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upon them the Episcopal Office and Power in ordaining and sending of other pretended Presbyters into the Church, as they did a little before the Restoration, in all or most parts of the Nation, after the Abolition of Episcopacy, and the Downfal of the National Church with it, in the Times of which I speak. Such Arch-schifmaticks as these were Mr. Bowls of York, Mr. Baxter of Kiderminster, and Mr. Hughes of Plymouth, not to mention
es, Rev. i. 20, of which St. Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna
Now that these Succeffors of the Apostles, to whom the Power of ordaining others into the Ministry was committed, were not mere Presbyters, is evident from hence, That they had the Oversight of the Church of God, 1 Pet. V, 2. A Power to receive an ACCUSATION against (and therefore, werc cach of them a Judge of) an Elder, or Minister of a. consequently inferior Order, 1 Tim. v. 19. It was also their Province to rebuke with ALL AUTHORITY, fa as 10 let no Man despise them, Tit. ii. 15.- to rejet, , e. excommuni. cate, a Man that is an Heretick, after the first and second Admonition, Tit. iii. 10. Without PREFERRING one before an. nother, doing nothing by PARTIALITY, ! Tim, v. 21. Hence the particular Angel, or Bishop of the Church in Pergamos, was justly reproved for tolerating them that held the Doctrine of Balaam, and the Nicolaisans in that Church, Rev. ji. 14, 15, 16. So also was the particular Angel or Bishop of Thyatira, for suFFERING the false Prophetess Jezubel, Rcv. ii.
And they could never have been thus juftly censur’d, if they had not been yefted with the Powers and Authority 4bove-mentioned, and these Powers do vastly exceed all that can be duly claim'd by any mere Presbyter, or Body of Pref: byters whatsoever.
SMEÇTIM NUUS,, * in and about London, where I presume pretended Prefbyter's were also Ordain'd, by.mere Prefbýters in those fad Times of Confusion.;
I was once at one of their pretended Ordinations, which I since found, was. much after the French Form. Thus, and this; Şir; was the Original of the Presbyter rian Mission in England, and it is against the Authority of the pretended Ministers of this Mission who were never duly authoriz’da and therefore cannot Administer truly Valid Baptifm, that you have written your excellent Book with great Strength and Perspicuity, as well as Modesty, and con. firmed your Doctrine with your
Practice. Indeed, you have written it throughout with so much Modesty and Caution, that in some places, it hath an Air almost of Diffidence and Mistrust, altho”; said nothing as to the Invalidity of their Administrations, but what our best Divines have written before you. I beg Leave to present you with what I find to this Purpose, in the first Volume of the Posthumous Sermons of one of the greatest of them, [ Bishop Beveridge ] Entituled, The Dignity and Authority, and Office of the
* Stephen Marshal, Edmund Calamy, Thomas Young, Maithew Newcomb, William Spurstow,
Priesthood. In the third Sermon on this Text, Therefore, feeing we have this Ministry as we have received Mercy, we faint not, at the 103. Pagę you'll find these Words, “ In the next Place we must observe, “ that although the Priests, if any be pre$ fent, lay on their Hands also, get it is ex
presly ordered, that the Bishop shall say so the Words, Receive ye the Holy Ghost, « Lc. For if a mere Priest should say them, or any one but a Bishop, the Ordination was reckoned NULL AND VOID, with more to that Purpose. So in his Sermon
on Axts xiii. 3, And when they had fan “ sted, and prayed, and laid their Hands on “ them, they fent them away, you have “ these Words at p. 309. As the right Orfo dination of those who administer the “ Means of Grace must needs be acknow. “ ledged to be ( necessary) for seeing we
can bave no Grace, nor Power to do good, “ but what is delivered tous from God thro ç
Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in the Use of the Means which he hath establish“ ed for that, Purpose, unless those Means « be rightly and duly Administred, they “ lose their Force and Energy, and so can never attain the End wherefore they
ere established. Neither is there any ç thing more necessary to establish the 4 Means of Grace, than that they who adb 4
ministér them be rightly Ordained and «. Authorized to do it according to the In" ftitution and Command of him that did « establish them. For seeing they do not a work naturally, but only by virtue of the « Institution, and Promise annexed to it,
unless that be duly observed, we have no Ground to expect, that the Promise should be performed, nor by Consequence that they
sould be effectual to the Purposes for « which they were used. So in his Sermon « on this Text. Now then we are Ambaffa4 dors for Christ, &c. p. 386. For that can « be done only by the Power of God, accom
panying, and assisting his own Institution “ and Commission. Insomuch that if I did se not think, or rather was not fully assured; ci that I had such a Commission to be an < Ambassador for Christ, and to act in his « Name, I mould never think it worth the « while to preach, or execute my Ministerial « Office. For I am sure all that I did would « bë null and void of it self, according to “ God's ordinary Way of working, and we “ have no Ground to expect Miracles.” So “ in another Place of that Sermon; "Any “ Man may read a Sermon, or make an Ora« tion to the People ; but it is 'not that « which the Scripture calls preaching the
Word of God, unless he be SENT.by ! God to do it. For how can they preach,
except they be sent? Rom. X. 16. A 56 Butcher might kill an Ox, or a Lamb, as “ well as the High-Priest, but it was no Sae crifice to God, unless a Priest did it; And
no Man taketh this Honour to himself, but « he that is called of God, as was Aaron, &c. All these Passages Sir, exactly agree with the Subject of your Book; and I might shew you much more to the fame Purpose out of the Writings of the Clergy, besides those which you have cited. As out of the second Edition of a Letter to a Noncon. Mi nister of the Kirk, shewing the Nullity of the Presbyterian Mision; and Dr.Wells's Theses against the Validity of Presbyterian Ordination.
But what I have cited from the Bishop, which was publish'd since the first Edition of your Book, is enough to second the De. sign of it, and give you Courage boldly to maintain your Doctrine and Practice, and the Cause not only of the Church of Eng. land, but of the Catholick Church, against the British Sects and Schisms, Indeed you have done God and his Chụrch good Service in a Time of Need; as two worthy Citizens, now with God, Mr. Allen and Mr. Lamb, did by their Writings about forty Years ago; who having gone from the Church to the Anabaptists, by God's Grace faw their Error, and returned both toge