Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

by a discerning judgment, whether they be forbidden by God or not. 5. Not now in making a new Word of God, or new articles of faith, or new universal laws, for the whole church. 6. Not in any thing which derogates from the true power of magistrates, or parents, or masters. But 1. It is a ministerial power, of a messenger or servant, who hath a commission to deliver his master's commands and exhortations s. 2. As it is over the laity or flocks, it is a power in the sacred assemblies to teach the people by office, and to be their priests or guides in holy worship'; and to rule the worship-actions for the time, length, method, and orderly performance of them ".

3. As to particular persons, it is the power of the churchkeys, which is, 1. To judge who is meet to be by baptism taken into the church. 2. To reprove, exhort, and instruct those that by vice or ignorance, in order to repentance, or knowledge, or confirmation do need the pastoral help \ 3. To judge who is to be forbidden church-communion as impenitent; or at least, with whom that church must be forbidden to communicate. 4. To judge who is meet for absolution as a penitent. 5. To deliver men personally a sealed pardon from Christ in his two sacraments. 6. To visit the sick, and comfort the sad, and resolve the doubting, and help the poor. This is the true church-government, which is like a philosopher's or schoolmaster's in his school among volunteers, supposing them to have no power of the rod or violence but only to take in or put out of their schools; and what need is there of an universal, patriarchal or national head, to do any of this work, which is but the government of a personal teacher and conductor; and which worketh only on the conscience?4. But besides this there is a necessity of agreeing in the right management of this work; which needeth no new head, but only the consultations of the several bishops or pastors, and the magistrate's civil rule, or extrinsic episcopacy (as Constantine called it). 5. And besides this there is need to ordain pastors and

» 1 Cor. iv. 1, 2. '1 Pet. v. 1—3. Matt. xxviii. 19, HO.

» 1 Thess. v. 12,13. » * Tim. iv. 1—3, 5.

bishops in the church. And this is not done by any force neither; but 1. By judging what men are fit. 2. By persuading the people to consent and receive them, and 3. By investing them by a delivery of possession by imposition of hands. Now for all this, there needs no human species of bishops or churches to be made. 6. Besides this there is need of some oversight of these pastors and ministers and fixed bishops when they are made; and of some general care of pastors and people, if they decline to heresies, errors, vices, or lukewarmness; but for this, 1. When magistrates have done their part. 2. And neighbour ministers to one another. 3. And the consociated bishops to the particular ones. 4. And unfixed ministers have done their parts in the places where occasionally they come; if moreover any general pastors or archbishops are necessary, to rebuke, direct, and persuade the bishops or their flocks, by messengers, epistles, or in presence, no doubt but God hath appointed such as the successors of the apostles, evangelists, and other general ministers of those first times. But if no such thing be appointed by Christ, we may be sure it is not necessary nor best. If it were but considered that the ruling power in the church is so inseparable from the teaching power, that it is exercised by teaching and only by God's Word, (either generally or personally applied) and that upon none but those that willingly and by consent receive it, it would quiet the world about these matters. And O that once magistrates would take the sword wholly to themselves, and leave church power to work only by its proper strength and virtue, and then all things would fall into joint again; though the Ithacians would be displeased.

Quest, Lviii. Whether any part of the proper pastoral or episcopal power may be given or deputed to a layman, or to one of any other office, or the proper work may be performed by such?Answ. 1. Such extrinsical, or circumstantial, or accidental actions as are aforementioned may be done by deputies or others (as calling the church together, summoning offenders, recording actions, &c.).

2. The proper episcopal or pastoral work or office cannot be deputed, in whole or part, any other way than by communication, which is, by ordination, or making another to be of the same office. For if it may be done by a layman, or one that is not of the same order and office, then it is not to be called any proper part of the pastoral or episcopal office; if a layman may baptize, or administer the sacrament of Christ's body and blood, or may ordain, or excommunicate (ecclesiastically), or absolve, merely because a bishop authorizeth or biddeth him, then, 1. What need Christ have made an office-work of it, and persons be devoted and consecrated to it? 2. And why may not the people's election and the king's commission serve to enable a layman to do it? For if commanding only be proper to the bishop or pastor, and executing be common to laymen, it is certain that the king may command all bishops and pastors to do their officework; and therefore he may command a layman to do that which a bishop may command him to do. 3. And is it not a contradiction to say that a man is a layman or of another order, who is authorized by a bishop to do a bishop's work or office? When as the office itself is nothing (as is oft said) but an obligation and authority to do the work. If therefore a bishop authorize and oblige any other man to do the proper work of a bishop or pastor (to ordain, to baptize, to give the sacrament of the eucharist, to excommunicate, to absolve, &c.) he thereby maketh that man a bishop or a pastor, whatever he call him. Object. But doth not a bishop preach 'per alios' to all his diocese? And give them the sacraments 'per alios,' &c.?Answ. Let not the phrase be made the controversy instead of the matter. Those other persons are either ministers of Christ, or laymen. If laymen, their actions are unlawful. If ministers, they are commissioned officers of Christ themselves, and it is the work of their own office which they do, and it is they that shall have the reward or punishment. But if preaching to all these churches or giving to all these persons in a thousand parishes the sacraments, &c . were the bishops' or archbishops' work, that is, which they are obliged to do, then they would sin in not doing it. But if they were the governor's only of those that are obliged to do it, and are not obliged to do it themselves, then governing the doers of it is only their work; and therefore it is but equivocally said that the work is theirs, which others and not they are obliged to do; and that they do their work 'per alios, ' when they do but govern those others in doing their own work. Of this read the Lord Bacon's "Considerations," and Grotius "de Imper. summ. Potest, circa Sacra," who soundly resolve the case, against doing the pastoral work 'per alium.'

Quest, Lix. May a layman preach or expound the Scriptures? Or what of this is proper to the pastor's office?

Amw. 1. No doubt but there is some preaching or teaching and expounding which a laymen may use. So did Origen; so did Constantine; so may a king or judge on the bench; so may a parent to his children, and a master to his family, and a schoolmaster or tutor to his scholars. 2. It is not any one method or sermon fashion which is proper to a minister and forbidden to a layman: that method which is most meet to the matter and hearers, may be used by one as well as by the other. 3. It is not the mere publicity of the teaching, which must tell us what is unlawful for a layman. For writing and printing are the most public ways of teaching; and these no man taketh to be forbidden the laity. Scaliger, Casaubon, Grotius, Erasmus, Constantine, King James, the Lord Bacon, and abundance more laymen have done the church great service by their writings. And judges on the bench speak oft theologically to many. But that which is proper to the ministers or pastors of the church is, 1. To make a stated office of it, and to be separated, set apart, devoted, or consecrated and appropriated to this sacred work; and not to do it occasionally only, or sometimes, or on the bye; but as their calling and the employment of their lives. 2. To do it as called and commissioned ministers of Christ, who have a special nunciative and teaching authority committed to them; and therefore are in a special manner to be heard, according to their special authority. 3. To be the stated teachers of particular churches, as their pastors and guides; (though they may sometimes permit a layman when there is cause to teach them 'pro tempore'). These three are proper to the ministerial and pastor's office. But for the regulating of laymen's teaching, 1. They must statedly keep in their families, or within their proper bounds. 2. They must not presume to go beyond their abilities; especially in matters dark and difficult. 3. They must not thrust themselves without a just call and need into public or numerous meetings as teachers, nor do that which savoureth of pride or ostentation, or which tendeth to cherish those vices in others. 4. They must not live or preach, as from under the government of the church pastors; but being members of their flocks, must do all as under their lawful oversight and guidance; much less must they proudly and schismatically set up themselves against their lawful pastors, and bring them into contempt to get themselves reputation, and to draw away disciples after themy. 5. Times and places must be greatly distinguished. In infidel or grossly ignorant countries, where through the want of preachers there is a true necessity, men may go much further than in countries where teachers and knowledge do abound.

Quest, Lx. What is the true sense of the distinction of pastoral power, 'inforo interiore et exteriore,' rightly used?Answ. 1. Not as if the pastors had any power of the sword or outward force, or of men's bodies or estates immediately: for all the pastoral power is immediately on the soul, and but secondarily on the body, so far as the persuaded soul will move it. Reason and love and the authority of a messenger of Christ, are all the power by which bishops or pastors as such can work, 'in foro interiore vel exteriore;' they rule the body but by ruling the soul.

I Acts xx. 30. Hc-b. xiii. 7. 17. (4. 1 Thess. v. 12, 13. 1 Tim. v. 17

« AnteriorContinuar »