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fuily submitting to the severe Discipline enjoined
by them; and all this from a Sense of that Au-
thority they have received from Christ, the great
Bishop of Souls, and in Pursuance of those
Precepts our Saviour and St. Paul have left us Luke 10,
in this Matter. When Christianity became the 16.

1 Theff.4. Religion of the Government, great Honours

8. and Revenues were bestowed upon the Clergy, not only for the Support of Religion, but as a Reward for those great Sufferings they had undergone in Defence of the Truth; all Laws that were any Ways prejudicial to them were revoked, and new ones made to secure to them Respect and Maintenance ; which Advantages, in progress of Time, were increased by the Favour of pious Princes, not only in the Roman Empire, but in all other Nations where Christianity prevailed.

Q. What Titles of Honour and Respect are given to those who are invested with the Priesthood under the Gospel?

A. The Dignity of their office is amply difplayed in the Scriptures, when those that are invested with that Character are called the Minifiers of Christ, Stewards of the Mysteries of

Cor.4.1. God, to whom he hath committed the Word of Reconciliation, the Glory of Christ, Ambaf- 2 Cor.si sadors for Christ in Christ's sitead, Co-workers 19. with bim, Angels of the Churches.

And when ch.8.23.

2 Cor. 5. it is moreover declared, that he that despiseth them, despiseth not Man, but God. All which Rev.ch.z. Titles shew, upon how many Accounts they ch.3

Luke 1o. stand related, appropriated, and devoted to God


Q. What is implied in their being Ministers of

A. That

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Tit. 1.7.


A. That they act by Cummillion from him, that they are his Officers and immediate Attendants, his Domestics, and in a peculiar Manner his , Servants. That they are employed in his particular Business, impowered and authorised to negotiate and tranfact for God, and that not only in some particular Things, but at large in all the outward Administrations of the Covenant of Grace, or of Reconciliation between God and Man.

Q. What is implied in their being Stewards of the Mysteries of God.

A. That as a Steward is the highest domestic Officer, and Governor of the whole Family, who is to give them their Portion of Meat. in due Seafon; so the Priests under the Gospel are instituted to dispense spiritual Food for the Nourishment of Christians, to feed them with God's holy Word and Sacraments, to speak the bidden

Wisdom which God ordained before the World; 1 Cor. 2.

which is committed to their Care to preserve 7.

entire from being maimed or perverted, as the Sacraments are to be rightly and duly administred.

Q. Wket is implied in their being publick Agents and Ambassadors ?

A. That they are God's Vicegerents and visible Representatives here upon Earth ; that they are delegated by him to folicit and maintain a good Correspondence between God and Man; that they are impowered to adminifter the Word of Reconciliation, to sign and feal Covenants in his Name; upon which Account their persons are facred, and all Contempt shewn to them is an Affront to their Master, whose Character they


Q. What

Q. What is implied in their being the Glory of
Christ, and Co-workers with him ?

A. That they are instrumental in advancing
his Gospel, whereby Christ's Name is glorified;
that they manage and carry on that glorious De-
sign for which he came into the World and
took upon him our Nature ; that they are the
Ministers of his spiritual Kingdom, to whose
Diligence and Fidelity is committed its Prefer-
vation and Enlargement.

Q. Why are the Ministers of God called the

A. Because those who have been peculiarly
appropriated to the Service of God, and devoted
to wait at the Altar, have always been esteemed
God's Lot and Inheritance, which the Word lig-
nifies in the Greek. Thus God says, the Le-

Num. 8.
vite shall be mine ; and our Saviour calls his Apo-14.
Nles, the Gift his father gave him out of the World. Joh. 17.6.
Now though the Word at first comprehended
the whole Body of the Jewish Nation, and may
in the same Sense be attributed to the Commu-
nity of Christians, whom God has purchased
to himself as a peculiar People ; yet this Title
was afterwards confined to narrower Bounds,
and distinguished that Tribe which God made
choice of to stand before him in the Administra-
tion of holy Things; and after the Expiration
of that Economy, was accordingly used to de-
note the Ministry of the Gospel, and those that
were invested with the Priesthood in the Chri-
stian Church.

Q. How do the Ministers of the Christian
Church derive their Commiflion?

A. From our Saviour Jesus Christ, the great
Shepherd and Bishop of our Souls, who glorified Heb. 5.5.

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not himself to be an High-Priest ; but had his Commission from God the Father, and, after his

Resurrection, invested his Apostles with the same John 20.

Commission his Father had given him. As my 21,22,&c.

Father hath sent me, even so fend I you: and be breathed on them, and said unto them, receive ye ike Holy Ghoft, &c. Which Commission evidently contains an Authority of ordaining others, and a Power of transferring that Commision upon others, and those upon others to the End of the World. And that this did not merely belong to the Persons of the Apostles, appears, from

the Nature of that Promise made, to be with them Mat. 28. always, even unto the End of the World: Which

must include their Successors in the Execution of the fame Commission.

Q. Can the Supreme Civil Magistrate communicate these Spiritual Powers to Church Officers ?

A. The Nature of these Powers being purely spiritual, and having a Relation to the Souls of Men, can only be conveyed in that Way and Manner Christ hash appointed; who delegated these Powers only to his Apostles and their Successors; and without his express Commission no Man ought to take upon himself, or communicate to others a Power to sign and seal Covenants in his Name. This Commission the Apostles and their Succeffors exercised in all Places, and even in Opposition to the Rulers that then were ; so that the Church fubfifted as a distinct Society from the State for above three hundred Years, when the Civil Government was only concerned to suppress and destroy it. Indeed when the Church received the Benefit of Incorporation and Protection from the State, she


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was content to suffer fome Limitations as to the
Exercise of these Powers, and thought herself
fufficiently recompensed by the Advantages that
accrued to her by the Incorporation.

Q. Wherein then confifts the Supremacy of So-
vereign Magistrates ?

A. In ruling all Estates and Degrees committed Art. 37.
to their Charge by God, whether they be Ecclesiasti-
cal or Temporal. In exercising their Civil Power
in Ecclesiastical Causes, as well as over Ecclesi-
aftical Persons, and in restraining with the civil
Sword the stubborn and evil Doers. So that all
Persons in their Dominions, Spiritual as well as
Temporal, are subject to their Authority ; because
when Men became Ministers in the Church, they
did not cease to be Subjects of the State. Every Rom. 13.
Soul must be subject to the higher Powers, which 1.
includes an Apostle, an Evangelift, a Prophet, or
whosoever else, as St. Chryfoftom observes upon the
Place. But by virtue of this Supremacy, the
ministring either of God's Word or of the Sacra- Art. 37.
menis is not given to Princes, because they are
not invested with, nor have a sovereign Disposal
of the Power of Orders.

Q. W bat may we learn from the Dignity of the

A. That it is no Diminution to Greatness of
Birth, or any personal Excellency, to be devoted
to the Service of the Altar. That great Purity
of Life is required of those that are invested with
such an honourable Charaxter, whereby they may
in some Measure be qualified to administer in
boly Tbirgs, and by their Example guide chose
they instruct by their Doctrine." That it is an
Argument of a very prophane Temper, to con-
temn those that are owned by God as his Dome-


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