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dint of this argument, and would, in the rigorous observation of it, outdo the Jews.
“ But you are now ready to choke me with some apostolical ordinances which were even of themselves reversed—be it so. Then you tell me of the first form of their government of the Church, which, say you, was by an equality; from which if, as we plead they afterwards ascended to this imparity which we now contend for, why is it not safe, say you, for us to take up that their first form, as this latter ? Admitting all this, our answer is the readier. We like well to make those holy men of God our chosers. They thought fit to alter to this; and therefore we think fit to hold to it. They tried both, and left this to be continued.
“ The truth is, the Church of God at the first was only in framing, and not all of a sudden framed. In framing thereof, as the equality among themselves, by the fulness of grace which they all had, conduced to that work, so all that while, for the better promoting of the same work, they themselves maintained their own superiority and power over other presbyters.
“So then the change being made by the Apostles themselves, and not by others, they being infallibly guided by the spirit of God, though they changed, we may not. Nay, because they changed, we may not. The Holy Ghost led them unto it, and therefore we, unless we will oppose the ordinances of the Holy Ghost, must not detract to continue it. Otherwise why may I not urge the same argument in the instanced Sabbath? The Apostles had only kept the seventh day according to the law; they after fell to the observation of the first day. What, shall any man now infer why not the Jewish seventh which was first kept, rather than the Evangelical first which was last taken up ?
“ However then as it is usually upbraided to us out of our reverend Whitgift, there may be some appendances and formalities of government, alterable by the wisdom and discretion of the Church; yet for the main substance it is now utterly indispensable and must so continue to the world's end. Indispensable by any
voluntary act: what inevitable necessity may do in such a case we now dispute not: necessity hath dispensed with some immediately divine laws. Where then that may be justly pleaded, we shall not be wanting both in our pity and our prayers.” Bishop Hall's works, vol. ix. pages 600, 60).
“But this holy calling fetches its pedigree higher ; even from no less than apostolical (and therefore in that right divine) institution. For although those things which the founders and prime governors of the Evangelical Church did as men, went no further than their own persons, yet what they did as Apostles is of a higher and more sacred consideration; and if as apostolic men they did upon occasion enact some temporary things which were to die with or before them; yet those things which they ordained for the succeeding administration of the Church which they should leave behind them, in all essential matters can be no otherwise construed than as exemplary and perpetual.” Ibid. pages 631, 632.
« Certainly except all histories, all authors fail us, nothing can be more plain than this truth. Out of them we can and do shew on whom the Apostles of Christ laid their hands, with an acknowledgment and conveyance of imparity and jurisdiction; we shew what Bishops so ordained lived in the times of the Apostles, and succeeded each other in their several charges, under the eye and hands of the then living Apostles; we shew who immediately succeeded those immediate successors in their several sees throughout all the regions of the Christian Church, and deduce their unintermingled line throughout all the following ages to the present day. And if there can be better evidence under Heaven for any matter of fact (and in this case matter of fact so derived evinceth matter of right) let episcopacy be for ever abandoned out of God's Church.” Ibid. page 632.
Bishop Hall's opinion was, “ that the divine or apostolical right goes not so high as if there was an express command, that upon an absolute necessity there must be either episcopacy or no Church, but so far only that it both may and ought to be.”
This claim of episcopacy is well put by King Charles in his papers at the treaty of Newport, “ I conceive that episcopal go
vernment is most consonant to the word of God and of an apostolical institution, as it appears in the Scriptures to have been practised by the Apostles themselves, and by them committed and derived to particular persons as their substitutes or successors therein, (as for ordaining presbyters and deacons, giving rules concerning Christian discipline, and exercising censures over presbyters and others,) and hath ever since to these last times been exercised by Bishops in all the Churches of Christ, and therefore I cannot in conscience consent to abolish such government." And in his third paper to Henderson he says, “ Where you find a Bishop and Presbyter in Scripture to be one and the same (which I deny to be always so) it is in the Apostles' times ; now I think to prove the order of Bishops succeeded that of the Apostles, and that the name was chiefly altered in reverence to those who were immediately chosen by our Saviour.”
Page 12, line 21. “ The Church must have orders in it for the work of the mi. nistry, but no man can ordain himself, neither can he (of himself) ordain another, because no man can give what he hath not. How shall they preach, saith the Scriptures, unless they be sent. And again, no man taketh this honour to himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. Nay, even Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest, but he that said unto him, thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. The Church must have promises, without which it can have no reason or encouragement to act : but no man can give it these promises, which are exceeding great and precious. The Church must have power, without which it can do nothing to any effect : but there is no power but of God. It must have power toforgive sins; the forgiveness of sins in the Holy Catholic Church being an article of the Apostles' Creed: but who can forgive sins but God only? It must act in the name of God or not at all, because it acts for the salvation of man, but no man can act in the name of God but by God's appointment. No ambassador-ever sent himself or took upon him to sign or seal treaties or covenants (such as the sacraments of the Church are) without being sent, that is, without receiving authority so to do from a higher power. No act could be so far from beneficial, that it would be treasonable.” Jones on the Church, page 26.
Page 14, line 6.
“ Since a commission from the Holy Ghost is necessary for the exercise of this office, no one now can receive it but from those who have derived their authority in true succession from the Apostles. We could not call our present Bibles the Word of God, unless we knew the copies from which they are taken were taken from other true ones, till we come to the originals themselves. No more could we call any true ministers, or authorized by the Holy Ghost, who have not received their commission by an uninterrupted succession of lawful ordainers.-As to the uncertainty of this succession, it is equally as uncertain as whether the Scriptures are genuine. There is just the same historical evidence for the certainty of one as the other. As to its not being mentioned in Scripture, the doctrine upon upon which it is founded plainly made it unnecessary to mention it. Is it needful for the Scriptures to tell us, that if we take our Bible from any false copy, that it is not the Word of God? Why then need they tell us, that if we are ordained by usurping false pretenders to ordination, not deriving their authority to that end from the Apostles, that we are no priests. Does not the thing itself speak as plain in one case as the other ? The Scriptures are only of use to us as they are the Word of God, we cannot have this Word of God, which was written so many years ago, unless we receive it from authentic copies and manuscripts. The Scriptures teach us that the Holy Ghost has instituted an order of clergy: we say a priesthood so authorized can no more be changed by us than we can change the Scriptures or make new sacraments, because they are all founded on the same authority without any power of a dispensation delegated to us in one case more than another. If, therefore, we have a mind to continue in the covenant of Christ, and receive the grace and benefit of his ordinances, we must receive them through such hands as he has authorized for that purpose, to the end we may be qualified to partake the blessings of them.” Law's Second Letter to Bishop Hoadly, pp. 31-33. The candidate for orders should study every line of this admirable Letter, unanswered, because unanswerable.
Page 15, line 5. “ Nothing, saith Parker, is to be held for apostolic but that which is found recorded in the writings of the Apostles. Nothing ? was all registered by themselves which we must believe they did or enacted ? For doctrine necessary for salvation, we are for him: but surely for evidence of fact or ritual observation, this is no better than absurd rigour, than unchristian incredulity. Where is there express charge for the Lord's day? where for pædo-baptism ? where for public churches ? where for texts to be handled in sermons ? where for public prayers before and after them ? and many such like, which yet we think deducible from these sacred authorities.” Bishop Hall's Works, vol. ix. p. 526.
“ That is true of Jerome, these things which men either found or feign as delivered by apostolic tradition, without the authority and testimonies of Scripture, are not written by the word of God's spirit. But what is this to us who found this which we challenge for apostolical recorded in the written Word of God ? or with what conscience is this alleged against us, which is directly bent against the heretical doctrines and traditions of the Marcronites, either utterly without or expressly against the Scripture.” Ibid.
The opposers of the Apostolical institution of episcopacy always state that it was a doctrine never put forward by the early English reformers, but first publicly maintained by Bancroft, when Bishop of London. It deserves to be remarked, that the challenge to the Puritans on this subject, by Hooker, is full as strong as that of Bancroft. Hooker's is as follows : “ A very strange thing, sure it were, that such a discipline as ye speak of, should be taught by Christ and his Apostles, in the word of God;