« PreviousContinue »
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 Commif“ fion 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 ;
an, efpeof Chil
" 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 ex“ traordinary 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
may be a good Reason, why a
a Judge. Ability or Skill is only a Qua-
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.
are not such as the Populace have made Choice SER M.
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.