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i Cor. xii. 28.
28. ji. 2.
2 Tim. iv. 2.
SERM. their office, so it is a principal member thereof : LVI.
whence didáckados, doctors, or masters in doctrine, is Eph. iv. 11. a common name of them; and to be 81.AKTIKO, able
and apt to teach, (ικανοί διδάξαι, and πρόθυμοι,) is a Rommi 2: chief qualification of their persons; and to attend on 2 Tim.ii. teaching, to be instant in preaching, to labour in 1 Tim. iv. "the word and doctrine, are their most commendable
performances : hence also they are called shepherds,
because they feed the souls of God's people with the Col. i. 28. food of wholesome instruction ; watchmen, because
they observe men's ways, and warn them when they decline from right, or run into danger; the messengers of God, because they declare God's mind and will unto them for the regulation of their practice.
4. The word further may denote exemplary practice; for to lead implieth so to go before, that he who is conducted may follow; as a captain marcheth before his troop; as a shepherd walketh before his flock, as a guide goeth before the traveller whom
he directeth; hence they are said to be, and enjoined 1 Pet. v. 3. to behave themselves as patterns of the flock; and
the people are charged to imitate and follow them. Phil. ii. 17.
Such in general doth the word here used imply 2 Thess. iii. the persons to be, unto whom obedience is preHeb. iii. 7. scribed: but there is further some distinction to be
made among them; there are degrees and subordinations in these guidances ; some are in regard to different persons both empowered to guide, and obliged to follow, or obey.
The church is acies ordinata, a well marshalled 1. Pet. v. 4. army; wherein, under the Captain-general of our
faith and salvation, (the Head of the body, the sovereign Prince and Priest, the Arch-pastor, the chief Apostle of our profession, and Bishop of our
1 Tim.iv. 12.
l'it. ii. 7.
1 Thess. i.
Heb. iii. I.
souls,) there are divers captains serving in fit de- SERM.
LVI. grees of subordination; bishops commanding larger regiments, presbyters ordering less numerous companies; all which, by the bands of common faith, of mutual charity, of holy communion and peace, being combined together, do in their respective stations govern and guide, are governed and guided : the bishops, each in his precincts, guiding more immediately the priests subject to them; the priests, each guiding the people committed to his charge: all bishops and priests being guided by synods established, or congregated, upon emergent occasion; many of them ordinarily by those principal bishops, who are regularly settled in a presidency over them; according to the distinctions constituted by God and his apostles, or introduced by human prudence, as the preservation of order and peace (in various times and circumstances of things) hath seemed to require: to which subordination the two great apostles may seem to have regard, when they bid us υποτάσσεσθαι αλλήλοις to be subject to one anothera; their injunction at 1 Pet. v. 5. least may, according to their general intent, (which Phil. ii. 3. aimeth at the preservation of order and peace,) be well extended so far.
Of this distinction there was never in ancient Cyp. Ep. times made any question, nor did it seem disputable in the church, except to one malecontent, (Aerius,) who did indeed get a name in story, but never made much noise, or obtained any vogue in the world ; very few followers he found in his heterodoxy; no great body even of heretics could find cause to dis- Ep. 27.65. sent from the church in this point; but all Arians,
4 “Υποτασσέσθω έκαστος τώ πλησίον αυτού καθώς και ετέθη εν τω χαpíomato attrữ. Clem. ad Corinth. p. 49.
SERM. Macedonians, Novatians, Donatists, &c. maintained LVI. the distinction of ecclesiastical orders among them
selves, and acknowledged the duty of the inferior clergy to their bishops : and no wonder, seeing it standeth upon so very firm and clear grounds; upon the reason of the case, upon the testimony of holy scripture, upon general tradition and unquestionable monuments of antiquity, upon the common judgment and practice of the greatest saints, persons most renowned for wisdom and piety in the church.
Reason plainly doth require such subordinations ; for that without them it is scarce possible to preserve any durable concord or charity in Christian societies, to establish any decent harmony in the wor. ship and service of God, to check odious scandals, to prevent or repress baneful factions, to guard our religion from being overspread with pernicious heresies, to keep the church from being shattered into numberless sects, and thence from being crumbled into nothing; in fine, for any good time to uphold the profession and practice of Christianity itself: for how, if there be not settled corporations of Christian people, having bulk and strength sufficient by joint endeavour to maintain the truth, honour, and interest of their religion; if the church should only consist of independent and incoherent particles, (like dust or sand,) easily scattered by any wind of opposition from without, or by any commotion within; if Christendom should be merely a Babel of confused opinions and practices; how, I say, then could Christianity subsist? how could the simple, among so discordant apprehensions, be able to discern the truth of it? how would the wise be tempted to dislike it, being so mangled and disfigured ? what an object of contempt and scorn would it be to the pro- SERM. faner world in such a case! It needeth therefore LVI. considerable societies to uphold it; but no society (especially of any large extent) can abide in order and peace,
under the management of equal and coordinate powers; without a single undivided authority, enabled to moderate affairs and reduce them to a point, to arbitrate emergent cases of difference, to put good orders in execution, to curb the adversaries of order and peace: these things cannot be well performed where there is a parity of many concurrents, apt to dissent, and able to check each otherb; no democracy can be supported without borrowing somewhat from monarchy; no body can live without a head; an army cannot be without a general, a senate without a president, a corporation without a supreme magistrate": this all experience attesteth; this even the chief impugners of episcopal presidency do by their practice confess; who for prevention of disorder have been fain of their own heads to devise ecclesiastical subordinations of classes, provinces, and nations; and to appoint moderators (or temporary bishops) in their assemblies; so that reason hath forced the dissenters from the church to imitate it.
If there be not inspectors over the doctrine and
Ecclesiæ salus in summi Sacerdotis dignitate consistit, cui si non exors quædam, et ab omnibus eminens detur potestas, tot in ecclesia efficientur schismata, quot sacerdotes. Hier. in Lucif.
Nec presbyterorum coetus rite constitutus dici potest, in quo nullus sit vycúperos. Bez. de Grad. Min. cap. 22.
c Essentiale fuit, quod ex Dei ordinatione perpetua necesse fuit, est, et erit, ut presbyterio quispiam et loco et dignitate primus actioni gubernandæ præsit cum eo, quod ipsi divinitus attributum est jure. Bez. de Min. Evang. Grad.
Bez. de Min. Evang. Grad. cap. xxiii. p. 153,
SERM. manners of the common clergy, there will be many LVI.
who will say and do any thing; they will in teaching please their own humour, or soothe the people, or serve their own interests; they will indulge themselves in a licentious manner of life; they will clash in their doctrines, and scatter the people, and draw them into factions.
It is also very necessary for preserving the unity and communion of the parts of the catholic church; seeing single persons are much fitter to maintain correspondence, than headless bodies.
The very credit of religion doth require that there should be persons raised above the common level, and endued with eminent authority, to whose care the promoting it should be committed; for such as the persons are, who manage any profession, such will be the respect yielded thereto: if the ministers of religion be men of honour and authority, religion itself will be venerable; if those be mean, that will become contemptible.
The holy scripture also doth plainly enough counApoc. ii. 3, tenance this distinction ; for therein we have repre
sented one angel presiding over principal churches, which contained several presbyters; therein we find episcopal ordination and jurisdiction exercised; we
have one bishop constituting presbyters in divers Tit. i. 5. cities of his diocese; ordering all things therein con1, 17, 19, cerning ecclesiastical discipline; judging presbyters,
rebuking, metà marñs fritayñs, with all authority, (or imperiousness, as it were; Tit. ii. 15.) and reconciling offenders, secluding heretics and scandalous persons.
In the Jewish church there were an high-priest, chief-priest, a sanhedrim, or senate, or synod.
20, 22, &c.