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and work of wolves, is to separate you from your pastors, and catch up the stragglers that are thus separated. The malice, and slanders, and lies, and railing of hirelings and deceivers, and all the powers of hell, are principally poured out on the faithful pastors and leaders of the flocks. The principal work of the Jesuits against you, is to make you believe that your pastors are no true pastors, but uncalled private persons, and mere usurpers: and the reason must be, because they have not an ordination of bishops successively from the apostles without interruption1. I confess if our interruptions had been half as lamentable as theirs, (by their schisms, and variety of popes at once; and popes accused, or condemned by general councils, for heretics; and their variety of ways of electing popes, and their incapacities by simony, usurpation, &c.) I should think at least that our ancestors had cause to have questioned the calling of some that were then over them. But I will help you in a few words to discern the juggling of these deceivers, by shewing you the truth concerning the way of Christ's giving his commission to the ministers that are truly called, and the needlessness of the proof of an uninterrupted succession of regular ordination, to your reception of your pastors and their ministrations. The ministerial commission is contained in, and conveyed by the law of Christ, which is the charter of the church, and every true bishop or pastor hath his power from Christ, and not at all from the efficient conveyance of any mortal man: even as kings have their power not from man, but from God himself; but with this difference, that in the church Christ hath immediately determined of the species of church offices, but in the civil government, only of the genus (absolutely and immediately m). You cannot have a
1 Grot. <le Imp. p. 373. Pastorum est ordinare pastores. Neque id officium cis competit, qua hujus aut illius ecclesis pastores sunt, sed qua ministris ecclesia: Catholice.
m See in Grotius de Imper. sum. potest, p. 269. The necessary distinction of 1. Ipsa facultas praedicandi sacramenta et claves administraadi, quod Mandatum vocat. 2. Applicatio hujus facultalis ad certani personam, viz. Ordinatio. 3. Appliratio hujus persons ad certum crctum et locum, viz. Electio. 4. Illud quo certapersona in certo loco ministerium suum exercet publico preesidio ac publics authoritate, viz. Coufirmatio. p. £73. Constat muneris instituliooera a Deo esse: ordinationem a pastoribus, connrmationem publicam a sunima potestate. So that the doubt is only about election. Which yet must be differenced from consent.
plainer illustration, than by considering how mayors and bailiffs, and constables are annually made in corporations: the king by his charter saith that 'every year at a certain time the freemen or burgesses shall meet, and choose one to be their mayor, and the steward or town-clerk shall give him his oath, and thus or thus he shall be invested in his place, and this shall be his power and work and no other.' So the king by his law appointeth that constables and churchwardens shall be chosen in every parish. Now let our two questions be here decided: 1. Who is it that giveth these officers their power? 2. Whether an uninterrupted succession of such officers through all generations since the enacting of that law, be necessary to the validity of the present officer's authority? To the first, It is certain that it is the king by his law or charter that giveth the officers their power; and that the corporations and parishes do not give it them by electing, or investing them: yea though the king hath made such election and investiture to be in a sort his instrument in the conveying it, it is but, as the opening of the door to let them in, 'sine quo non;' but it doth not make the instruments to be at all the givers of the power, nor were they the receiving, or containing mediate causes of it. The king never gave them the power which the officers receive, either to use, or to give: but only makes the electors his instruments to determine of the person that shall receive the power immediately from the law or charter; and the investers he maketh his instruments of solemnizing the tradition and admission: which if the law or charter make absolutely necessary 'ad esse officii,' it will be so; but if it make it necessary only ' ad melius esse,' or but for order and regular admittance when no necessity hindereth it, the necessity will be no more. And to the second question, It is plain that the law which is the ' fundamentum juris' remaining still the same, if a parish omit for divers years to choose any constable or church-warden, yet the next time they do choose one according to law, the law doth authorise him, nevertheless, though there was an interruption or vacancy so long: and so in corporations, (unless the law or charter say the contrary): so is it in the present case. 1. It is the established law of Christ, which describeth the office, determined) of the degree and kind of power, and granteth or conveyeth it, when the person is determined of by the electors and ordainers, though by ordination the delivery and admission is regularly to be solemnized; which actions are of just so much necessity as that law hath made them, and no more. 2. And if there were never so long an interruption or vacancy, he that afterward entereth lawfully, so as to want nothing which the law of Christ hath made necessary to the being of the office, doth receive his power nevertheless immediately from the law of Christ. And Bellarmine himself saith, that it is not necessary to the people, and to the validity of sacraments and offices to them, to know that their pastors be truly called or ordained: and if it be not necessary to the validity of sacraments, it is not necessary to the validity of ordination. And W. Johnson" confesseth to me that consecration is not absolutely necessary 'ad esse officii' to the pope himself: no nor any one sort of electors in his election. Page 333. And in his Repl. Term. Expl. p. 45. he saith, 'Neither papal nor episcopal jurisdiction (as all the learned know) depends of episcopal or papal ordination: nor was there ever interruptions of successions in episcopal jurisdiction in any see, for want of that alone, that is necessary for consecrating others validly, and not for jurisdiction over them.' You see then how little sincerity is in these mens' disputations, when they would persuade you to reject your lawful pastors as no true ministers of Christ, for want of their ordination or succession.
Direct, iv. 'Though the sacraments and other ministerial offices are valid when a minister is qualified (in his abilities and call) but with so much as is essential to the office, though he be defective in degree of parts and faithfulness, and have personal faults which prove his own destruction; yet so great is the difference between a holy, heavenly, learned, judicious, experienced, skilful, zealous, laborious, faithful minister, and an ignorant, ungodly, idle, unskilful one; and so highly should every wise man value the best means and advantages to his eternal happiness, that he should use all lawful means in his power to enjoy and live under such an able, godly, powerful ministry, though he part with his worldly wealth and pleasure to attain it °.' I
° See my Disput. with him of the Successive Visibility of the Church, p. 336.
know no evil must be done for the attainment of the greatest helps: (for we cannot expect that God should bless a sinful course, or that our sin should tend to the saving of our souls.) And I know God can bless the weakest means, when they are such as he appointeth us to use; and can teach us by angels when he denieth us the help of men; but Scripture, reason and experience tell us, that ordinarily he worketh morally by means, and fitteth the means to the work which he will do by them: and as he doth not use to light men by a clod or stone, but by a candle, nor by a rotten post or glowworm so much as by a torch or luminary; so he doth not use to work as much, by an ignorant, drunken, idle person, who despiseth the God, the heaven, the Christ, the Spirit, the grace, the sacred Word which he preacheth, and vilifieth both his own, and other men's souls; as he doth by an able, compassionate minister. And the soul is of so much more worth than the body, and eternal things than temporal, that a little commodity to the soul, in order to the securing of our salvation, must be preferred before a great deal of worldly riches. He that knoweth what his soul, his Saviour, and heaven are worth, will not easily sit down contented, under such a dark, and dull, and starving minister, as he feeleth he can but little profit by, if better may be had on lawful terms. He that feeleth no difference between the ministry of these two sorts of men, it is because he is a stranger to the work of the Gospel on the soul: and "if the Gospel (in its truth, or worth, or use) be hid, it is hid to them that are lost, the God of this world having blinded their minds p." It must be no small matter that must satisfy
posito separare se debet. Which Grotius de Imper. p. 230. citing saith, Jubentur mini singuli, multo niagis universi, cavere prophetas falsos, alieuum pastorem 1'ugere, ab iis decfinare qui dissidia faciuntet oflensas contra doctrinam. 2. Imperatur fidelibosiamiliarem eorum consuetudincmdeclinarc qui fratres, &c. 2 Cor. v. Rom. xvi. 17. John v. 2 Tim. iii. 6. 2 Thess. iii. 6.14. 2 Cor. iv. 3, 4.
p Satan or their own worldly advantages, saith Dr. Hammond. Dan. i. 12,13. Exek. Iv. 12.15. Read c. iii. Acosta excellently rebuking the negligence of their priests that taught the Indians the catechism idly, and without explication, or calling them to account about the sense, and then laid all the fault on the blockishness of the people, when ' Tota catechizendi ravio eral nmbratilis, et ludicrae similis: egdrero (inquit) si homines ingenio acerrimo, et discendi percupidi tales prsceptores nacti essent, nihil aliud quam ut duplo ignoratiores evaderent, doceri isto modo arbitrarer. Olimin symbolo addiscendo etintelligendo, mysteriisque fidei agnoscendis viri ingenio preestantes et literature eclebres, diu in catechumenorum ordine tenebantur, cum rcclesiastica disciplina vigeret; neque ante ad fidei sacranicntum admittebantar, quara niultas ab ep'ucopo de symbolo condones andissent, diu ct multum cum cafechista coniulissent; post quas omnes curas et meditationes, magnum erat si recta sentirent, consentanca respondcrent, &c. and he addeth, p. 360. Equidem sic opinor, nequc ab ea opiirone avelli unqnam potero, quin pessimo pneceptoriomne» esse auditores hebetes credam. A bad teacher hath always bad scholars. Even in the Roman church how little their authority can do against profaneness and negligence, the same Acosta sheweth, lib. vi. c. ii. p. 519. Cum in pravinciali concilio Limensi ab omnibus Peruensibus episcopis casterisque gravibusvirisad ea vitia emendanda multum opera et studii collatum sit, atquc edita extent egregia decreta de rcfurmatione per■uulta, nihil tamen ampliusperfectum est, quam si abotiosis nautis derepublicomoderanda consultatem esset. Bonific. Mogunt. Ep.iii. nientioneth it as the error of a new sprung sect, that heinous sinners even so continuing may be priests. And Ep. Ixxiii. it is said, No man may be made a priest that hath sinned mortally after baptism, and, Si is qui tani in episcopatu vel presbyterio positus mortale peccatum aliquod admiserit, non debet olferre panes Doniinn, quanto magis—patienter retrahatse ab hoc non tuni honore quam onere, ct aliorum locum qui digni sunt non ambiat occupare. Qui enim in erudiendis et instituendis ad virtutem populis prteest, necesse est, ut in omnibus sanctus sit,et in nulloreprehensibilis habeatur- Qui enim aliquem de peccato arguit, ipse a peccato debet esse imniunis. Auct. Bib. Pat. Tom.ii. p.m. If there were somewhat too much strictness in the ancient exclusion of them that heinously sinned after baptism from the priesthood, let not us be as much too loose.
a serious Christian to cast his soul upon any hurtful or dangerous disadvantage. Though Daniel and his companions may live well on pulse, yea, and Ezekiel upon bread baked with dung, when God will have it so, yet no wise man will choose such a diet; especially if his diseases require the most exact diet, or his weakness the most restorative, and all too little; which, alas, is the common case. Yet this caution you must here take with you, 1. That you pretend not your own benefit, to the common loss or hurt of others. 2. And that you consider as well where you may do most good, as where you may get most; for the way of greatest service, is the way of greatest gain.
Direct, v. 'Understand what sort and measure of belief it is that you owe to your teachers, that so your incredulity hinder not your faith in Christ, nor your over-much credulity betray you to heresy, nor make you the servants of men, contrary to Matt, xxiii. 8—10. Eph. iv. 13. 2 Cor. i. 24. Acts xx. 30.' We see on one side how many poor souls are cheated into schism and dangerous errors, by forsaking their teachers and refusing their necessary help, and all upon this pretence, that they must not make men the lords of their faith, nor pin their faith on the minister's sleeve, nor take their religion upon trust. And on the other side we see among the Papists, and in every sect, what lamentable