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cially upon

SE R M. but what is incumbent upon every Man, efpe

those who have the Care of Children, or Servants, or others under them. The other is unlawful and sacrilegious, and what Ranks such as are guilty of it amongst those false Prophets which God complains of to Jeremiah, that be bad not sent them, and yet they ran, Jer. xxiii. 21. « I own indeed that those Words


be meant of a distinct and new Meffage, and " that they were spoken of such Prophets as

pretended a new Doctrine, for which they “ had no Commission from God. But which

way soever they be expounded, they will

conclude right in this particular. For if “ they signify an ordinary Mission ; then “ there is an ordinary Mission of Preachers, “ which no Man must usurp, unless he can " clearly prove his Title to be derived from “ God. But if they fignify an extraordinary “ Case, and that no Message may


pretended by Prophets, but what they have " Commission for ; then must not ordinary . Persons pretend an extraordinary Commiffion to an ordinary Purpose. For it is

very plain from all the Dispensations of his “ Providence, that God will never endure “ that Order should be interrupted to no Pur

“ pose ;

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" pose; and consequently that he will never'S e RM.

give an extraordinary Commission unless it be to a proportionable End. Whosoever " therefore pretends to a Licence of Preach

ing by Virtue of an extraordinary Calling, « must see that he be furnished with an extraordinary Message, lest his Commission be thought ridiculous. And when he

comes, he must be sure to shew his Au

thority by an Argument proportionable, “ i.e. by such a Proof, without which no wise “ Man can reasonably believe him, whic

cannot be less than Miraculous and Divine. “ In all other Cases he comes under the • Curse of those whom GOD has not sent ; He goes on his own Errand, and therefore “ must not expect his Wages from him.

“ Whoever therefore cannot say with St. “ Paul, that he is ordained a Preacher,

1 Tim. ii. 7. (how great soever his Abilia
ties may be) has yet no Title to testify
“ Christ. For, though to be able to perform
an Office

may be a good Reason, why a
" Person should be ordained to that Office
“ yet it gives him no Authority till he be so
« ordained. Every wise Man is not a Coun-
« sellor of State, nor every good Lawyer

a Judge. Ability or Skill is only a Qua-



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SERM.“ lification, and must be enabled to act by

" something that transmits Authority. And - it is very remarkable that when Judas was “ fallen from his Apostleship, though there

were Numbers of sufficient Knowledge and is

Ability to supply his Office (viz, all that " accompanied with the Apostles during the Time that the Lord Jesus went in and out amongst them) yet not one of them would

presume to do it, but the Appointment of his "Succeffor was referred to a Divine Election.

A plain Demonstration that the Preaching

or bearing Witness of Jesus and his Refur" rection, was not only a Work but a Divine « Office : And that besides Experience and Ability, a particular Ordination was ac

counted necessary before any one might undertake it *.

And thus having shewed both the Necessity of a Ministry, and the Necessity also of a Divine Commiffion to qualify fuch a Mia nistry for the Performance of their Office; what better Use can I make of the whole than to observe to you the happy Constitution of our Church, which is bleft with a Ministry so qualified ? They that preach the Gospel with us

* See Bishop Taylor's Divine Institution of the Office Ministerial. p. 16, 17.




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are not such as the Populace have made Choice SER M.
of, and affigned to their Office, or such as
have received a pretended Ordination from
meer Presbyters or Elders, who were never
invested with a Power to give it ; but such as
were set apart by a superior Order, who by
a regular Succession from Christ himself de
rive their Commission to ordain others. А
Blessing that all the Reformed abroad (if they
mean what they say) envy us and wish for.
For it is the peculiar Happiness of the English
Church (among all that have thrown off the
Errors of Popery) not to ascribe either to the
Clergy or Laity any unprecedented Powers,
nor yet to encroach upon their ancient Liber-
ties. The People have still the Privilege of
obje&ting, if they have any Thing to alledge
against the Morals or Conversation of the
Person to be ordained ; and therefore are so-
lemnly appealed to at the Confirmation of our
Bishops, as well as in our Forms of Ordina-
tion both of Deacons and Priests. And in the
Ordination of a Priest, the Priests that are
present are to join with the Bishop in the In-
poption of Hands to testify their consent,
whilst the Bishop himself, as the Mouth of
them all, pronounces the Form, and com-
municates the Authority. And this being
all the Share in Ordination, that was ever


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SER M. allowed to the Order of Presbyters from

the Apostolick Age to that of the Reformation ; our Church supposes that it is as much as any Presbyters now will claim or expect. She is sensible that there is no Instance, during all that Time, i. e. for fifteen hundred Years together, of an Ordination performed by meer Presbyters alone, which was ever allowed by the Church to be valid and good : And therefore the thinks she has no Power now to invest them with a Commission, which they were never before permitted to execute. Much less can she acknowledge those Persons to be invested with any such Commission, whom as deriving their own Orders (in Oppofition to the Episcopal) from no other than Prefbyters, she knows not how to look upon

but as schismatical Laymen.. These therefore we apprehend to have so little Authority to commit the Office, I am speaking of, to others; that as yet we are at a Loss to know by what Authority, they take it upon themselves. It being evident from the universal Practice of the Church that no Layman (even in Communion) was ever allowed to preach in publick without the special Appointment of the Bishop * : And this only in a few Cases, where See Bingbara's Antiqu. I. xiv. c. 4. ff. 4.



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