Of the vocation of men of Ecclesiasticall order.
IN the vocation and calling of Ecclesiasticall persons, a Prince ought to carry himself ad modum procurantis speciem, non desig∣nantis individuum. Which shall be more plainly and particu∣larly vnderstood, in these Propositions which followe.
PROPOS. I. Princes may and ought to provide and take care, that men of those Ecclesiasticall orders, and those only, which are instituted in the new Testament, by divine auctority, have vocation and office in the Church.
Now beside the Apostles, Prophets, and Evangelists, which were not ordained to be ordinary and perpetuall offices in the Church, t there are but two Ecclesiasticall orders or degrees instituted by Christ in the new Testament, vix. Elders and Deacons. Excellenter Canones d•…os tantum sacros ordines appellari censent, Diaconatus scilicet & Presbyte∣rat•…, quia hos solos primitiva Ecclesia legitur habuisse, & de hi•… sol•… praeceptum Page [unnumbered] Apostli habe•…, saith w the Master of Sentences. As for the order and degree of Bishops, superior to that of Elders, that there is no divine Ordinance nor institution for it, it is not only holden by Calvine, Beza, Bucer, Martyr, Sadeel, Luther, Chemnitius, Gerard Balduine, the Magdebur∣gians, Musculus, Piscator, Hemmingius, Zanchius, Polanus, Iunius, Pareus, Fennerus, Danaeus, Morney, Whittakers, Willets, Perkins, Cartwright, the Pròfessours of Leiden, and the farre greatest part of Writters in refor∣med Churches, but also by Hierome, who upon Tit. 1. and in his Epistle to Fvagrius speaketh so plainly, that x the Archbishop of Spa∣lato is driven to say, Deserimus in hac parte Hieronymum, neque ei in his dictis assentimur: also by Ambrose on 1. Tim. 3. Augustine in his booke of questions out of both Testaments quest. 101. Chrysostome on 1. Tim. 3. Isidore dist. 21. cap. 1. The Canon Law dist. 93. c. 24. & dist. 95. c. 5. Lombard. lib. 4 dist. 24. And after him by many Schoolemen, such as Aquinas, Alensis, Albertus, Bonaventura, Richardus, and Dominicus Soto, all mentioned by the Archbishop of Spalato lib. 2. cap. 4. n. 25. yGe∣rard citeth for the same judgement Anshelmus, Sedulius, Primasius, Theophylactus, Oecumenius, the Councell of Basil, Ardatensis, Ioh. Pari∣siensis, Erasmus, Medina, and Cassander. All which Authors have groun∣ded that which they say upon Scripture: for beside that Scripture maketh no difference of order and degree betwixt Bishops and El∣ders, it sheweth also that they are one and the same order. For in Ephesus and Crete, they who were made Elders were likewise made Bishops, Act. 20. 17. with 28. Tit. 1. 5. with 7. And the Apostle Phil. 1. 1. divideth the wholle ministery in the Church of Philippi into two orders, Bishops and Deacons. Moreover, 1. Tim. 3. he giveth order only for Bishops and Deacons, but saith nothing of a third order. Wherefore it is manifest, that beside those two orders of Elders and Deacons, there is no other Ecclesiasticall order which hath any divi∣ne institution, or necessary use in the Church. And Princes should doe well to applie their power and auctority to the extirpation and rooting out of Popes, Cardinals, Patriarches, Primats, Archbishops, Bishops, Suffragans, Abbots, Deanes, Vice-Deans, Priors, Arch∣deacons, Subdeacons, Chancellours, Chantours, Subchantours, Exorcists, Monkes, Eremits, Acoluths, and all the whole rabble of Popish orders, which undoe the Church, and worke more mischief in the earth, then can be either soone seene or shortly told.
But contrary wise, Princes ought to establish and mantaine in the Church, Elders and Deacons, according to the Apostolicall institu∣tion. Now Elders are either such as labour in the Word and Doc∣trine, or else such as are appointed for Discipline only. They who labour in the Word and Doctrine, are either such as doe only teach, and are ordained for conserving in Schooles and Seminaries of lear∣ning, the purity of Christian Doctrine, and the true interpretation of Scripture, and for detecting and confuting the contrary heresies and Page [unnumbered]〈1 page duplicate〉Page [unnumbered]〈1 page duplicate〉Page 162 errors, whom the Apostle calleth Doctours or Teachers: Or else they are such as doe not only teach, but also have a more particulr charge to watch over the flocke, to seek that which is lost 〈◊〉 to bring home that which wandereth, to heale that which is diseased, to bind up that which is broken, to visite every family, to warne every per∣son, to rebuke, to comfort, &c, whom the Apostle calleth sometines Pastors, and sometimes Bishops, or Overseers. The other sort of Elders are ordained only for Discipline and Church governement, and for assisting of the Pastors, in ruling the people, overseeing their manners, and censuring their faults. That this sort of Elders is insti∣tuted by the Apostle, it is put out of doubt, not alone by Calvine, Beza, and the Divines of Genevah, but also by Chemnitius, exam. part. 2. pag. 218. Gerard loc. theol. tom. 6. pag. 363. 364. Zanchius in 4. praec. col. 727. Martyr in 1. Cor. 12. 28. Bullinger in 1. Tim. 5. 17. Iunius animad. in Bell. contr. 5. lib. 1. cap. 2. Polanus Synt. lib. 7. cap. 11. Pareus in Rom. 12. 8. & 1. Cor. 12. 28. Cartwright on 1. Tim. 5. 17. The Professours of Leiden Syn. pur. Theol. disp. 42. Thes. 20. And many moe of our Divines, who teach that the Apostle 1. Tim. 5. 17. directly implieth that there were some Elders who ruled well, and yet laboured not in the Word and Doctrine, and those Elders he meaneth by them that rule, Rom. 12. 8. & by Governements 1. Cor. 12. 28. where the Apostle saith not helps in Governements, as our new English Translation corruptly readeth, but helps, governements, &c. plainly putting Governements for a dif∣ferent order from Helps or Deacons. * Of these Elders speaketh zAmbrose, (as aD. Fulke also understandeth him) shewing that with all nations Eldership is honourable, wherefore the Synagoge also, and afterward the Church, hath had some Elders of the Con∣gregation, without whose counsell and advice nothing was done in the Church: and that he knew not by what negligence this had growne out of use, except it had beene through the sluggishnesse of the Teachers, or rather their pride, whiles they seemed to themselves to be somet•…ing, and so did arrogat the doing of all by themselves.
Deacons were instituted by the Ap•…stles b for collecting, recei∣ving, keeping, and distributing of Ecclesiasticall goods, which were given and dedicated for the maintenance of Ministers, Churches, Schooles, and for the help and relief of the poore, the stranger, the sicke and the weake, also c for furnishing of such things as are neces∣sary to the ministration of the Sacraments. Beside which •…mploy∣ments, the Scripture hath assigned neither Preaching, nor Baptising, nor any other Ecclesiast•…ll function to ordinary Deacons.
PROPOS. II. Princes in their Dominions, ought to procure and effect, that there bee never wanting men qualified and fit for those Ecclesiasticall functions and charges, which Christ hath ordained, and that such men only bee called, chosen, and set apart for the same.
Page 163 There are two things contained in this Proposition. 1. That Princes ought to procure, that the Church never want men quali∣lified and gifted for the worke and service of the holy Ministery, for which end and purpose they ought to provide and mantaine Schooles and Colledges, intrusted and committed to the rule and oversight of orthodoxe, learned, godly, faithfull, and diligent Ma∣sters, that so qualified and able men may be still furnished and sent forth for the Ministery and service of the Church. They ought also to take care that the Ministers of the Church neither want due reve∣rence 1. Tim. 5. 17. Hebr. 13. 17. Nor sufficient maintenance 1. Cor. 9. that so men be not skarred from the service of the Ministery, but rather incouraged unto the same 2. Chron. 31. 4.
2. That Princes ought also to take order and course, that well qualified men, and no others, be advanced and called to beare charge and office in the Church: for which purpose, they should cause, not one disdainfull p•…lat, but a whole Presbytery or com∣pany of Elders, to take triall of him who is to be taken into the number of preaching Elders, and to examine well the piety of his life, the verity of his Doctrine, and his fitnesse to teach. And further, that due triall may be continually had of the growth or decay of the graces and utterance of every Pastor: it is the part of Princes to injoyne the visitation of particular Churches, and the keeping of other Presbyteriall meetings, likewise the assembling of Provinciall and Nationall Synods, for putting order to such things as have not beene helped in the particular Presbyteries. And as for the other sort of Elders, togither with Deacons, we judge the aun∣cient order of this Church, to have beene most convenient for provyding of well qualified men for those functions and offices. For the eight head of the first booke of Discipline, touching the elec∣tion of Elders and Deacons, ordaineth that men of best know∣ledge and cleanest life, be nominat to be in Election, and that their names be publikely read to the whole Church by the Minister, gi∣ving them advertisement, that from among them must be chosen Elders and Deacons: that if any of these nominat be noted with publike infamie, hee ought to be repelled: And that if any man know others of better qualities within the Church, then these that be nominat, they should be put in election, that the Church may have the choice.
If these courses whereof we have spoken, be followed by Chri∣stian Princes, they shall by the blessing of God procure, that the Church shall be served with able and fit Ministers. But though thus they may procurare speciem, yet they may not designare individuum, which now I am to demonstrat.
PROPOS. III. NeverthelessecPrinces may not designe nor appoint such or such particular men, to the charge, of such or such particular Churches, or to Page [unnumbered] the exercing of such or such Ecclesiasticall functions: but ought to provide that such an order & forme be keeped in the election and ordination of the Ministers of the Church, as is warranted by the example of the Apostles, and primitive Church.
The vocation of a Minister in the Church, is either inward or out∣ward. The inward calling which one must have, in finding himself by the grace of God, made both able and willing to serve God and his Church faithfully, in the holy Ministery, lieth not open to the vieu of men, and is only manifest to him from whom nothing can be hid. The outward calling is made up of Election & Ordina∣tion: that, signified in Scripture by 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉: this, by 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 Concerning which things, we say wi•…dZanchius, Magistratus, &c. It pertaineth to a Christian Magistrat and Prince, to see for Ministers unto his Churches. But how? not out of his owne arbitrement, but as Gods Word teacheth. Therefore let the Acts of the Apostles, and the Epistles of Paul be read, how Ministers were elected and ordained, and let them followe that forme.
The right of Election pertaineth to the whole Church: which as it is mantained by forraine Divines, who write of the controver∣sies with Papists; and as it was the order which this Church prescri∣bed in the bookes of Discipline; so it is commended unto us by the example of the Apostles, and of the Churches planted by them. Ioseph and Matthias were chosen & offered to Christ by the whole Church, being about. 120. persons. Act. 1. 15. 23. The Apostles required the whole Church and multitude of Disciples, to choose out from among them seaven men to be Deacons Act. 6. 2. 3. The holy Ghost said to the whole Church at Antioch, beeing assembled togither to minister unto the Lord, Separate me Barnabas and Saul, Act. 13. 1. 2. The whole Church choosed Iudas and Silas to bee sent to Antioch. Act. 15. 22. The brethren who travailed in the Chur∣ches affaires, were chosen by the Church, and are called the Chur∣ches Messengers. 2. Cor. 8. 19. 23. Such men only were ordained Elders by Paul and Barnabas, as were chosen and approven by the whole Church, their suffrages beeing signified by the lifting up of their hands. Act. 14. 23. Albeit Chrysostome and other Ecclesiasticall Writers use the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 for ordination by imposition of hands, yet when they take it in this sence, they speake figuratively and synegdochically, as eIunius sheweth. For these two, Election by most voices, and Ordination by laying on of hands, were joyned togither, and did cohere, as an antecedent and an consequent, whence the use obtained, that the whole action should be signified by one word, per modum intellectus, collecting the antecedent from the conse∣quent, & the consequent from the antecedent. Neverthelesse accor∣ding to the proper & native significatiō of the word, it noteth the sig∣nifying Page [unnumbered] of a suffrage or election by the lifting up of the hand, for 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 is no other thing, nor 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 or 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, to lift or hold up the hāds in signe of a suffrage. And so Chrysostome himself u∣seth the word, when he speaketh properly, for he saith, that the Senate of Rome, tooke upon him 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, that is (as fD. Potter turneth his words) to make Gods by most voices.
gBellarmine reckoneth out three significatiōs of the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. 1. To choose by suffrages. 2. Simply to choose, which way soever it be. 3. To ordaine by imposition of hands. hIunius answereth him, that the first only is the proper signification: the second is me∣taphoricall: the third synegdochicall.
Our English Translators, 2. Cor. 1. 19. have followed the meta∣phoricall signification, and in this place Act. 14. 23. the synegdo∣chicall. But what had they adoe either with a Metaphore or a Sy∣negdoche, when the Text may beare the proper sence? Now, that Luke in this place useth the word in the proper sence, and not in the synegdochicall, iGerard proveth from the words which he subjoyneth, to signify the ordaining of those Elders by the laying on of hands: for he saith that they prayed and fasted and commen∣ded them to the Lord, in which words he implieth the laying on of hands upon them, as may be learned from. Act. 6. 6. When they had prayed they laid their hands on them. Act. 13. 3. When they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them. So Act. 8. 15. 17. Prayer and laying on of hands went togither. Wherefore by 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Luke pointeth at the election of those Elders by voices, being in the fol∣lowing words to make mention of their ordination by imposition of hands.
kCartwright hath for the same point, other waighty reasons. It is absurd (saith he) to imagine, that the holy Ghost by Luke, speaking with the tongues of men, that is to say, to their understanding, should use a word in that signification in which it was never used before his time by any Writer, Holy or Prophane. For how could he then be understood: if using the note and name they used, he should have fled from the signification whereunto they used it? unlesse therefore his purpose was to write that which none should read, it must needs be that as he wrote, so he meant the election by voices. And if Demosthe∣nes for knowledge in the tongue would have beene ashamed, to have noted the laying downe of hands by a vvord that signifieth the lifting of them up: they doe the holy Ghost (vvhich taught Demosthenes to speake) great injury, in im∣sing this unpropriety and strangenesse of speach unto himself: vvhich is yet more absurd, considering that there vvere both proper vvords to utter the laying on of hands by, & the same also used in the translation of the 70: vvhich Luke for the Gentiles sake did as it may seeme (vvhere he conveniently could) most follovve. And it is yet most of all absurd, that Luke vvhich straiteneth him∣self Page 166 to keep the vvords of the 70. Interpreters, vvhen as he could have other∣vvise uttered things in better tearmes then they did, should here forsake the phrase vvherevvith they noted the laying on of hands, beeing most proper and naturall to signify the same. The Greeke Scholiast also, and the Greeke Igna∣tius, doe plainly referre this vvord to the choice of the Church by voices.
But it is objected that Luke saith not of the whole Church, but only of Paul and Barnabas, that they made them by voices Elders in every citty.
Ans. But how can one imagine that betwixt them two alone the matter went to suffrages? election by most voices, or the lifting up of the hand in token of a suffrage, had place only among a multi∣tude assembled togither. Wherefore we say with lIunius, that 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 is both a common, and a particular action, whereby a man chooseth by his owne suffrage in particular, & likewise with others in commone, so that in one and the same action we can not divide those things, which are so joyned togither.
From that which hath beene said, it plainly appeareth, that the election of Ministers, according to the Apostolicke institution, per∣taineth to the whole body of that Church, where they are to serve; And that this was the Apostolicke & primitive Practice, it is aknow∣ledged even by some of the Papists, such as Lorinus, Salmeron, and Gas∣par 〈◊〉, all upon. Act. 14. 23. m The Canon Law it self commen∣deth this forme, and saith, Electio Clericorum est petitio plebis. And was he not a Popish Archbishop, n who condescended that the Citty of Magdeburg should have 〈◊〉〈◊〉 ac constituendi Ecclesiae Mini∣stros? Neither would the Citty accept of peace, without this con∣dition.
That in the auncient Church, for a long time, the election of Mi∣nisters remained in the power of the whole Church or Congrega∣tion, it is evident from Cypr. lib. 1. epist. 4 & 68. August. epist. 100. L•…o. 1. epist. 〈◊〉. Socrat. lib. 4. cap. 30. & lib. 6. cap. 2. Possidon. in vita Aug. cap. 4. The Testimonies and examples themselves for brevities cause I omit. As for the 13. Canon of the Councell of Laodicea which forbiddeth to permit to the people the election of such as were to Minister at the Altar: we say with oOsiander that this Canon can not be approven, except only in this respect, that how∣beit the peoples election and consent be necessary, yet the election is not wholy and solly to be committed to them, excluding the judgement and voice of the Cleargie. And that this is all which the Councell meant, we judge with pCalvine & qGerard. That this is the true interpretation of the Canon, rIunius proveth both by the words 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, permittere turbis, for 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 signifieth to quit and leave the whole matter to the fidelity and will of others; and likewise by the common end and purpose of that Page 167 Councell, which was to represse certaine faults of the People, which had prevailed through custome: Indeed, if the whoole matter were alltogither left to the people, contentions and confusions might be feared. But whiles wee plead for the election of people wee adde.
1. Let the Cleargie of the adjacent bounds in their Presbyteriall Assembly, trie and judge who are fit for the Ministery; thereafter let a certaine number of those who are by them approven as fit, be offered and propounded to the vacand Church, that a free ele∣ction may be made of some one of that number, provyding al∣wayes that if the Church or Congregation have any reall reason for refusing the persons nominat and offered unto them, and for choo∣sing of others, their lawfull desires be herein yeelded unto.
2. Even when it comes to the election, yet populus non solus judicat,*sed pr•…unte & modera•…e actionem Clero & Presbyterio, let the Elders of the Congregation, togither with some of the Cleargie concurring with them, moderat the action, and goe before the body of the people.
Would to God that these things were observed by all who de∣sire the worthy office of a Pastor! For neither the Patrons Presen∣tation; nor the Cleargies Nomination, Examination, and Recom∣mendation, nor the Bishops laying on of hands, and giving of In∣stitution, nor all these put togither, can make up to a man his cal∣ling to be a Pastor to such or such a particular Flocke, with∣out their owne free election. Even as in those places where Princes are elected, the election gives them jus ad rem (as they speake) without which, the inauguration can never give them jus in re: so a man hath from his election power to bee a Pastor, so farre as concerneth jus ad rem, and Ordination only ap∣plieth him to the actuall exercing of his pastorall office, which Or∣dination ought to be given to him only who is elected, and that because he is elected. And of him who is obtruded and thrust upon a people, without their owne election, it is well said by (t) Zanehius, that he can neither with a good conscience exercise his Ministery, nor yet be profitable to the People, because they will not willingly heare him, nor submit themselves unto him.
Furthermore, because Patronages and Presentations to Bene∣fices, doe often prejudge the free and lawfull election which Gods Word craveth, therefore the second booke of Discipline Chap. 12. albeit it permitteth and alloweth the auncient Patrones of Preben∣daries and such Benefices as have not curam animarum, to reserve their Patronages, and to dispone thereupon to Schollers and Bur∣sers, yet it craveth rightly that presentations to Benefices that have curam animarum, may have no place in this light of Reformation. Not that we thinke, a man presented to a Benefice that hath curam Page 168 animarum, can not be lawfully elected: But because of the often and ordinary abuse of this unnecessary custome, we could wish it aboli∣shed by Princes.
It followeth to speake of Ordination, wherein with vCalvin,xIunius,yGersomus Bucerus, and other learned men, we distinguish betwixt the act of it, and the rite of it. The act of Ordination stan∣deth in the mission or the deputation of a man to an Ecclesiasticall function, with power and auctority to performe the same. And thus are Pastors ordained when they are sent to a people with power to preach the Word, minister the Sacraments, and exerce Eccle∣siasticall Discipline among them. For zHow shall they Preach except they bee sent? unto which mission or ordination, neither praier nor imposition of hands, nor any other of the Churches rites, is essentiall and necessary, as a the Archbishop of Spalato sheweth, who placeth the essentiall act of Ordination in missionè potestativa, or à simple deputation and application of à Minister to his Ministeriall func∣tion, with power to performe it. This may be done saith he by word alone, without any other Ceremony, in such sort that the fact should hold, and the ordination thus given should be valid enough. When a man is elected by the suffrages of the Church, then his Ordination is Quasi solennis missio in possessionem honoris illius, ex decreto, saith bIunius.cChemnitius noteth, that when Christ after he had chosen his twelve Apostles, ordained them to preach the Gospell, to cast out Divells, and to heale diseases, we read of no Ceremony used in this Ordina∣tion, but only that Christ gave them power to preach, to heale, and to cast out Divells, and so sent them away to the worke. And how∣soever the Church hath for order and decency used some rite in Or∣dination, yet there is no such rite to be used with opinion of neces∣sity, or as appointed by Christ or his Apostles. When our Writers prove against Papists, that Order is no Sacrament, this is one of their Arguments, that there is no rite instituted in the new Testament, to to be used in the giving of Orders. Yet because imposition of hands was used in Ordination, not only by the Apostles who had power to give extraordinarly the gifts of the holy Ghost, but likewise by the Presbytery or company of Elders, and Timothy did not only receive the gift that was in him, d by the laying on of Pauls hands, as the meane, but also e with the laying on of the hands of the Presbyte∣ry, as the rite and signe of his Ordination; therefore the Church in the after ages hath still kept and used the same rite in Ordination. Which rite shall with our leave be yet retained in the Church, provyding, 1. It be not used with opinion of necessity, for that the Church hath full liberty either to use any other decent rite (not beeing determined by the Word to any one) or else to use no rite at all, beside a publike declaration, that the person there presented, is called and appointed to serve the Church in the Pastorall office, Page 169 togither with exhortation to the said person, and the commending of him to the grace of God, the Church not beeing tied by the Word to use any rite at all in the giving of Ordination. 2. That it be not used as a sacred significant Ceremony to represent and signify, either the delivering to the person ordained, auctority to Preach and to Minister the Sacraments, or the consecration and mancipation of him to the holy Ministery, or lastly Gods bestowing of the gifts of his Spirit upon him, togither with his powerfull protection and gracious preservation in the performing of the workes of his cal∣ing; but only as a morall signe, solemnely to designe and point out the person ordained: which also was one of the ends and uses, whe∣reunto this rite of laying on of hands was applyed by the Apostles themselves, as fChemnitius sheweth. And so Ioshua was designed and knowen to the people of Israel, as the man appointed to be the suc∣cessor of Moses, by that very signe, g that Moses laid his hands on him.
As a sacred significant Ceremony we may not use it. 1. Because h it hath beene proven, that men may never at their pleasure ascribe to any rite whatsoever, a holy signification of some mistery of Faith or duty of Piety. The Apostles indeed by the laying on of their hands, did signify their giving of the gift of the holy Ghost: but now as the miracle so the mistery hath ceased, and the Church not having such power to make the signification answere to the signe, if now a sacred or misticall signification be placed in the rite, it is but an emp∣tie and void signe, and rather minicall then misticall. 2. All such sacred rites, as have beene notoriously abused to superstition, if they have no necessary use, ought to be abolished, as i we have also proven. Therefore if imposition of hands in Ordination, be accoun∣ted and used as a sacred rite, and as having a sacred signification, (the use of it not beeing necessary,) it becommeth unlawfull, by reason of the by-gone and present superstitious abuse of the same in Poperie.
Now the right and power of giving Ordination to the Ministers of the Church, belongeth primarly and wholly to Christ, who com∣municateth the same with his Bride the Church. Both the Bride∣groome for his part, and the Bride for her part, have delivered this power of Ordination to the Presbytery jure DIVINO. Afterward the Presbytry conferred, jure humano, this power upon them, who were specially called Bishops. Whence the tyrannicall usurpation of Bishops, hath in processe of time followed, claiming the proper right and the ordinary possession of that, which at first they had only by free concession. And thus that great Divine kFranciscus Iunius, deriveth the power of Ordination. All which, that it may be plaine unto us, let us observe foure severall passages.
1. l The wholle Church hath the power of Ordination com∣municated Page 170 to her from Christ, to whom it wholy pertaineth. For, 1. It is most certaine (and among our Writers agreed upon,) that to the whole Church collectively taken, Christ hath delivered the keyes of the Kingdome of Heaven, with power to use the same, promising l that whatsoever the Church bindeth on Earth, shall be bound in Heaven, & whatsoever shee looseth on Earth, shall be loosed in Heaven. Therfore he hath also delivered unto the whole Church, power to call & ordaine Ministers for using the keyes: otherwise the promise might be made void, because the Ministers which shee now hath, may faile. 2. Christ hath appointed a certaine and a ordinary way, how the Church may provide her selfe of Ministers, and so may have ever in her selfe the meanes of grace and comfort sufficient to her self, according to that of m the Apostle, All things are yours, whether Paul, or Apollo, &c. But if shee had not the power of ordaining Ministers unto her self, when shee needeth, then might shee some times be deprived of such an ordinary & certaine way of provyding her self. 3. When the Ministery of the Church faileth or is wanting, Christian people have power to exerce that act of or∣dination, which is necessary to the making of a Minister. nD. Fulke sheweth out of Ruffinus and Theodoret, that Aede•… and •…rumen∣tius, being but privat men, by preaching of the Gospell, converted a great Nation of the Indians. And that the Nation of the Iberians being converted by a captive woman, the King and the Queene became Teachers of the Gospell to the people. And might not then the Church in those places, both elect and ordaine Ministers?
2. The Church hath by Divine institution delivered the Power of ordaining ordinary Ministers, to the Preshitery, whereof the Church consisteth representativè. And so saith oParaus, that the power of mission (which is Ordination) belongeth to the Presbitery-Scriptura saith pBalduin, ordinationem tribuit toti Presbyterio, non s•…r∣sim Episcope. With whom say q the Professours of Leiden in like manner. Now when the Divines of Germany, and Belgia, speake of a Presbitery, they understand such a company as hath in it both those two sorts of Elders, which we spake of, viz. some, who labour in the Word and Doctrine, whom the Apostle calleth Bishops: and others, who labour onely in Discipline. The Apostolicke and Pri∣mitive times knew neither Parishionall nor Diocaesan Churches. Christians lived then, in Cities onely, not in Villages, because of the persecution. And it is to be remembred, that in Rome, Corinth, Ephesus, Colosse, Philippi, Thessalonica, and such other Cities inhabited by Christians, there were moe Pastors then one. r The Apostle cal∣led unto him the Elders (not Elder) of the Church of Ephesus.s He writeth to the Bishops (not Bishop) of the Church at Philippit He biddeth the Thessalonians know them (not him) which laboured among them. Now that number of Pastors or Bishops which was Page 171 in one City, did in common governe all the Churches within that City, and there was not any one Pastor, who by himselfe gover∣ned a certaine part of the City, peculiarly assigned to his charge: to which purpose u the Apostle exhorteth the Elders of the Church of Ephesus, to take heed to all the flocke 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. And to the same purpose it is said by xHierome, that before schismes and divisions were by the Divels instigation made in Reli∣gion, communi Presbiterorum consilio Ecclesiae gubernabantur.
This number of Preaching Elders in one City, togither with those Elders which in the same City laboured for Discipline onely, y made up that company which the Apostle, 1 Tim. 4. 14. calleth a Presbytery, and which gave Ordination to the Ministers of the Church. To the whole Presbitery, made up of those two sorts of Elders, belonged the act of Ordination, which is mission, z how∣beit the Rite, which was imposition of hands, belonged to those Elders alone which laboured in the Word and Doctrine. And so wee are to understand that which the Apostle there saith, of the Presbiteries laying on of hands upon Timothy. As for aD. Downams two glosses upon that place, which he borroweth from Bellarmine, and whereby he thinketh to elude our Argument, we thanke bD. Forbesse for confuting them. Quod autem, &c. But whereas saith hee, some have expounded the Presbitery in this place, to be a company of Bishops, except by Bishops thou would understand simple Presbiters, it is a violent inter∣pretation, and a insolent meaning. And whereas others have understood the degree it selfe of Eldership, this can not sinnd, for the degree hath not hands, but hands are mens. Wherefore the D. himselfe, by the Presbitery whereof the Apostle speaketh, understandeth, (as we doe) consessus Presbiterorum.
But since we can not find in the Apostles times, any other Pres∣biterie or Assembly of Elders, beside that which hath been spoken of, how commeth it, may some say, that the Church of Scotland, and other reformed Churches, did appoint two sorts of Presbiteriall Assemblies, one (which here we call Sessions) wherein the Pastor of the Parish, togither with those Elders within the same, whom the Apostle calleth Governements and Presidents, put order to the Governement of that Congregation; another (which here we call Presbiteries) wherein the Pastors of sundry Churches lying neare togither, doe assemble themselves? Which difficulty yet more in∣creaseth, if it be objected, that neither of these two, doth in all points answer or comforme it self, unto that primitive forme of Presbite∣ry, whereof we spake. Ans. The division and multiplication of Parishes, and the appointment of particular Pastors to the peculiar oversight of particular flockes, togither with the Plantation of Churches in Villages, as well as in Cities, hath made it impossible Page 172 for us to be served, with that onely one forme of a Presbitery, which was constitute in the Apostles times. But this difference of the times beeing (as it ought to be) admitted, for a inevitable cause of the dif∣ference of the former, both those two formes of Presbyteriall mee∣tings appointed by the Church of Scotland, doe not onely necessa∣rily result from that one Apostolicke forme, but likewise (the actions of them both beeing laid togither) doe accomplish all these ordinary Ecclesiasticall functions, which were by it performed.
And first, Sessions have a necessary use, because the Pastors and those Elders who assist them in the governing of their Flockes, must as well conjunctly as severally, as well publikely and private∣ly, governe, admonish, rebuke, censure, &c. As for Presbiteries, because the Parishes beeing divided, in most places there is but one Pastor in a Parish, except there should be a meeting of a number of Pastors out of divers Parishes, neither could triall be well had of the groweth or decay of the Gifts, Graces, and utterance of eve∣ry Pastor, for which purpose the ninth head of the first Booke of Discipline, appointed the Ministers of adjacent Churches, to meet togither at convenient times in Townes and publike places, for the exercise of Prophecying and interpreting of Scripture, according to that forme commended to the Church of Corinth. 1 Cor. 14. 29. 30. 31. 32. Nor yet could the Churches bee governed by the common counsell and advice of Presbiters, which beeing necessary by Apo∣stolicke institution, and beeing the foundation and ground of our Presbiteries, it maketh them necessary too.
3. After that the golden age of the Apostles was spent and away, Presbyteries finding themselves disturbed with emulations, conten∣tions, and factions; for unities sake, choosed one of their number, to preside among them, and to conferre, in name of the rest, the rite & signe of initiation (which was imposition of hands) on them whom they ordained Ministers. This honour did the Presbytery yeeld to him who was specially and peculiarly called Bishop, jure humano: yet the act of Ordination they still reserved in their owne power. And wheresoever the act doth thus remaine in the power of the whole Presbytery, the conferring of the outward signe or rite by one in name of the rest, none of us condemneth, as may be seene in Beza, Didoclavius, and Gersonus Bucerus. Neither is there any more meant by cHierome, whiles he saith. What doth a Bishop, (ordination beeing excepted,) vvhich a Presbyter may not doe? For, 1. He speaketh not of the act of ordination, which remained in the power of the Presbytery, but of the outward signe or rite, d which syneg∣dochically he calles Ordination. 2. He speaketh only of the custome of that time, and not of any Divine institution: for that the imposi∣tion of hands pertained to the Bishop alone, not by Divine institu∣tion, but only by Ecclesiasticall custome, eIunius proveth out of Ter∣tullian, Hierome, and Ambrose.
Page 173 4. Afterward Bishops beganne to appropriat to themselves, that power which pertained unto them jur•… devoluto, as if it had beene their owne jure proprio. Yet so, that some vestigies of the auncient order have still remained. For both Augustine and Ambrose (whose words most plaine to this purpose, are cited by fD. Forbesse) te∣stify, that in their time, in Alexandria, and all Aegypt, the Presbyters gave Ordination, when a Bishop was not present. g The Canon Law ordaineth, that in giving of Ordination, Presbyters lay on their hands, togither with the Bishops hands. And it is holden by many Papists, (of whom hD. Forbesse alledgeth some for the same point) that any simple Presbyter, (whom they call a Priest) may with the Popes commandement or concession, give valid Or∣dination. That which maketh them graunt so much, is, because they dare not denie that Presbyters have the power of ordination, jure Divino. Yea saith iPanormitanus. Olim Presbyteri in communi re∣gebant Ecclesiam, & ordinabant Sacerdotes. The Doctor himself holdeth. that one simple Presbyter, howsoever having, by vertue of his Presbyteriall order, power to give Ordination, quo ad actum primum five aptitudinem, yet quo ad exercitium can not validly give Ordination, without a commission from the Bishop, or from the Presbytery, if either there be no Bishop, or else he be a Hereticke and Wolfe. But I would learne, why may not the Presbytery validly Ordaine, ei∣ther by themselves, or by any one Presbyter with commission and power from them, even where there is a Bishop (and he no Here∣ticke) who consenteth not thereto: for k the D. acknowledgeth, that not only quo ad aptitudinem, but even quo ad plenariam ordinationis executionem, the same power pertaineth to the Presbytery collegialiter, which he alledgeth, (but proveth not) that the Apostles gave to Bishops personaliter.
Now from all these things, Princes may learne how to reforme their owne and the Prelats usurpation, and how to reduce the orders and vocation of Ecclesiasticall persons, unto conformity with the Apostolicke & Primitive patterne, from which if they goe on ei∣ther to injoyne, or to permit a departing, we leave them to be judged by the King of terrours.