Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

rized to ordain or send these Ministers, there was no Occasion for her to be so particular in her Articles, and it was sufficient there to speak in gene, ral Terms, since those who wanted further Information might fo easily receive it from the Ordinal.

$ IV. She also declares these three Orders to be of Divine Institution, when she says that it is evident to all Men diligently reading Holy SCRIPIURE that there have been these Orders of Ministers in Christ's Church: For the Scriptures are the Word of God, and therefore if these Orders are to be found in the Scriptures and approved by them, then are they approved by the Word of God, and are authorized by God himself. Further, it is declared in the Forms themselves, that every one of these Orders was instituted or appointed by the Holy Ghost. Thus in the Form for ordering Deacons, it is said, Almighty God, which by thy Divine Providence, hast appointed divers Orders of Ministers in the Church, and didst inspire thine Holy Apostles to chose into the Order of Deacons, the first Martyr St. Stephen, &c. Here it is plainly taught that the Apostles ordained the first Deacons, consequently instituted that Order, by Divine Inspiration. In the ordering of Priests, the Prayer runs thus, Almighty God, Giver of all good Things, which by thy Holy Spirit haft appointed divers Orders of Ministers in thy Church, mercifully behold these thy Servants now called to the Office of Priesthood. And in the Consecration of a Bishop, Almighty God, Giver of all good Things, which by thy Holy Spirit hast appointed divers Orders of Ministers in thy Church, mercifully behold this thy Servant, now call’d to the Work and Ministry of a Bishop. Now from this Prayer thus used in every Form of Ordination, it is manifest that the Church believes every one of these Orders to be of Divine Institution, and that she also believes

them

[ocr errors]

them to be feveral and distin& Order: For in the ordering Deacons it is declared that the Apostles were inspired to institute that Order, and in the other two Forms that the Holy Ghost has appointed, diverse Orders of which, one is called Priests and the other Bishops : For if the Bishop was not of a diverse Order from a Priest, but only a different Degree of the same Order as a Dean or other dignified Person may be with relation to a Parish Priest, he could not need a New Ordination, nor would it be fit to say upon that Occasion that God has appointed divers Orders, unless he was then calfed to one of those divers Orders, and then by adding Now called to the Work and Ministry of a Bishop we are plainly taught that a Bijhop according to the Doctrine of the Church of England is a divers Order from a Priest. The Preface says there have been these Orders, Bishops, Priests and Deacons, and the Prayer says there are divers Orders appointed by the Holy Ghost, and appoints this Prayer to be used at the Ordination of Bilops, Priests and Deacons ; a plain Argument that every one of these Orders is appointed by the Holy Ghost. It would be abfurd, not to say blasphemous, to give it as a Reafon why we may expect his Blessing on the Ordination of a Bishop, because he has appointed diverse Orders in his Church, if a Bishop was not one of those divers or distinct Orders. Can any thing therefore be plainer than that the Church of England holds Episcopacy or the Order of Bishops to be of Divine Institution, and one of those diverse Orders which God by his Holy Spirit has appointed? It appears also from the Forms of Ordination, that without a Bishop no Person can be ordained either Deacon, Priest or Bishop, consequently that Bihop only are the Men who have publick Authority given unto them in the Congregation or Church of God, to call and send Ministers into the Lord's Vinea

yards

yard. And therefore according to the Do&trine of the Church of England declared by her Ordinal and Articles as they expound each other, it is not lawful for any Man to take upon him the Office of publick Preaching, or ministring the Sacraments in the Congregation or Church of Christ, before he be lawfully called and sent to execute the same by some Bishop, that is, before he is Episcopally ordained, and this is the Law of God, who by his Holy Spirit has appointed the Order of Bishops, and directed that only those who are of that Order should ordain others, consequently is a Law not only obligatory in the Church of England , but throughout the whole Catholick Church. And therefore our Church further declares in the Preface to the Forms of Ordination, that no Man shall be accounted or taken to be a lawful Bijhop, Priest or Deacon in the Church of England, except he hath had Episcopal Consecration or Ordination. That is, the Church of England cannot allow any Man to be a lawful Minister and qualified publickly to preach the Word and minifter the Sacraments except he has been Episcopally ordained. The Church of England also further declares (h) that although inz the visible Church the Evil be ever mingled with the Good, and sometime the Evil have chief Authority in the Ministration of the Word and Sacraments; yet forasmuch as they do not the fame in their own Name but in Christ's, and do minister by his Commission and Authority, we may use their Ministry both in hearing the Word of God, and in the receiving of the Sacra

Neither is the Effe&t of Christ's Ordinance taken away by their Wickedness, nor the Grace of God's Gifts diminished from such, os by Faith, and rightly do receive the Sacraments ministred unto them, which be

ments.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

1

offe&tual because of Clarist's Institution and Promise,
although they be ministred by evil Men. Here the
Church plainly makes the Validity of the Sacra-
ments depend intirely upon Christ's Commission.
For the Reason alledged with they may be recei-
ved from Evil Ministers, is because such Ministers
have Commission and Authority from Christ, and that
Sacraments so received are effe&tual because of Christ's
Institution and Promise, which evidently implies that
where there is no such Commission there is not the
Institution

and Promise of Christ, consequently they
are not effe&tual without the Commission. Thus the
Church of England most clearly maintains and af-
ferts both the Divine Right of Episcopacy, and also
the Neceflity of an Episcopal Commission to the Valid
Administration of the Sacraments.

1

V. The Church of England therefore cannot be accused of any Defect upon this Head; yet because many who pretend to be zealous and hearty for the Church of England, and some who bear the Character of Priests, nay Bijhops of this Church, and who have been ordained according to the Forms of Ordination here established, and have fubscribed to these Articles and to this Ordinal, in which Episcopacy and the Episcopal Commission are declared so necessary and of Divine Appointment, have nevertheless thought fit to assert publickly, and maintain both in the Pulpit and in Print, that an Episcopal Commission is not necessary to the Valid Administration of the Word and Sacraments, I think it very proper to be more particular upon this Head, and to prove this Divine Right of Episcopacy, and the Necessity of an Episcopal Commission, both from the Scriptures and the Doatrine and Practice of the Primitive Church, to the Time of the Council of Nice, the Time which I esteem to be the proper Standard by which the

Do&ring

Do&rine and Discipline of the Church ought to be regulated. Because the Catholick Church was then certainly very pure and uncorrupt, was then diffused into all parts of the known World, and united in one Communion : And therefore if we ever hope to have it so united again, it must be upon the same Principles, for it never was united on any other, and we have reason to believe never will or can be, because the Principles on which it was then united were not derived from Human Prudence, which is too weak to compass such an Union, but the Do&rine and Prađice of Christ and his Apostles.

S VI. First therefore I will thew from the Scriptures ind ancient Authors, that from the Apostles Time there have been these Orders of Ministers in Christ's Church, Bishops, Priests; and Deacons. I confess indeed that these are not every one distinguished in Scripture by these Names, not but these Orders are in the Scripture, and plainly enough distinguifhed there, and the Names also are in the Scripture, but not each Name particularly and constantly applied to a distina Order, for as I before observed when I treated on the Independency of the Church, the Names Bishop and Presbyter are there promiscuously used for the fame Order. But our Dispute is not about Names but Things, for if there be Three divers Orders of Ministers in Scripture, which we find to have been instituted by Christ and his Apostles, to which these Names were either in or immediately after the Apostles. Time affixed and appropriated, then we may both say that they are of Divine Institution, and also have been from the Apostles Time, altho' we do not and every one of the Names so affixed and appropriated. I will therefore as briefly as I can fhew from the Scripture that there

[ocr errors]

were

« PoprzedniaDalej »