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Learned and Good Men, and thereby have been induc'd to believe that such Ordinations are Good and Valid; and consequently, that there's no need for those Foreign Reformed to feek for Episcopal Ordination; whereby too many of the Foreign Teachers themselves are, instead of being curd of, confirm'd in their Errors, and it may be) hinder'd from so much as but Enquiring whether they are in the Right or no. With Submission to better Judgments, such large Concessions of those pany Episcopal Divines have been not only prejudicial and hurtful to the Reform’d Abroad, but even contrary to the Doctrine and avow'd Practice of the Church of England, which they were oblig'd in Conscience, by their Sub. fcription, to fupport and maintain. For, does she not teach in her 23d Article, That « It ! is not lawful (therefore 'tis sinful, and con
trạry to their Institution) for any Man to take upon him the Office of Ministring the Są;
craments, before be be lawfully Callid and Sent? And does she not confine this L AWFUL CALLING AND SENDING, to EPISCO: PAL ORDINATION, in the Preface to 'her Form and Manner of Making, Ordaining, and Consecrating of Bishops, Priests and Dear cons? Does The not call this EPISCOPAL ORDINATION CHRISTS) COMMISSI ON AND AUTHORITY , when in her 26th Article she teaches, That the Minister, when he Administers the Sacraments, does it in .
Christ's Name, and by his Commission and Auz
thority? Is the 'not so exactly consistent to all this, that she will not admit any of these Foreign Teachers into the Number of her Priests, no nor of her Deacons neither, without Episcopal Ordination? Is not all this so true, that none can deny it? And does the not thereby, as much as may be, prevent all such Concessions, and reprove those who make them, contrary to her Doctrine and Practice? I think she does; and consequently, that her Articles, relating to this matter, are not of so loose and variable a Contexture as fome (who ought to know better) have repre, : sented them to be, (like a Nose of Wax) that may be wrested to serve any Turn, and defend almost all Contradi&tious Doctrines and Pra&tices whatsoever ; without considering that her Articles, Rubricks and Canons, Sc. Con cerning the Divine Right of Episcopal Ordi pation, when duly compar'd with one another, do make the most perfect Harmony and Agreement; and have nothing in them, that is either contradictory or inconsistent to them. selves, or disagreeable to the Holy Scriptures, and Practice of the Primitive Church.
IF in the Days of Jeroboam, the Son of Nebat, who made Ifrael to'lan, a Priest of the Tribe of Aaron should have undertaken to de fend the Validity of the Priesthood which J:roboam had set up; would he not have been justly censurable? Would he not have and
and the Levites, and have made you Priests after
contrary to the Principles of the True Church of the Jews at Jerusalem? Certainly he would notwithstanding the vastly Superior Numbers in the Ten Tribes who forsook the True Priests, and the Smallness of the Numbers in the Two other Tribes, who would not follow that Multitude to do this Evil. And the Reason why he would have been justly blameable, is evident; Because Jeroboam made Priests of the Lowest of the People, which were not of the Sons of Levi, 1 Kings 12. 31. For that this (as well as their Idolatry) was his and the Ten Tribes Sin, is evident' by Abijah's Speech to them, (2 Chron. 13. 9, 10.) Have je not caft out the Priests of the Lord, the Sons of Aaron,
the manner of the Nations of other Lands? '&c. But as for us, (i.e. the Members of the True Church of God, the other Two Tribes of Ifrael) the Lord is our God, &c. And the Priest's which minister unto the Lord, are tbe Sons of Aaron, and the Levites wait upon their Business
. Here you see that Abijah triumphs and glories in the True Priesthood with them, because 'twas that which God himself appointed, and he upbraids the Ten Tribes, for their having fet up other Priests, without any Regard to the Divine Institution of the Priesthood. Their mighty Numbers, and the seeming Necesity of their being forc'd thereto by the Secular Power, was no Argument for him to allow of their Priesthood. How much less ought
those Writers among us to have studied so induftriouly, as some of them have done, to prove the Validity of their Ministry, who are not One Tenth of the Present Universal Church, and who differ from them and the whole Church throughout all Ages, in not Requiring their Ministers to be Vested with the Divine Authority by Episcopal Ordination.
I AM well aware of what is pleaded by those Episcopal Divines; viz. That those foreign Reform'd were under a Case of Necelsity, and some of them say, they are so still. But I am not yet fatisfied what they mean by this Case of Necessity: The Church of En'a Land, whereof those Episcopal Divines are Members, has not declar'd it : The Scripture is wholly Gilent about it, and (on the contrary) has recorded the Dreadful Punishments inflidt. ed upon fome, whọ (to all Appearance) had a great deal of Reason to plead, that they were under great Circumstances of Necesity, to assume to themselves those Ofices, wherein they ministred contrary to the Divine Inftitutions : As in the Cases of Saul, 1 Sam. 134 from Ver
. 8. to Ver. 1,4. and Uzzah, 2 Sam. 6. 6, 7. So that I am utterly at a Lors to know. bow those Writers could discover any Cases of Necessity, that of - it self was fafficient to au, thorize Men to take upon them the Great Of fice of Mediating between God and Man. There is not one Instance (that I know of) in all the Sacred Oracles, of any one's being in
ftated into fuch an Office, even in the greača est Cases of Necessity, without an explicit Revelation of God's Will, that the Man should act therein, when the ordinary appointed Means of giving him his Commission was wanting. And if the Excusers of those Fo: reign Ordinations can shew me such an Inftance, I shall be very much oblig'd to them if they will be pleas'd to do it.
NÁY further; Supposing that 'twere por fible to determine a Case of Necesfity, that might be sufficient to empower Men to adminiffer Valid Sacraments, without Receiving a Commision for fo doing, by God's appointed Means of Episcopal Ordination, yet I don' find, that any of the abovefaid Writers have prov'd by good Arguments, that the said Fox reigners were ever under such a Case of Ne cessity, much less that they are so now : And till this is provid, I see no Reason to be at all con cluded by the Writings of even the best-of Men, when they make such Proviso's as God has not made, and who can give us no Proof of their being guided in their Dictates by the infallible Spirit of Truth, as the Blefsed ApoAtles and Prophets were.
I972 1 I KNOW that some do bēg the Questi on, by fuppofing, " What if the Episcopal « Order were utterly Extinct, and no Bifhops 4 could be found to confer! Holy Orders 6 must there be no Ministers therefore in the Christian Church? And mult the Vihble