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rized to ordain or fend these Minifters, there was no Occafion for her to be fo particular in her Articles, and it was fufficient there to fpeak in general Terms, fince those who wanted further Information might fo easily receive it from the Ordinal.
§ IV. She alfo declares these three Orders to be of Divine Inftitution, when fhe fays that it is evident to all Men diligently reading HOLY SCRIPTURE that there have been thefe Orders of Minifters in Chrift's Church: For the Scriptures are the Word of God, and therefore if thefe Orders are to be found in the Scriptures and approved by them, then are they approved by the Word of God, and are authorized by God himself. Further, it is declared in the Forms themfelves, that every one of thefe Orders was inftituted or appointed by the Holy Ghost. Thus in the Form for ordering Deacons, it is faid, Almighty God, which by thy Divine Providence, haft appointed divers Orders of Minifters in the Church, and didft infpire thine Holy Apoftles to chofe into the Order of Deacons, the firft Martyr St. Stephen, &c. Here it is plainly taught that the Apoftles ordained the first Deacons, confequently inftituted that Order, by Divine Inspiration. In the ordering of Priests, the Prayer runs thus, Almighty God, Giver of all good Things, which by thy Holy Spirit haft appointed divers Orders of Minifters in thy Church, mercifully behold these thy Servants now called to the Office of Priesthood. And in the Confecration of a Bishop, Almighty God, Giver of all good Things, which by thy Holy Spirit haft appointed divers Orders of Minifters in thy Church, mercifully behold this thy Servant, now call'd to the Work and Miniftry of a Bihop. Now from this Prayer thus ufed in every Form of Ordination, it is manifeft that the Church believes every one of thefe Orders to be of Divine Inftitution, and that fhe alfo believes
them to be feveral and diftin& Order: For in the ordering Deacons it is declared that the Apoftles were infpired to inftitute that Order, and in the other two Forms that the Holy Ghoft has appointed, diverfe Orders of which, one is called Priests and the other Bishops: For if the Bishop was not of a diverfe Order from a Priest, but only a different Degree of the fame Order as a Dean or other dignified Perfon may be with relation to a Parish Priest, he could not need a New Ordination, nor would it be fit to fay upon that Occafion that God has appointed divers Orders, unless he was then calfed to one of those divers Orders, and then by adding Now called to the Work and Miniftry of a Bifhop we are plainly taught that a Bishop according to the Doctrine of the Church of England is a divers Order from a Prieft. The Preface fays there have been thefe Orders, Bishops, Priefts and Deacons, and the Prayer fays there are divers Orders appointed by the Holy Ghoft, and appoints this Prayer to be used at the Ordination of Biops, Priefts and Deacons ; a plain Argument that every one of thefe Orders is appointed by the Holy Ghost. It would be abfurd, not to fay blafphemous, to give it as a Reafon why we may expect his Bleffing on the Ordination of a Bishop, because he has appointed diverse Orders in his Church, if a Bishop was not one of thofe divers or diftin&t Orders. Can any thing therefore be plainer than that the Church of England holds Epifcopacy or the Order of Bishops to be of Divine Inftitution, and one of thofe diverfe Orders which God by his Holy Spirit has appointed? It appears alfo from the Forms of Ordination, that without a Bishop no Person can be ordained either Deacon, Priest or Bishop, confequently that Bihop only are the Men who have publick Authority given unto them in the Congregation or Church of God, to call and fend Minifters into the Lord's Vine
yard. And therefore according to the Doctrine of the Church of England declared by her Ordinal and Articles as they expound each other, it is not lawful for any Man to take upon him the Office of publick Preaching, or ministring the Sacraments in the Congregation or Church of Chrift, before he be lawfully called and fent to execute the fame by fome Bishop, that is, before he is Epifcopally ordained, and this is the Law of God, who by his Holy Spirit has appointed the Order of Bifhops, and directed that only those who are of that Order fhould ordain others, confequently is a Law not only obligatory in the Church of England, but throughout the whole Catholick Church. And therefore our Church further declares in the Preface to the Forms of Ordination, that no Man fhall be accounted or taken to be a lawful Bishop, Prieft or Deacon in the Church of England, except he hath had Epifcopal Confecration or Ordination. That is, the Church of England cannot allow any Man to be a lawful Minifter and qualified publickly to preach the Word and minifter the Sacraments except he has been Epifcopally ordained. The Church of England alfo further declares (h) that although in the vifible Church the Evil be ever mingled with the Good, and fometime the Evil have chief Authority in the Ministration of the Word and Sacraments; yet forafmuch as they do not the fame in their own Name but in Christ's, and do minister by his Commiffion and Authority, we may use their Ministry both in hearing the Word of God, and in the receiving of the Sacraments. Neither is the Effect of Christ's Ordinance taken away by their Wickedness, nor the Grace of God's Gifts diminished from fuck, as by Faith, and rightly do receive the Sacraments ministred unto them, which be
(b) Article 26.
effectual because of Christ's Institution and Promife, although they be ministred by evil Men. Here the Church plainly makes the Validity of the Sacraments depend intirely upon Chrift's Commiffion. For the Reafon alledged with they may be received from Evil Minifters, is becaufe fuch Minifters have Commiffion and Authority from Chrift, and that Sacraments fo received are effectual because of Chrift's Inftitution and Promife, which evidently implies that where there is no fuch Commiffion there is not the Inftitution and Promife of Christ, confequently they are not effectual without the Commiffion. Thus the Church of England moft clearly maintains and afferts both the Divine Right of Epifcopacy, and also the Neceffity of an Epifcopal Commiffion to the Valid Administration of the Sacraments.
V. The Church of England therefore cannot be accused of any Defect upon this Head; yet becaufe many who pretend to be zealous and hearty for the Church of England, and fome who bear the Character of Priests, nay Bishops of this Church, and who have been ordained according to the Forms of Ordination here eftablifhed, and have fubfcribed to thefe Articles and to this Ordinal, in which Epifcopacy and the Epifcopal Commiffion are declared fo neceffary and of Divine Appointment, have nevertheless thought fit to affert pubfickly, and maintain both in the Pulpit and in Print, that an Epifcopal Commiffion is not neceffary to the Valid Adminiftration of the Word and Sacraments, I think it very proper to be more particular upon this Head, and to prove this Divine Right of Epifcopacy, and the Neceffity of an Epifcopal Commiffion, both from the Scriptures and the Do&rine and Practice of the Primitive Church, to the Time of the Council of Nice, the Time which I efteem to be the proper Standard by which the Doctrine
Doctrine and Difcipline of the Church ought to be regulated. Because the Catholick Church was then certainly very pure and uncorrupt, was then diffufed into all Parts of the known World, and united in one Communion: And therefore if we ever hope to have it fo united again, it must be upon the fame Principles, for it never was united on any other, and we have reafon to believe never will or can be, because the Principles on which it was then united were not derived from Human Prudence, which is too weak to compass fuch an Union, but the Doctrine and Practice of Chrift and his Apostles.
§ VI. First therefore I will fhew from the Scriptures and ancient Authors, that from the Apostles Time there have been thefe Orders of Minifters in Chrift's Church, Bishops, Priefts, and Deacons. I confefs indeed that thefe are not every one diftinguifhed in Scripture by thefe Names, not but thefe Orders are in the Scripture, and plainly enough diftinguifhed there, and the Names alfo are in the Scripture, but not each Name particularly and conftantly applied to a diftin& Order, for as I before obferved when I treated on the Independency of the Church, the Names Bishop and Presbyter are there promifcuoufly used for the fame Order. But our Difpute is not about Names but Things, for if there be Three divers Orders of Minifters in Scripture, which we find to have been inftituted by Christ and his Apoftles, to which these Names were either in or immediately after the Apostles Time affixed and appropriated, then we may both fay that they are of Divine Inftitution, and alfo have been from the Apoftles Time, altho' we do not find every one of the Names fo affixed and appropriated. I will therefore as briefly as I can fhew from the Scripture that there