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as one that must give accounth," so it is supposed that he is better acquainted with your spiritual state and life than others are, and therefore in less danger of wronging you by mistake and misapplications: for it is supposed that you have acquainted him with your personal condition in your health, having taken him as your ordinary counsellor for your souls, and that he hath acquainted himself with your condition, and confirmed you, and watched over you by name, as Ignatius to Polycarp bishop of Smyrna saith i, • Sæpe congregationes fiant: ex nomine omnes quære: servos et ancillas ne despicias.' As bishop Usher's old Latin translation hath it. • Let congregations be often held: inquire after all by name : despise not servants and maids.' The bishop took notice of every servant and maid by name; and he had an opportunity to see whether they were in the congregation.
9. You must use him as your leader or champion against all heretics, infidels, and subtle adversaries of the truth, with whom you are unable to contend yourselves, that your bishop may clear up and defend the cause of Christ and righteousness, and by irresistible evidence, stop the mouths of all gainsayers k. It is for your own benefit and not for theirs that you are required in all these works of their office to use them and readily obey them. And what hurt can it do you to obey them in any of these ?
Direct. III. • Understand how it is' that Christ doth authorize and send forth his ministers, lest wolves' and deceivers should either obtrude themselves upon you as your lawful pastors, or should alienate you from those that God hath set over you, by puzzling you in subtle questioning or disputing against their call. Not only Paul's' warnings, Acts xx. 30. and 2 Tim. iii. 6.; but lamentable experience telleth us what an eager desire there is in proud and selfconceited men, to obtrude themselves as teachers and pastors on the churches, to creep into houses and lead people captive, and draw away disciples after them, and say (and perhaps think) that others are deceivers, and none are the true teachers indeed but they. And the first part of the art and work of wolves, is to separate you from your pastors, and catch up the stragglers that are thus separated. The malice, and slanders, and lies, and railing of hirelings and deceivers, and all the powers of hell, are principally poured out on the faithful pastors and leaders of the flocks. The principal work of the Jesuits against you, is to make you believe that your pastors are no true pastors, but uncalled private persons, and mere usurpers : and the reason must be, because they have not an ordination of bishops successively from the apostles without interruption'. I confess if our interruptions had been half as lamentable as theirs, (by their schisms, and variety of popes at once; and popes accused, or condemned by general councils, for heretics; and their variety of ways of electing popes, and their incapacities by simony, usurpation, &c.) I should think at least that our ancestors had cause to have questioned the calling of some that were then over them. But I will help you in a few words to discern the juggling of these deceivers, by shewing you the truth concerning the way of Christ's giving his commission to the ministers that are truly called, and the needlessness of the proof of an uninterrupted succession of regular ordination, to your reception of your pastors and their ministrations.
h Heb. xiii. 17. 1 Vid. Just. Mart. Apol. %. Vid. Tertul. Apol. c. 39. " I hope all this will tell you what a bishop indeed is."
The ministerial commission is contained in, and conveyed by the law of Christ, which is the charter of the church, and every true bishop or pastor hath his power from Christ, and not at all from the efficient conveyance of any mortal man : even as kings have their power not from man, but from God himself; but with this difference, that in the church Christ hath immediately determined of the species of church offices, but in the civil government, only of the genus (absolutely and immediately m). You cannot have a
Grot. de Imp. p. 273. Pastorum est ordinare pastores. Neque id officium eis competit, quà hujus aut illius ecclesiæ pastores sunt, sed qua ministris ecclesiæ Catholicæ.
m See in Grotius de Imper. sum. potest. p. 269. The necessary distinction of 1. Ipsa facultas prædicandi sacramenta et claves administrandi, quod Mandatum vocat. 2. Applicatio hujus facultatis ad certam personam, viz. Ordinatio. 3. Appli. catio hujus personæ ad certum cætum et locum, viz. Electio. 4. Illud quo certa persona in certo loco ministerium suum exercet publico præsidio ac publicà authoritate, viz. Confirmatio. p. 273. Constat muneris institutionem à Deo esse : ordinationem à pastoribus, confirmationem publicam à summa potestate. So that the doubt is only about election. Which yet must be differenced from consent,
plainer illustration, than by considering how mayors and bailiffs, and constables are annually made in corporations : the king by his charter saith that every year at a certain time the freemen or burgesses shall meet, and choose one to be their mayor, and the steward or town-clerk shall give him his oath, and thus or thus he shall be invested in his place, and this shall be his power and work and no other.' So the king by his law appointeth that constables and churchwardens shall be chosen in every parish. Now let our two questions be here decided : 1. Who is it that giveth these officers their power? 2. Whether an uninterrupted succession of such officers through all generations since the enacting of that law, be necessary to the validity of the present officer's authority? To the first, It is certain that it is the king by his law or charter that giveth the officers their power; and that the corporations and parishes do not give it them by electing, or investing them: yea though the king hath made such election and investiture to be in a sort his instrument in the conveying it, it is but, as the opening of the door to let them in, 'sine quo non;' but it doth not make the instruments to be at all the givers of the power, nor were they the receiving, or containing mediate causes of it. The king never gave them the power which the officers receive, either to use, or to give : but only makes the electors his instruments to determine of the person that shall receive the power immediately from the law or charter ; and the investers he maketh his instruments of solemnizing the tradition and admission : which if the law or charter make absolutely necessary ad esse officii,' it will be so; but if it make it necessary only' ad melius esse,' or but for order and regular admittance when no necessity hindereth it, the necessity will be no more. And to the second question, It is plain that the law which is the ' fundamentum juris' remaining still the same, if a parish omit for divers years to choose any constable or church-warden, yet the next time they do choose one according to law, the law doth authorise him, nevertheless, though there was an interruption or vacancy so long : and so in corporations, (unless the law or charter say the contrary): so is it in the present case. 1. It is the established law of Christ, which describeth the office, determineth of the degree and kind of power, and
granteth or conveyeth it, when the person is determined of by the electors and ordainers, though by ordination the delivery and admission is regularly to be solemnized; which actions are of just so much necessity as that law hath made them, and no more. 2. And if there were never so long an interruption or vacancy, he that afterward entereth lawfully, so as to want nothing which the law of Christ hath made necessary to the being of the office, doth receive his power nevertheless immediately from the law of Christ. And Bellarmine himself saith, that it is not necessary to the people, and to the validity of sacraments and offices to them, to know that their pastors be truly called or ordained : and if it be not necessary to the validity of sacraments, it is not necessary to the yalidity of ordination. And W. Johnson » confesseth to me that consecration is not absolutely necessary ' ad esse officii’ to the pope himself: no nor any one sort of electors in his election. Page 333. And in his Repl. Term. Expl. p. 45. he saith, “Neither papal nor episcopal jurisdiction (as all the learned know) depends of episcopal or papal ordination : nor was there ever interruptions of successions in episcopal jurisdiction in any see, for want of that alone, that is necessary for consecrating others validly, and not for jurisdiction over them. You see then how little sincerity is in these mens' disputations, when they would persuade you to reject your lawful pastors as no true ministers of Christ, for want of their ordination or succession.
Direct. iv. • Though the sacraments and other ministerial offices are valid when a minister is qualified (in his abilities and call) but with so much as is essential to the office, though he be defective in degree of parts and faithfulness, and have personal faults which prove his own destrụction; yet so great is the difference between a holy, heavenly, learned, judicious, experienced, skilful, zealous, laborious, faithful minister, and an ignorant, ungodly, idle, unskilful one; and so highly should every wise man value the best means and advantages to his eternal happiness, that he should use all lawful means in his power to enjoy and live ụnder such an able, godly, powerful ministry, though he part with his worldly wealth and pleasure to attain ito' I
" See my Disput. with him of the Successive Visibility of the Church, p. 336. • Cyprian, Epis. Ixviii. Plebs obsequens præceptis dominicis á peccatore præ
know no evil must be done for the attainment of the greatest helps : (for we cannot expect that God should bless a sinful course, or that our sin should tend to the saving of our souls.) And I know God can bless the weakest means, when they are such as he appointeth us to use; and can teach us by angels when he denieth us the help of men ; but Scripture, reason and experience tell us, that ordinarily he worketh morally by means, and fitteth the means to the work which he will do by them : and as he doth not use to light men by a clod or stone, but by a candle, nor by a rotten post or glowworm so much as by a torch or luminary ; so he doth not use to work as much, by an ignorant, drunken, idle person, who despiseth the God, the heaven, the Christ, the Spirit, the grace, the sacred Word which he preacheth, and vilifieth both his own, and other men's souls; as he doth by an able, compassionate minister. And the soul is of so much more worth than the body, and eternal things than temporal, that a little commodity to the soul, in order to the securing of our salvation, must be preferred before a great deal of worldly riches. He that knoweth what his soul, his Saviour, and heaven are worth, will not easily sit down contented, under such a dark, and dull, and starving minister, as he feeleth he can but little profit by, if better may be had on lawful terms. He that feeleth no difference between the ministry of these two sorts of men, it is because * he is a stranger to the work of the Gospel on the soul; and “if the Gospel (in its truth, or worth, or use) be hid, it is hid to them that are lost, the God of this world having blinded their minds P.” It must be no small matter that must satisfy posito separare se debet. Which Grotius de Imper. p. 230. citing saith, Jubentur enim singuli, multo magis universi, cavere prophetas falsos, alienum pastorem fugere, ab iis declinare qui dissidia faciunt et offensas contra doctrinam. %. Imperatur fidelibus familiarem eorum consuetudinem declinare qui fratres, &c. 2 Cor. v. Rom. xvi. 17. John v. 2 Tim. iii. 6. 2 Thess. iii. 6. 14. '2 Cor. iv. 3, 4.
p Satan or their own worldly advantages, saith Dr. Hammond. Dan. i. 12, 13. Ezek, iv. 12. 15. Read c. iii. Acosta excellently rebuking the negligence of their priests that taught the Indians the catechism idly, and without explication, or calling them to account about the sense, and then laid all the fault on the blockishness of the people, when “ Tota catechizendi ratio erat urnbratilis, et ludicræ similis : ego vero (inquit) si homines ingenio acerrimo, et discendi percupidi tales præceptores nacti essent, nihil aliud quam ut duplo ignoratiores evaderent, doceri isto modo arbitrarer. Olim in symbolo addiscendo et intelligendo, mysteriisque fidei agnoscendis viri ingenio præstantes et literatura celebres, diu in catechumenorum ordine tenebantur, cum ecclesiastica disciplina vigeret ; neque ante ad fidei sacramentum admittebantur,