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son before me there is the 'individuum determinatum,' in the 'hffic homo,' and so all that is essential to my vow is included in it: if 1 mistake the name or the quality, or birth or relations of the person, yet my covenant is with this determinate person that is present, though I be induced to it by a false supposition that she is another. But this I leave to the discussion of the judicious. Rule xLi 1. 'The question also is weighty and of frequent use, if a man vow a thing as a duty in obedience to God and conscience, which he would not have done if he had taken it to be no duty, and if he afterwards find that it was no duty, is he obliged to keep this vow? And the true answer is, that the discovery of his error doth only discover the nullity of his obligation to make that vow, and to do the thing antecedently to the vow; but if the thing be lawful, he is bound to it by his vow notwithstanding the mistake which induced him to make it. Rule Xliii. 'Vows about trifles (not unlawful) must be kept though they are sinfully made *.' As if you vow to take up a straw, or to forbear such a bit or sort of meat, or garment, &c. But to make such is a great profanation of God's name, and a taking it in vain as common swearers do. Rule Xliv. 'A general oath though taken upon a particular occasion must be generally or strictly interpreted (unless there be special reasons for a restraint, from the matter, end, or other evidence).' As if you are afraid that your son should marry such a woman, and therefore swear him not to marry without your consent; he is bound thereby neither to marry that woman nor any other. Or if your servant haunt any particular alehouse, and you make him forswear all houses in general, he must avoid all other. So Dr. Sanderson instanceth in the oath of supremacy, p. 195. Rule Xlv. 'He that voweth absolutely or implicitly to obey another in all things, is bound to obey him in all lawful things, where neither God, nor other superior or other person is injured; unless the nature of the relation, or the ends or reasons of the oath, or something else infer a limitation as implied.' Rule Xlvi. 'Still distinguish between the falsehood in the words as disagreeing to the thing sworn, and the falsea Sanders, p. 84. hood of them as disagreeing from the swearer's mind.' The former is sometimes excusable, but the latter never. There are many other questions about oaths that belong more to the chapter of Contracts and justice between man and man; and thither I refer them. CHAPTER VI. Directions to the People concerning their Internal and Private Duty to their Pastors, and the Improvement of their Ministerial Office and Gifts. The people's internal and private duty to their pastors (which I may treat of without an appearance of encroachment upon the work of the canons, rubrics, and diocesans) I shall open to you in these Directions following.
Direct, i. 'Understand first the true ground, and nature, and reasons of the ministerial office, or else you will not understand the grounds, and nature, and reasons of your duty to them.' The nature and works of the ministerial office I have so plainly opened already that I shall refer you to it to avoid repetition». Here are two sorts of reasons to be given you: 1. The reasons of the necessity of the ministerial work. 2. Why certain persons must be separated to this work, and it must not be left to all in common. The necessity of the work itself appeareth in the very nature of it, and enumeration of the parts of itb. Two sorts of ministers Christ hath made use of for his church: the first sort was for the revelation of some new law or doctrine, to be the rule of faith or life for the church: and these were to prove their authority and credibility by some divine attestation, which was especially by miracles; and so Mosesrevealed the law to the Jews, and (Christ and) the apostles revealed the Gospel. The second sort of ministers are appointed to guide the church to salvation by opening and applying the rule thus already sealed and delivered: and these as they are to bring no new revelations or doctrines of faith, or rule of life, so they need not bring any miracle to prove their call or authority to the church; for they have no power to deliver any new doctrine or gospel to the church, but only that which is confirmed by miracles already. And it is impudence to demand that the same gospel be proved by new miracles by every minister that shall expound or preach it: that would make miracles to be no miracles. The work of the ordinary ministry (such as the priests and teachers were under the law, and ordinary pastors and teachers are under the Gospel,) being only to gather and govern the churches, their work lay in explaining and applying the Word of God, and delivering his sacraments, and now containeth these particulars following: 1. To preach the Gospel for the conversion of the unbelieving and ungodly world. And that is done, partly by expounding the words by a translation into a tongue which the hearers or readers understand; and partly by opening the sense and matter0. 2. In this they are not only teachers, but messengers sent from God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost to charge, and command, and entreat men in his name to repent, and believe, and be reconciled to God; and in his name to offer them a sealed pardon of all their sins, and title to eternal lifed. 3. Those that become the disciples of Christ, they are (as his stewards) to receive into his house, as fellow citizens of the saints, and of the household of God; and as his commissioned officers, to solemnize by baptism their entrance into the holy covenant, and to receive their engagement to God, and to be the messengers of God's engagement unto them, and by investiture to deliver to them by that sacrament the pardon of all their sin, and their title by adoption to eternal life: as a house is delivered by the delivery of a key; or land, by a twig and turf; or knighthood by a sword or garter, &c. 4. These ministers are to gather these converts into solemn assemblies and ordered churches, for their solemn worshipping of God, and mutual edification, communion, and safe proceeding in their Christian coursee. 5. They are to be the stated teachers of the them and with them, and to instruct them in their special preparations for death, and confirm them against those last assaults. 14. They are appointed to be the public champions of the truth, to defend it against all heretical and profane opposers, and thereby to preserve the flock from being seduced. 15. They are appointed to be (under Christ the head) the nerves and ligaments of the several churches, by which they are kept not only in vigour by communication of nutriment, but also in concord, and such communion as they are capable of, by the correspondencies, and consultations, and councils of their pastors8. All these are the distinct and special uses to which Christ hath appointed the office of the sacred ministry: which having but named to you, I need to say no more to shew you the excellency, and necessity, and benefits of it. Herein also the reasons are apparent, why Christ did institute this sacred office. 1. Because it was meet his kingdom should have officers, suited to his work in the administration of it. 2. It was meet that they be men, like ourselves, that we can familiarly converse with. 3. The great necessity of his church required it, where the most are weak, and insufficient to perform all these offices for themselves; and cannot well subsist without the support of others. It was meet therefore that the pastors were selected persons, wiser, and holier, and stronger than the people, and fit for so great and necessary a work. 4. It was requisite also to the order of the church; for if it were like an army without officers, there would be nothing but confusion, and neither order nor edification. By this you may also see the nature and reasons of your obedience to your pastors: as they are not appointed to govern you by forceh, but willingly, "not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind, not as being lords over God's heritage, but as.ensamples to the flock '," so you must willingly and
* Disput. ii. of Church Government, chap. i. and Universal Concord. b Of the difference between fixed and unfixed ministers, see my Disput. ii. iii. ti Church Government, and Jos. Acorta lib. v. c. 21, 22. de Missionibus.
c Rom. x. 7.14. Markxvi. 15. Matt, xxviii. 19, 20.
* 2 Cor. v. 19—21. Acti xxvi. 17,18. Eph.ii. 19. Acts ii. 37—JO.
• Tit. i. 7. lCor. iv. 1,2. Matt, xxyiii. 19, 20. Acts xx 32. 1 Cor. in. 11,12.
assemblies, by expounding and applying that word which is fit to build them up. 6. They are to be the guides of the congregation in public worship, and to stand between them and Christ in things pertaining to God, as subservient to Christ in his priestly office: and so both for the people, and also in their names, to put up the public prayers and praises of the church to God. 7. It is their duty to administer to them, as in the name and stead of Christ, his body and blood as broken and shed for them, and so in the frequent renewals of the holy covenants, to subserve Christ especially in his priestly office, to offer and deliver Christ and his benefits to them, and to be their agent in offering themselves to God. 8. They are appointed to oversee and govern the church, in the public ordering of the solemn worship of God, and in rebuking any that are there disorderly, and seeing that all things be done to edificationf. They are appointed as teachers for every particular member of the church to have personal and private recourse to, (as far as may be,) for the resolving of their weighty doubts, and instruction in cases of difficulty and necessity, and for the settling of their peace and comfort. 10. They are appointed, as physicians under Christ, to watch over all the individual members of their charge, and take care that they be not infected with heresy, or corrupted by vice; and to admonish the offenders, and reduce them into the way of truth and holiness, and if they continue impenitent after public admonition, to reject them from the communion of the church, and command the church to avoid them. 11. They are as to bind over the impenitent to answer their contumacy at the bar of Christ, so to absolve the penitent, and comfort them, and require the church to re-admit them to their communion. 12. They are appointed as stewards in the household of Christ, to have a tender care of the very bodily welfare of their flocks, so as to endeavour the supplying of their wants, and stirring up the rich to relieve the poor, and faithfully (by themselves or the deacons) to distribute what is intrusted with them for that use. 13. They are especially to visit the sick, and when they are sent for, to pray for
'Act» xiv. 23. 2 Tim. ii. 2. Acts xiii. 2. ii. 41, 42. vi. 2. xx. 7. 28. 1 Tim. v. 17. Titus i. 5. Acts n. 30 ,31. Col. i. 28. Eph. iv. 11, 12. Mai. ii.7. lTim. V. 17.
« 1 Cor. xiv. 16. 26 Acts xx. 7. 36. James v. 14. Acts vi. 4. ii. 42. Phil. i. 4. Neh.xii. 24. xi. 17. lCor.xi. 24. x. 16. Heb. vii. 7. Tit. ii. 15. i. 9.11. lTim. v. 19. iii. 5. Tit. iii. 10. Matt, xviii. 17,18. Icov.v. 4. 11. 13. Eph. iv. 13,14. Acts xv.
h Princes may force their subjects by the temporal sword which they bear: bishops may not force their flock with any corporal or external violence. Bilson, Christ. Subjection, p. 525. 1 1 Peter v. 1—3.