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order, or canon, which he gave to the churches of Galatia, which he enjoins the church of Corinth also to observe; and in 1 Tim. v. he gives Timothy several ecclesiastical rules, to give in charge to his church, ver. 7. so also, Tit. i. 5. he tells Titus, that for this cause he left him in Crete, with apostolic, or episcopal power, that he might set in order the things that were wanting ; i.e. that by wholesome laws and constitutions he might redress those disorders and supply those defects, which the shortness of St. Paul's stay there would not permit him to provide for. By all which instances it is abundantly evident, that the governors of the church have a legislative power inherent in them, both to make laws by common consent for the regulation of the church in general, and to prescribe the rules of decency and order in their own particular churches. For what the apostles and primitive bishops did, to be sure they had authority to do; and whatsoever authority they had, they derived it down to their successors. And accordingly we find this ecclesiastic legislation was always administered by the apostles' successors the bishops, who not only gave laws both to the clergy and laity in their own particular churches, but also made laws for the whole church by common consent in their holy councils, wherein during the first four general councils no ecclesiastic beneath a bishop was ever allowed a suffrage, unless it were by deputation from his bishop: and though in making laws for their own churches they generally conducted themselves by the advice and counsel of their presbyters, and sometimes also admitted them into their debates both in their provincial and general councils; yet this was only in preparing the matter of their laws. But that which gave them the form of laws was purely the episcopal authority and suffrage; and whatsoever was decreed either by the bishop in council with his presbyters, or by the bishops in council among themselves, was always received by the churches of Christ as authentic law. It is true, this legislative power of the church (as was shewn before) extends not so far as to control the decrees of the civil sovereign, who is next to and immediately under God in all causes, and over all persons supreme, and is no otherwise accountable by the laws of Christianity than he was by the laws of natural religion; and therefore as the civil sovereign cannot countermand God's laws, so neither can the church the civil sovereign's: but yet, as next to the laws of God the laws of the civil sovereign are to be obeyed; so next the laws of the civil sovereign the laws of the church are to be obeyed.

II. Another peculiar ministry of the bishops and governors of the church is to consecrate and ordain to ecclesiastical offices. For that those holy ministries which Christ himself performed while he was on earth, such as preaching the gospel, administering the evangelical sacrament, &c. might be continued in his church throughout all generations, he not only himself ordained his twelve apostles, a little before he left the world, to perform those ministries in his absence, but in their ordination transferred on them his own mission from the Father, deriving upon them the same authority to ordain others that he had to ordain them; that so they might derive their mission to others, as he did his to them, through all succeeding generations. For this is necessarily implied in the commission he gave them, John xx. 21. As my Father hath sent me, so send I you ; that is, I do not only send you with full authority to act for me in all things, as my Father sent me to act for him ; but I also send you with the same authority to send others that I now exercise in sending you: for unless this be implied in their mission, he did not send them as his Father sent him : unless he gave them the same authority to propagate their mission to others, that his Father gave him to propagate his mission to them, how could he say, that he sent them as his Father sent him? since he must have sent them without that very authority from his Father, which he then exercised in sending them. Now the persons whom he sent were the eleven apostles, as you will see by comparing this of St. John with Luke xxiv. 33, 36. Mark xvi. 14. Matthew xxviii. 16. in all which places we are expressly told, that it was the eleven he appeared to when he gave this commission, and consequently it must be the eleven to whom he gave it. This commission therefore of sending others being originally transferred by our Saviour upon the apostolic order, no others could have right to transfer it to others, but only such as were admitted of that order; none could give it to others but only those to whom Christ gave it; and therefore since Christ himself gave it to none but apostles, none but apostles could derive it; and accordingly we find in scripture, that all ecclesiastic commissions were either given by the hands of some of those first apostles who received their commission immediately from our Saviour, or else by some of those secondary apostles that were admitted into apostolic orders by them; which secondary apostles, as was shewn before, were the same with those whom we now call bishops; for so in Acts vi. 3, 6. the seven first deacons we read of were ordained by the apostles, the whole number of the disciples being present, but the apostles only appointing and laying their hands on them; and in Acts xiv. 23. we are told, that Paul and Barnabas, two of the apostles, ordained elders in every church, that is, of Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch; and though these two were ordained apostles of the Gentiles by certain prophets and teachers in the church of Antioch, Acts xii. 1, 3. yet there is no doubt but those prophets and teachers were such as had received the apostolic character, (being ordained by the apostles bishops of the churches of Syria ;) for otherwise how could they have derived it ? For so Judas and Silas are called prophets, Acts xv. 32. and yet, ver. 22. they are said to be ηγούμενοι εν τοίς αδελφούς, that is, rulers among the brethren, or bishops of Judæa; and afterwards we find that ordination was confined to such as had been admitted to the apostolate: for so the power of laying on of hands in the church of Ephesus was committed by St. Paul to Timothy, whom he himself by the laying on of hands had ordained the apostle or bishop of that church, 1 Tim. v. 22. 2 Tim. i. 6. also the power of ordaining in the church of Crete was by St. Paul committed to Titus, whom he had also ordained the apostle or bishop of that church, Tit. i. 5. For this cause left I thee in Crete, to ordain elders in every city. Thus all through the whole scripture-history we find the power of ordination administered by such, and none but such, as were of the apostolic order, viz. either by the prime apostles, or by the secondary apostles or bishops. And if we consult the primitive antiquities, which,


to be sure, in matters of fact at least, are the best interpreters of scripture, we shall always find the power of giving orders confined and limited to bishops, which is so undeniable, that St. Jerom himself, who endeavours his utmost to equalize presbyters with bishops, is yet fain to do it with an excepta ordinotione, Ep: ad Evagr. Quid facit excepta ordinatione episcopus, quod presbyter non faciat? “ What can “ the bishop do, except ordaining, that the presbyter " may not do also ?”

III. Another peculiar ministry of the bishops and governors of the church is to execute that spiritual jurisdiction which Christ hath established in it, i.e. to cite such as are accused of scandalous offences before their tribunals, to inspect and examine the accusation, and, upon sufficient evidence of the truth of it, to admonish the offender of his fault; and, in case he obstinately persist in it, to exclude him from the communion of the church, and from all the benefits of Christianity, till such time as he gives sufficient evidence of his repentance and amendment, and then to receive him in again. For that Christ hath established such a jurisdiction in his church is evident from that passage, Matt. xviii. 15—18. Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone : if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established ; i. e. that thou mayest be able, in case he doth not then amend, to produce sufficient testimony of his guilt before the church's tribunal, to which thou art next to apply thyself. And if he shall neglect to

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