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notwithstanding imagine that any but God can bestow it!
“ To whom Christ hath imparted power both over that mystical body which is the society of souls, and over that natural which is himself for the knitting of both in one; (a work which antiquity doth call the making of Christ's body ;) the same power is in such not amiss both termed a kind of mark or character and acknowledged to be indelible. Ministerial power is a mark of separation, because it severeth them that have it from other men, and maketh them a special order consecrated unto the service of the Most High in things wherewith others may not meddle. Their difference therefore from other men is in that they are a distinct order. So Tertullian calleth them. And St. Paul himself dividing the body of the Church of Christ into two moieties nameth the one part idiótas, which is as much as to say the Order of the Laity, the opposite part whereunto we in like sort term the Order of God's Clergy, and the spiritual power which He hath given them the power of their Order, so far forth as the same consisteth in the bare execution of holy things called properly the affairs of God. For of the power of their jurisdiction over men's persons we are to speak in the books following:
“ They which have once received this power may not think to put it off and on like a cloak as the weather serveth, to take it, reject and resume it as oft as themselves list, of which profane and impious contempt these later times have yielded as of all other kinds of iniquity and apostasy strange examples; but let them know which put their hands unto this plough, that once consecrated unto God they are made his peculiar inheritance for ever. Suspensions may stop, and degradations utterly cut off the use or exercise of power before given : but voluntarily it is not in the power of man to separate and pull asunder what God by his authority coupleth. So that although there may be through misdesert degradation, as there may be cause of just separation after matrimony, yet if (as sometime it doth) restitution to former dignity or reconciliation after breach doth happen, neither doth the one nor the other ever iterate the first knot.
“Much less is it necessary which some have urged, concerning the reordination of such as others in times more corrupt did consecrate heretofore.”—Bk. V. ch. lxxvii. $$ 1, 2, 3.
In the last two paragraphs, Hooker teaches, (1) that in Ordination men receive an indelible character, and therefore (2) that those who had received Ordination in the communion of the Roman Church could not without sacrilege be re-ordained.
“(By Holy Scripture), it clearly appeareth that churches apostolic did know but three degrees in the power of ecclesiastical order, at the first Apostles, Presbyters, and Deacons, afterwards instead of Apostles Bishops.
“I may securely therefore conclude that there are at this day in the Church of England no other than the same degrees of ecclesiastical order, namely Bishops, Presbyters, and Deacons, which had their beginning from Christ and his blessed Apostles themselves.” -Bk. V. ch. lxxviii. $ $ 9, 12.
“ A thousand five hundred years and upward the Church of Christ hath now continued under the sacred regiment of bishops. Neither for so long hath Christianity been ever planted in any kingdom throughout the world but with this kind of government alone; which to have been ordained of God, I am for mine own part even as resolutely persuaded, as that any other kind of government in the world whatsoever is of God.
“O nation utterly without knowledge, without sense! We are not through error of mind deceived, but some wicked thing hath undoubtedly bewitched us, if we forsake that government, the use whereof universal experience hath for so many years approved, and betake ourselves unto a regiment neither appointed of God himself, as they who favour it pretended, nor till yesterday ever heard of among men.”—Bk. VII. ch. i. § 4.
“ A Bishop is a minister of God, unto whom with permanent continuance there is given not only power of administering the Word and Sacraments, which power other Presbyters have; but also a further power to ordain ecclesiastical persons, and a power of chiefty in government over Presbyters as well as Laymen, a power to be by way of jurisdiction a Pastor even to Pastors themselves. So that this office, as he is a Presbyter or Pastor, consisteth in those things which are common unto him with other pastors, as in ministering the Word and Sacraments: but those things incident unto his office, which do properly make him a Bishop, cannot be common unto him with other Pastors.”—Bk. VII. ch. ii. $ 3.
“ The Apostles therefore were the first which had such authority, and all others who have it
after them in orderly sort are their lawful successors, whether they succeed in any particular church, where before them some Apostle hath been seated, as Simon succeeded James in Jerusalem ; or else be otherwise endued with the same kind of bishoply power, although it be not where any Apostle before hath been. For to succeed them, is after them to have that episcopal kind of power which was first given to them. •All bishops are,' saith Jerome, “the Apostles' successors.' In like sort Cyprian doth term bishops, .Præpositos qui Apostolis vicaria ordinatione succedunt.' From hence it may haply seem to have grown, that they whom we now call Bishops were usually termed at the first Apostles, and so did carry their very names in whose rooms of spiritual authority they succeeded.”_Bk. VII. ch. iv. § 3.
“But forasmuch as the Apostles could not themselves be present in all churches, and as the Apostle St. Paul foretold the presbyters of the Ephesians that there would rise
up from amongst their ownselves, men speaking perverse things to draw disciples after them; there did grow in short time amongst the governors of each church those emulations, strifes, and contentions, whereof there could