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Wherein is Shewed,

That the Government of the Church of England is most agreeable to that of the Primitive Church.

By THOMAS BRETT, LL.D. And Rector of Bettelhanger near Canterbury.

The Second Edition, with large Additions and Amendments.

Neque enim aliunde Hærefes oborta funt, aut nata funt Schifmata, quam inde, quod Sacerdoti Dei non obtemperatur: Nec unus in Ecclefia ad tempus Sacerdos, Gad.Tempus fudex vice Chrifti cogitatur. Cui fi fecundum Magifteria divina obtemperaret Fraternitas Univerfa; Nemo adverfum facerdotum Collegium quidquam moveret. Cyprian. Epift. 55. ad Cornelium. Edit. Pamel.

London, Printed for John Wyat at the Rofe in
St. Paul's Church-Yard, MDCCX.

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HIS Book, as I informed the World in my firft Edition of it, was written on a Private Occafion; and I did hope, as I then faid, that my imperfect Effay might excite fome Person of greater Learning and Abilities, and better provided with Books, fuch as the Subject requires, than I was or am, to write a more Compleat Treatise about the Government of the Church: And, I thank God, I have lived to fee fome excellent Books written in Vindication of our prefent Form of Church Government, and rhe Divine Inftitution of Epifcopacy in particular. That deteftable Book falfely called The Rights of the Chriftian Church afferted, &c. has given fresh occafion to many Pious and Learned Men, who were juftly provoked by his Impious Doctrines, to vindicate and affert the true Orthodox and Divine Rights of the Church of God, and to prove beyond all Contradiction, That the Church

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Church from the beginning had its peculiar Rights and Privileges immediately from Chrift himself wholly independent on the Civil Magiftrate, or any Temporal Authority what foever: That this power was given to the Apofles, and from them derived to the BiShops as the chief Governors of the Church under Chrift, the only fupreme Head of the Catholick Church: And that Bishops as diftinct from Presbyters and having Authority over them, were fettled by the Apoftles themfelves, according to the Inftitution of our Saviour, and by the Guidance and Direction of the Holy Spirit; And that no Ordination of Presbyters or Deacons was accounted valid in the primitive Church without the Impofition of Hands, not only of the Presbytery but of the Bishop alfo. Of this kind are feveral excellent Difcourfes lately written or Published by the Reverend and Learned Dr. Hickes, to which he has joyned moft admirable Prefaces, with an almoft inimitable Vivacity of Style, and full of Reafon and Argument: And Dr. Potters very ufeful Difcourfe of Church Government, which to my Knowledge has given good fatisfaction to fome Perfons, (who tho' they were before ready to think Epifcopacy a good Political Form of Church Government, yet looked upon it to be no more than a Prudential Inftitution) and fully convinced thein that the Original Con

Conftitution of the Church by Chrift and his Apoftles was under the Government of Bishops, and therefore that it was a Form not to be altered by any Authority whatsoever. For which Reafon I cannot but with fome Impatience defire to fee the Second Part which he has given us fome hopes to expect from him, where he promises to continue the Account which he has already given us of the Government of the Church for the three first Centuries, thro' fome of the following Ages after the Church was taken into the Protection of the Civil Powers. To these I may add Dr. Turner's Answer to that pernicious Book falfely called the Rights of the Chriftian Church afferted, &c. and Mr. Bingham's Learned Treatife of the Antiquities of the Chriftian Church, wherein he has given us fuch a clear Account of the Conftitution of the primitive Church for four or five Centuries, that by reading his Book only, a Man may have almost as diftinct an Idea of the Conftitution of the ancient Church as of the prefent. Befides these Books which have appeared fince the Impious Author of the Rights publifhed his wicked Book, (which is not levelled against the Church of England only, but the whole Chriftian Church in general,) there are two ethers that I have feen and read, that

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