, that I cannot make Sense of his Refuta­tion [Page 107] of Non-sense) that we are Quakers, because against Liturgies. We find no Liturgies in the Apostolick Church; and yet they were no Quakers: if all praying without Book were Enthusiasm, (as he ignorantly insinuateth) many Episcopal men must be such, for they do not always use the Book. His retorting the Argument on extemporary Prayer, is strangely wide, and hath been often answe­red: But this Author's business is not to clear Truth, but to run down a certain person whom he hath in chase: Extemporary Pray­er imposeth neither Matter, nor Frame, or Composure, on the Hearers, and Joyner, further than Nature it self maketh necessary, where people pray together: but set Forms do.

§. 11. Yet more Non-sense: his Antagonist speaketh of the Popish Church of Scotland, and of the Protestant Church, also often of the Episcopal and Presbyterian Church there, whereas the Church is but one: Which this Author is at much pains to expose: but by mis­hape, exposeth himself in so doing: I list not to contend about words, whether you call a divided Church (as Scotland was while partly popish, and partly Protestant: and novv is vvhole partly Presbyterian and partly Episcopal) two Churches, or one Church rent in two peices; I think is not material, I see no Non-sense in either way of speaking: Both Parties or Churches if permitted must have their Government, and Governours, neither is it fit that they should rule that Church, or part of the Church to which they are opposite, and which they would destroy. It is wholly beside this purpose that he bringeth in, of my blaming Dr. Stillingfleet for making the Ʋnity of the Church of England, consist, in two Convocations (which our Author doth so grosly mistake for the Upper and Lower Houses of one Convocation, whereas that Author doth make two Convocations in two distinct Provinces, p. 300) for that is one Church united in it's parts, not divided into Parties as the Church we speak of. And it's less intelligible, how that should have two Heads, than in this case: Why two Par­ties may not be called two governing Bodies, in a divided Church, I cannot yet understand, for all his Story of the Platonick Monster: [Page 108] That no Head is mentioned, why should he wonder; unless he think a visible Head of the Church in a single person is necessary; in such Metaphorick Speeches, there is no matter of moment; whether ye call the governing Part of a Church a Body, or a Head: but enough of this quibling on this Head.

§. 12. Our Author's next Essay, is to set forth his Antago­nist's ill Nature: in which Discourse, every one may see, how manifestly and fully he setteth forth that Temper of Mind in him­self, which he blameth in another: most of the Passages he insist­eth on, were written against some Pamphlets, which contain the most false and injurious Imputations, and that not against a Per­son only, but against all the Presbyterians without Discrimination: yea, against the whole Nation, in it's Representative, the Parlia­ment; and many of these Assertions are proved to be false, and if a certain Author, by a Book which gave less occasion, was by every Line, provoked to the Indecency of Passion, what wonder, if just Indignation was warmly expressed against such Abusive Treat­ment. If I have called any thing Lies, Railing, Sauciness, Impudence, which was not so, I am content to underly the just Sentence of unbyassed men, but this Author and his Complices, take a Bound­less Liberty to Reproach, and if they be told of it, they are Cla­morous beyond Measure. It is not inconsistent with all that Civi­lity that is due to men, to give things their true Names, especial­ly where the Rank and Behaviour of the Persons we deal with, plead no extraordinary Respect. He mistaketh, when he saith, that I knew, that the Author of the Memorial was dead, before I answered his Book: I do not to this day, know who was the Au­thor of it. What was said about giving up King Charles the first to England, should have been refuted by Reason, not by Quib­ling: I have no Answer for such Arguments: neither have I time to examine how fairly all the words are cited, which he addu­ceth, nor to shew on what occasion, or on what necessity they were written: what he representeth as spoken of the Prelatists, is injuriously blamed, it was spoken of a Party of them, (who are [Page 109] but few,) who reproached the Presbyterians in general, and in the most universal Terms; which never was my way against them.

§. 13. If any thing hath dropt from my Pen, which may be judged Uncivil, or short of due Respect toward the Learned, and Reverend Dr. Stillingfleet, I am ready to crave him pardon, for I designed the contrary: what this Author chargeth me with that way, is partly false, as what he citeth out of the Preface to Ani­madv. on Irenic. for both the Prefaces, (I have seen one at some Copies, and another at other Copies,) were written by another hand, without the knowledge of the Author: partly they are fouly misrepresented; to give an Instance: this Author faith, that I said of Dr. Stillingfleet, p. 18. that for the most part he doth no­thing, but magno conatu nihil agere. This is misrepresented: I said that he insisteth most on things not controverted, and thence inferred the blame mentioned. It is one thing to charge one di­rectly with an Opinion or Practice: and another, to make an In­ference from it: seing many do or say that, the ill Consequence of which they do not observe, but will disowne. His other Ci­tations are but a just Censure one some Passages of that Learned Author's Writings, which I was examining, which cannot be shunned in Polemick Writings: to call that a Contradiction that I make appear to be such, is no Injury nor Breach of that Civility, that is due to a Stated Adversary: many things are fair enough in open War, which were not so in a State of Peace. This Author is yet more injurious, in expounding all that I have said of a few men of imbittered Spirits; among the Prelatists, who have in their Writings reproacht the Presbyterians, and imputed to them, things that they are innocent of, or abhor, applying all this, (I say) to all them who are of the Episcopal Perswasion; or to the Party in general, as that they are Esaus, Serpents, Spiteful, &c. I chal­lenge him to prove what he saith: I deny it: if I have said any thing of Immorality among the Clergy, it is too evident, tho' I know some of them are innocent, and lament it. What he citeth [Page 110] as spoken against the Church of England, and her Clergy, is either what is in Controversie between us, and them: I have been so bold, as to call their Liturgy and Ceremonies Superstition, and to mention what is the Native Concomitant of Superstition, that men will be wiser than Christ or his Apostles. This is no more a Crime, than it is a Fault to be opposite to their way. What is said of Immoralities, and Insufficiency for the Ministery, and other Corruptions that are among them, is not chargeable on me, yea nor on Presbyterians alone, but it is the Complaint, of the best a­mong themselves, see the five Groans of the Church, and Mr. Bold's Serm. These Authors were truly Sons of the Church of England; thousands among them, complain of these things, who yet ad­here to that Communion. I might well disowne that Principle of Sentencing, & Executing Kings by their Subjects, about which some of the Church of England had informed forreign Divines, as the Principle and Doctrine of Presbyterians: because the Generality of Presbyterians in Scotland, (very few excepted, and these tur­ned Independents after,) shewed their Abhorrence of that Fact committed on King Charles the first, so they did in England, and some of them suffered Death, for owning his Son. Is it Incivi­lity to the Church of England, that I thought, at the time of the late Revolution, it was fit for Parties to put in their Claim, for what they thought the way of GOD, that it might be judged of by them who had Authority? if the Church of England think, we ought not to mutter against the Corruptions of their way, nor seek a Remedy in an orderly and legal way, they may know that we pretend to no such Civility, as is inconsistent with Faithfulness to the Truth, and Ordinances of Christ. We are for the Purity of the Church of England, and for her Peace too, so as not to meddle with her without our Sphere: but if speaking, or writing for the good way that we owne, do disquiet her, with respect to her Cor­ruptions, we must be excused. It is a wise Assertion, he exhort­eth his Readers to purge the Church of England, &c. I exhorted none to this Attempt, but in their Station, such as many have [Page 111] not: his Expression soundeth, as if I had stirred all up, that should read this Book, to fall on the Church of England, and pull her down.

§. 14. Impudence is the next Epithet, that he laboureth to fix on the man of his Wrath. Instances are; It is abscribed to Cun­ning, that their Books reproaching the Presbyterians were spread in England, but hard to be found in Scotland: which he imput­eth to want of Liberty for Printing such Pieces in Scotland, and ha­zard in importing them: but it is sufficiently known, that many Books of that strain have been imported, and none seized (that I hear of) but one Parcel, which was of another strain. Next it is Impudence to assert the Loyalty of Presbyterians. Answ. It is more Impudence to ascribe to Presbyterians, what was the Practices of some few, with which the far greatest part, neither did, nor would concur. What was said on this Head, was also proved; and it is Impudence to put such a Mark on any Assertion, and yet not attempt to answer the Arguments brought for it. Another Impu­dence is to speak of the Harmlesness of Presbyterians, and that they are no Persecutors. And that any one of many of them suffered more Hardships, and Barbarous Cruelty, than all the Espiscopalians have endured: the Impudence of this, he proveth very learnedly: how could one man suffer the deprivation of five or six hundred Livelyhoods. That there were so many Episcopal Ministers turned out, (I sup­pose these he meaneth) I know not; but it is not a wise compa­rison, of one man to have so many Families to maintain on no­thing, and each to have his own: I affirm that one man who suf­fered Torture, Intercommunning, was forc'd to lodge in Dens and Woods, and in daily hazard of his Life, who was sold for a Slave in the remote places of the Earth, suffered more (tho' his loss of Mo­ney did not amount to so great a Sum) than all they did. I find nothing in what followeth to disprove what I had said, and there­fore pass to another piece of Impudence, (which yet is a repetition of what he had said before) that Presbyterians are no Rebels. To prove this he (very pertinently) alledgeth a Contradiction [Page 112] between first Vindic. ad Q. 2. §. 3. where it is said that Episcopacy raised a Tumult, and §. 5. they (the Episcopal men) raised no Tumults. (This last is ad Q. 3. §. 5.) Answ. The former is spo­ken (as plainly appeareth to them who will see) of the War be­tween the King and Parliament. The other of such Tumults as our Author chargeth the Rable with, and it is expresly said that they did what they could to raise a War. Here then is that hor­rible Contradiction that he findeth, or fancieth: a War managed by potent Armies and for a long time, is in one place called a Tumult; and yet Scuffles among a confused Rout, which are soon over, are distinguished from such a War. Here is neither Con­tradiction nor Impudence: The Impudence that followeth is inju­riously imputed to me (it is vindicating the Presbyterians from being Rebels) for what himself seemeth to applaud in other more modest persons, he might find frequently said by me. But if it be Impudence to deny Presbyterians to be Rebels, what kind of qua­lity must he be of who chargeth them with it, while his own Par­ty is guilty of Actions of the same nature, and were as universally engaged in them. What hath lately fallen out, might teach him either to justifie what he so freely calleth Rebellion, or to lay the blame of it on Protestants, and not Presbyterians only: and then if no share of it fall on himself, let us know what Party he is of.

§. 15. He next challengeth some Insinuations, as if the Presbyte­rians in Scotland were the only Protestants; which cannot be in­ferred from any Words he citeth. Neither can it be inferred that I thought, or said that the Gospel was not preached but by the Pres­terians. One word he layeth weight on, that if the Presbyterians had not used the Indulgence given to them and Papists; these would have occasion to mislead People, without any to oppose them. None who had a mind to understand Words as they are plainly meant, would so construct this Passage; such universal Expressions most fre­quently suffer a Limitation: also in that case they had done what in them was, that none should oppose Popery: as if a Batallion in an Army flee, they act such a part as tendeth to hinder any oppo­sition [Page 113] to be made to the Enemy. Beside all this, tho' there were some privat Episcopal Ministers appear'd faithful in this Case: it is well known how litle most of the Bishops, and the generality of the Clergy appeared, and how they that did speak any thing that way, were discouraged by some Bishops. I wish he had better cleared to us, how absurd it is to say, that the true Protestants in the Nation were for the late Revolution, than by telling us, that being against it was no Popery: most men think it was too much to favour it, and was a defect in that Zeal that should have, in such a Juncture, been shewed against it. The secret Instructions from Holland that he giveth as the Cause of Presbyterians complying with the Dispensing Power: I never heard of them, but from that Epistler whom he mentioneth: and I could answer nothing to it but by denying it: and now when he calleth for an Answer to it, I say, First, Presbyterians did never comply with the Dispensing Power, but groaned under it as a Grievance: their using the Indulgence could not be so constructed, as I have else-where shewed. Second­ly, I solemnly declare that I know nothing to this day of these se­cret Instructions. Thirdly, What moved such Presbyterians as I was acquainted with to scruple using the Indulgence at first, and to accept it at last, was, that some Conditions and Limitations, that they could not submit to, were left out in the last Edition of it. The Villany that he chargeth the Presbyterians with, in Addressing King James for his Indulgence, while they were on Intrigues to supplant him, must be charged on them who were so guilty: I knew of no such Intrigues, nor any such design then on foot, tho' now I per­ceive that such Designs were then hatching: neither can I name one person among all that accepted of the Indulgence who knew of such Designs.

§. 16. He next bringeth instances of Impudent Shifts used by G. R. when he, or his Cause is put to it. The rabbled Ministers were not deprived of their Possessions (I mean Stipends) by an Act of Parliament (as he alledgeth,) but thrust from their Places by the Rabble; and the State judged that they could not relieve them without palpable Inconvenience; and because of the notorie­ty of the Scandals of not a few of them which had been so outed; [Page 114] (as appeareth from the then Prince of Orange's Declaration,) on which followed the loss of their Benefices. What the State did, they can best give Reasons for. I never defended what the Rabble did that way. For what is said of Parliaments calling King James's Retire­ment from England, his Abdicating the Government: that is plain to be meant of the Parliament of England: for tho' it was written by a Scots-man, it was said of English▪ Affairs: of Retirement from England, not from Scotland: wherefore here is no Impudence, (unless on his own side,) tho' the Scots Parliament speak nothing of Abdication. This, and what followeth, is picking a Quarrel without cause given. The long Story he hath of the Viscount of Dundee's Plot, and the Forces that came from the West to defend the Convention, containeth such Matters of Fact, as he contradict­eth what is confidently affirmed by them who were on the Place, and had occasion to know these things, as well as he; and are fully as credible persons as he is. Let the Reader judge who deserveth most Credit. I was Witness to none of these things: but shall give my Vouchers, if duely called to it: if he can do the like, let unbyassed Men judge of the whole History. If I had said the whole Nation knoweth the whole of this Passage to be true, as he affirmeth that the whole Nation knoweth it to be a Figment; I might have been bran­ded with Impudence, on better ground than any thing that he hath brought to prove his Charge against me.

§. 17. What was said against Dr. Strachan's Defence, he spend­eth many Words upon it: on which I observe a few things. First, I expresly referred that Objection to be Answered by some seen in State-Affairs; it being Political rather than Theological. 2ly That I pleaded an Inter-regnum in the time of the Rabbling, and would not allow it in the Dr's Case, is no inconsistency: for in the first case the Exercise of Government was impossible; in the other there was actual Exercise of it. 3ly When it was said the Repre­sentative of the Nation had owned William as their King: it was not meant (as he hath a mind to understand it) as complexly such; but as Exercising the Supreme Regal Power, and designed to be compleatly King. I could give Scripture-Instances of such manner of speaking of Kings: if it were fit to enlarge as much on [Page 115] this Head as he doth. 4ly If it was not a Contempt of the Autho­rity of the Nation, to disobey the Command of it's highest Power for the time, even tho' one should attempt to give Reasons (unless these Reasons were also sufficient, of which none of us are Judge) let any give Sentence. 5ly He subtilizeth the Distinction too much between being King, and exercising the Regal Power: but to help out his fine Notion, he behoved to alter the Phrase, putting Right to Exercise for Exercising it self: I hope these two may be distingui­shed; and that there may be not only a Physical, but a Moral impe­diment, for a time, of a Moral Right. His Notion of Exercising the Regal Power before taking the Oath, and that there is no Obliga­tion to take the Oath before the Coronation; I cannot yield to; but leave to Statesmen, and Lawers to Debate it with him. I say the same of his Discourse of Hereditary and Elective Kings.

§. 18. That I called K. J. our lawful Soveraign, he saith, was a striking at the Root of the present Settlement. Answer, if I had so called him, with respect to the time of the present Govern­ment, what he saith were true. But to say that he was so before this Government had it's being, and before the Nation in its Re­presentative had found and declared the contrary, is far from that blame. Next, he unfairly representeth what I had said, that Epis­copacy cannot be restored: I hope it never shall, and I am sure it never can, without crossing the Institution of Christ. But whe­ther the restoring of it be consistent with the Civil Rights and Pri­viledges of the Nation, as things are now stated, I leave it to States-men and Lawers to discuss. His Commendation of the Ca­meronians, and blaming me for speaking to their Disadvantage, is not out of kindness to them, but in odium tertii; that he might make the sober Presbyterians (for I cannot be bantered out of that Distinction) more hateful, as being worse than they. I should think it lost time, to examine his quibbles about the Presbyterian Ministers not preaching so much as he and his Complices thought was meet against the Rabling: these things were sufficiently de­clared against by some, and that where such Disorders were most rampant and regnant: but Preaching could not Stem that Tide, [Page 116] many of these men would hear non of us, nor will they to this day (tho', through mercy, not a few of them are reclaimed) and some who listned to other Doctrine, would not hear that. He hath a wise inference, I had said, these courses were preached against both before they were acted, for preventing them: and after for re­proving them; Ergo, saith he, it was a consulted and deliberat Poli­tick; and the Ministers were privy to it; and yet did not warn the poor men, that they might have escaped being rabled: I shall not give this its due Name; as he frequently giveth ill and undue Names to my Words. Ministers knew an inclination to Disor­ders in some, that they went beyond their Stations, by an ill guid­ed Zeal: and this they warned against, yea, and some Presbyterian Ministers did protest against all these exasperated men, when they beheld it: But that they knew Designs for these Disorders in par­ticular, is false, and doth not follow from what was said; He saith, he can name more than one or two of the first Rank of sober Presbyterian Ministers, (such a Blunder and Repugnancy in me would have been called Ignorance, Non-sense, Impudence, and what not) who advised to these Courses. I solemnly declare I know not any of them, and if I did, I should blame them.

§. 19. He cometh next to Contradictions: some of which are fancied; others are real; but of his own making, by mis-citing words; One is I have said, where there are Bishops the Presbyters have no Power, in another Book, we do not say that Bishops take all Power from Presbyters. Any who will be at the pains to consult the places that he citeth, will find that the first speaketh of Governing Power; the other speaketh of Power in General, which compre­hendeth preaching Power, but it is there expresly said, that they take away all Governing Power: Where is then the Contradiction: Next it is said, (he knoweth not where it seems; nor do I) that King James's Indulgence was against Law. And yet 2d Vendic. p. 43. the Parliament had given the King such Power. The first As­sertion I find not; another Assertion that to him will infer it, is, the Law was for publick Meetings, Ergo, privat Meetings were a­gainst Law; It is a pitiful Consequence, Where Liberty is allowed, [Page 117] (as now in England) the Law is for both ways. Wherefore the second Assertion maketh no Contradiction. But if both had been said, there are just Laws, and unjust: which may without a Con­tradiction in the Assertion, be said to contradict one another. This Distinction removeth also the next pretended Contradiction, be­tween a Forefeiture being unjust, that the Authority of the Nation laid on, and Ministers having no legal Right to their Stipends, when the Authority of the Nation have determined otherwise; Parliaments may both do right, and do wrong. Another Contradiction he fan­cieth: Animadv. on Stillingf. Jrenic. It is asserted that all Mini­sters having got equal Power from Christ, they cannot so devolve their Power on one of themselves, as to deprive themselves of it: their Power being not a License only, but a Trust. This he thinketh is contradicted indirectly, by delegating Members to the General As­sembly. To this I answer, Delegation to the General Assembly, is a Temporary, transient thing, for the exercise of one or a few Acts: and necessity doth warrant it, seing the Ministers of a whole Na­tion, cannot meet, without leaving almost the whole Nation de­stitute of Preaching, and other Ordinances, for a considerable time. This is not to be compared with devolving of the Power of the Ministers of a whole Province on one Bishop, who is per­petually (ad vitam aut culpam) to exercise the whole power of the Church, in all the Acts of it; so as all the rest are deprived of it, and cannot exercise it, nor give account to God for the Manage­ment of it. The one is very consistent with that Parity that Christ made in communicating Church Power to his Servants, the other is not. He saith also, that I contradict the former Position directly, in true Representation: & 2d Vindic. by allowing the taking ruling Power from the prelatical Clergy. Beside the Necessity, and unset­tled State of the Church in these Places, brought for justifying this Conduct, which he rather mocketh at than solidly answereth, I there at length insisted, to shew that there is no inconsistancy be­tween this, and our principle concerning Parity: I need say no more, till he answer what is already said.

§. 20. Another Contradiction he will needs make, between [Page 118] my disowning some Grounds of Separation in England, and owning the same in Scotland. The one in my Rational Defence a­gainst Dr. Stillingfleet, the other in my second Vindic. of the Church of Scotland, this he prosecuteth with a great deal of Clamor: what strength is in his Discourse, let us now try. I hope I shall be found semper idem, for all this noise. Three Grounds of Separati­on he mentioneth, wherein this Contradiction lyeth, first Episco­pacy. Answer, I said the setting up Episcopacy in England, was not a sufficient Ground for People to forbear hearing of the Word in their Parish Churches, I say the same with respect to Scotland. I said Episcopacy was a good Ground for Ministers to withdraw from Church Judicatories, where they must (at least interpretatively) own that Authority: I say the same of England. If he can find any thing in my words, that doth import any more than this, I shall owne a Contradiction, and the shame that it may infer. The se­cond is Episcopal Ministers were Ʋsurpers, or Intruders. The third is they had not the Peoples Call. I am sure, I never made these to be two distinct things: but this Author's subtile Wit, hath divided them. Here I cannot own either Contradiction or Con­trariety. I approved the Conduct of many People in England, who by a tacit, and after Consent, owned these men, as their Pastors, and heard them, tho' they did not joyn with their unwarranted Cere­monies: I never condemned the same Practice in Scotland; but approved it by my Practice, and Doctrine. Only I pleaded, that what ever might be said of their not giving Consent, (which was also the Case of many in England,) they could not be Charged with Separation, while these men were obtruded on them, against the Laws of the Gospel, especially when they might hear their own lawfully called Ministers, tho' in a Corner. I find no Con­tradiction here, neither in what he saith about the Covenant, which I still think never made any new Duties, or sins for the matter; but was a superadded Tie to former Moral Obligations. I said indeed that the Covenant National, and the Solemn League, made setting up of Episcopacy more sinful than before: but I never said, that either it made Episcopacy sinful, where it was not so [Page 119] before: nor that it made owning of it such: tho' I am sure it ag­gravated the sin of both.

§. 21. His next Effort is to expose my Rejecting the Te­stimony of some, who were brought to Attest the Rabbling: but in his way, (I know not what Freak took him,) he Digresseth to consider the Preface to Animadv. on Stillingf. Irenic. which he will needs have to be written by the Author himself, on which he discanteth after his own manner, that is, not very Learnedly, nor Convincingly; I assure him, and (if he will not be assured, he having no great Esteem of my Veracity,) I can assure the Reader, that the Author neither wrote that Preface, nor what is in the Title Page, nor knew that the Book was Printed, till after it was done; but was at 300 Miles distance from where it was done. The Metaphorical Death, spoken of in it, taken from the English Phrase, of being Dead in Law, as the Nonconformist Ministers then were, was but a sorry Subject for a Learned Divine to practise upon, but he had a mind to write much, and had little to say, tho' he often pretendeth to have great Plenty of Matter. It is true I did, and do Question the Truths of many Circumstances, whereby the Rabblings were aggravated: and tho' he is pleased to say, that the whole Nation knoweth them, I affirm the Generality of the People, where these things were said to be Acted, know the contrary: let the Reader, who hath not occasion to enquire into the Matters of Fact, believe as he seeth Cause, or suspend his Belief. I did ne­ver defend, nor deny the Hardships that some of the Episcopal Clergy met with from the Rabble: only I said, and I insist in it, that they were Represented most Disingenuously in several Parts, and Circumstances of them: his Vouchers I reject, (I mean some of them,) ours he rejecteth; which is ordinary in such Conten­dings, wherefore unless the thing could come to a Legal Tryal, every one must believe as he seeth Cause. That I rejected by the Bulk all the Matters of Fact, is false, and injurious. I did ac­knowledge several of them, and condemned them as unaccount­able Disorders. It is a foolish Inference, no man can be a fit Wit­ness before a Court, because we are not to believe all the Stories [Page 120] that men tell of themselves, or their Friends. That I had my In­formations in these things mostly from Rabblers themselves, is falsly asserted, as may be seen by any who Impartially consider the se­cond Vindication. His exposing that second Vindication, because I had the Accounts of Matters of Fact from other hands, and was not Eye, nor Ear-Witness to them, is odd; for what Historian is there, who may not be, on the same Account, blamed. The Book he speaketh of, Account of the late Establishment of the Presbyteri­an Government, by the Parliament, I have not seen, nor heard of it before. I thanked the Parliament, in the Preface to my Sermon before them, for their Act, Establishing Presbyterian Government, can any wise man thence Infer, that I commended whatever was beside Incorporated into that Act? Therefore all his long Dis­course on that head, is impertinent. Another terrible Contradi­ction is, I say Field Meetings were sometimes necessary: and yet they were Condemned by the Wisest and Soberest Presbyterians. If I had said they were in all Cases so Condemned, he might have Insulted: but may not I always, that is at all times, be of Opini­on, that a thing should not be done, as I see it often done, and without Necessity, and yet think that there may be a Case of Ne­cessity, where it may be done; this is to Cavil, not to Reason.

§. 22. The Envenomed Words, in some Pages that follow, wherewith he Concludeth his Preface, and these of the same Sort, wherewith it Interspersed, I disregard: he doth himself more Hurt by them, than me: I resolve not to be Hector'd, nor Banter'd out of my Principles, nor Scarred by Malice, or Reproach from ca­sting in my Mite, for the Defence of Truth, tho' he, and such as he Conspire to Overwhelm me, partly with their Books, and partly with their Calumnious Imputations. It is not usual for Sa­tan so to Rage against a bad Cause. These few Pages I have writ­ten raptim▪ the Press waiting for them: if he, or any other will Exa­mine them fairly, with that Candor that becometh a Christian, and a Disputant; I shall be willing to be Corrected, if any thing have esca­ped my Pen; if he or they write in the same Strain of this Preface, I will Despise them, as also will all Sober and Intelligent Readers.


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