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mediate between God and the Peoplein Christ's stead, these are Sacrifices peculiar to the Order of the Clergy, and this Text never design'd them to be perform’d by Lay-Chriftians. For says St. Paul “ Are all Apoflles ? 'Tis His strong Negation, as much as if he had said, ALL Christians are NOT APOS. TLES. The Apostles and their Successors are Christian Priests, because their Ministerial Office is to Mediate with God, as Christ's Representatives, in our behalf: this the Scripture abundantly proves, and the Universal Church constantly testifies. Common Chriftians are not such Priests, they have not this Office of being Christ's Representatives, committed to them, for who can take this Horour to himself, but he that is calld of God as was Aaron? The Text adduced will as much prove them Literal Kings, as such Priests; for 'tis said, Christ has made us KINGS and Priefts, If People once perswade themselves, that this Great Office belongs to them, because they are Christians; God's Authority in His Kings will be trampled under Foot; and dispised among Men." It behoves Princes, and all other inferior Orders, to take care of such dan. gerous Interpreters of Scripture as these would be. Christians as such are highly exalted, by their Redemption from the Slavery and Bondage of Sin and Satan ; from the vilé Servitude to their own Lusts; and from the Burden of the Mofaic Law of Costly Ceremonies, &c.
In this they are Kings, being brought into the Glorious Liberty of the Sons of God, and having through the Aids and Assistances of the Holy Ghost, a Capacity of overcoming all the Powers of Darkness. But they'll lose this their Spiritual Dignity, if they assume to themselves the Title and Office of Kings in the proper Literal Sense of the Word : and so they will their Priesthood too, if they prefume, like Saul, tó attempt to Minister in the Positive Instituted Functions of Christ's Appointed Priests.
Thus we see that Christians, as such, are no otherwise Priests than the Common Jews were ; only thus much they are higher advanc'd than the Jews, that they are Kings too, by that Spiritual Freedom, Libertins, and Power, which I have mention'd, and which the Jews, under their Dispensation, could not boast of, as we may.
There is another Sense wherein Christians, as such, Collectively taken, may be term’d Kings and Priests; and that is, as they are the Members of that BODY, whose Head Christ Jesus is King and Priest in the highest Sense of those words : It is no Novelty to call the Body by the Name given to the Head: For the Scripture it self calls
the Church, which is the Body of Christ, by the Name CHRIST. i Cor. xii. 12. For as the Body is One, and hath many Nembers, and all the Members of that One Body, being many, are One Body: jo also is
CHRIST, or the. Body of Christ, which is His Church. And since the Scripture calls the Church, Chrift, 'tis no Wonder to find the fame Divine Writings call Christians, i. e. all the Church of Christ, Kings and Priests; for those Texts speak of the Universal Body, the Church collectively taken ; “ A Spiritual
House ; a Holy Priesthood ; à Royal Priesthood, This is the meaning of that other Text, “ Kings and Priests; i. e. in One Body ye are Kings and Priests, because yê are the Body of Christ, who is KING AND PRIEST. And as any single Member ( as such) of that Body, is not Christ in the proper Sense of the word; fo neither is any Member thereof, as fuch, a King or Priest in the proper Sense of those words. They are only so in a Figura. tive sense, as they are related to, and are in Union with their Head : And so they are likewise as they are Members of the Respe@ive particular Churches, whose visible Spirifual Heads, the Bishops, are Spiritual Kings and Priests by Christ's Institution; to whom the Members are united, and consequently in subjection; And therefore, tho’ Christ' respects no particular Perfor, more or less, for being of a Jewish or Gentile Offspring; for being Bond or Free, Male or Female, but regards the Obedience, &c. of all alike; yet he makes a distinction of Offices, and requires chę several Members of his Body the Church, to
keep their proper Stations, (as St. Paul most excellently argues throughout his 12th Chapter of the ist Epistle to the Corinthians) to perform their several respective Functions; and to be in Subordination, the Inferior to the Superior, that his Authority may be preserv'd visible in his Church, and all the Members thereof may refer to him, the Spiritual Benefits they receive through his Instituted Ministrations, by attending on, and receiving them, at the Hands of those, whom he has made his Representatives for that purpose : And therefore, 'tis absolutely necessary by Christ's Institution, that when we are Baptiz’d, we should receive Baptism from an Episcopal Hand, which is Christ's Officer, and so far himself, notwithstanding that, in Christ Jesus there is no Distinction, or Respect of Persons,
I CONCLUDE this Appendix, earnestly intreating the most Reverend, the Right Réverend, and Reverend GOVERNORS and MINISTERS of Christ over his Flock, in all Parts of the UNIVERSAL Church, the PRIESTS of the most High God! who are du ly Authoriz’d to represent and make visible to us, the once Visible, but now Invisible PRIESTHOOD of the Great High Priest of our Profession Christ Jesus! who have not taken this Honour unto themselves without being calld of God, as was Aaron! who are therefore the Delegated AMBASSADORS for Christ
, and ap pointed STEWARDS of the Mysteries of God,
to whom he has given the KEYS, and committed the Custody of the TWO GREAT SEALS of the Kingdom of Heaven; so that whatsoever they shall bind on Earth, shall be bound in Heaven; and whatsoever they fall loose on Earth, shall be loosed in Heaven. I humbly beseech them, in the Bowels of Jesus Christ, to consider the great Dignity of their High and Holy Calling, and their UNALIENABLE Right to Administer those SACRAMENTS, which the Infinite Wisdom of our great Lawgiver has appropriated to their Sacred Fun&ion. For, if the Ministration of the Sacra. ments is not ESSENTIAT to their Office, and THEIR OFFICE ESSENTIAL to the Ministration of Valid Sacraments, what sig. nifies the Institution of the Priesthood, and to what purpose did our Blessed Lord promise to be with his Priests, and concur with their Ministrations to the End of the World? If the presumptuous Ministrations of Lay-men act. ing of themselves, or in opposition to the Church and her Priests, is not inconsistent with the Nature and Property of True Sacraments : Or if they can be True and Valid Sa. craments when given by their Hands, how, and by what means shall we be convinc'd of the Necessity of the Christian Priesthood to the Church, by Divine Institution, and its Perpetuity, till the Consummation of all things? How shall we be perswaded to value the Ministrations of a Priest more than those