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CONFESSIONS AND PROOFES OF PROTESTANT DIVINES OF Reformed Churches, That EPISCOPACY is in reſpect of the Office according to the word of God, and in reſpect of the Uſe the Beſt. TOGETHER, With a briefe Treatiſe touching the Originall of BISHOPS and METROPOLITANS

OXFORD, Printed by Henry Hall, in the Yeare 1644.

TO The Pious and Religous Reader, Grace and Peace in Chriſt Ieſus.

THe matter ſubject of this Treatiſe be­ing yet in ſuſpence, and to be de­termin'd de futuro. vid: What Ec­cleſiaſticall Government is to be judged to be, According to the word of God in reſpect of the office it ſelfe, and alſo the Beſt in reſpect of its uſe: After that upon more and more deliberation I had perfected my concluſion, the ſaying of Augu­ſtine came into my mind, He that concealeth a Truth, and he that teacheth a falſhood, are both guilty: the firſt becauſe he will not profit; the other, becauſe he intendeth to hurt and delude: which I apprehended as a double caution, both of not publiſhing any Utopian Eccle­ſiaſticall forme of Government of mine owne forging, as alſo, of not ſtifling, by my ſilence, a forme truly Apoſtolicall.

Which Reſolution, notwithſtanding, I did not ad­venture to take, before that I was fortified in my per­ſwaſion by a generall conſent of Proteſtant Divines of reformed Churches, and among others, in ſome prin­cipall poynts appealing to the Divines of the Church of Geneva; Nor yet doe we ſo much inſiſt upon their Confeſſions, as upon their Proofes, eſpecially being grounded upon two infallible foundations. The firſt, the Generall Verdict of Antiquity, as well Doctrinall as Hiſtoricall: though we ſhould not name that Ge­nerall Councell of Calcedon conſiſting of 630 Fathers, which by one Canon decreed it to be a Sacriledge to preſſe downe a Biſhop into the degree of a Presbyter. The ſame Councell that did alſo ordaine another Ca­non, which was then the very break-neck of Romiſh Popedome. 2ly, The Authenticall Texts of Scripture ſo farre as thereby to demonſtrate Chriſt his owne ap­probation of Epiſcopall Prelacy after his Aſcenſion in the Churches of Aſia: in one whereof without all contradiction was one Polycarpus Biſhop and Martyr.

As for the Churches, whereof we are to ſpeake; The Tractate hath beene undertaken in behalfe of Pro­teſtant Churches, which practice at this day the ſame Prelacy under theſe two divers names of Epiſcopacy and Superintendency, as much exceeding the number of thoſe which are deſtitute of Biſhops, yet ſo, as juſtly condemning the Romiſh Hierarchy (rather Tyranny) poyſoned with moſt groſſe Idolatry, and not ſo onely, but ſo farre oppoſite to the Epiſcopacy which we de­fend, that it is a falſe Uſurpation, that all Biſhops be originally deduced from the Pope, and dependant up­on him. Other Churches deſtitute of Biſhops we dif­fer from, yet not ſo (farre be it from us) as not to ac­count them eſſentiall Churches of Chriſt, but to whom, as formerly, we doe deſirouſly give the right hand of Brotherly fellowſhip; to joyne againſt the Common and grand adverſary in the Romiſh Babylon.

Concerning other poynts circumſtantiall we have provided, that our Method be with coherence, our Style plaine and even, our allegations direct and pun­ctuall, our Authors juſtly approveable, our Taxations toothleſſe, and our Inferencies briefe, pertinent and conſectary.

As for you (good Chriſtian Reader) his hope is, that he ſhall not need the uſe of the Apoſtles Expoſtu­lation, ſaying, Am I your enemy, becauſe I tell you the truth? and his prayer to God ſhall be to protect and bleſſe you, to the Glory of his ſaving Grace in Chriſt Jeſus, that he alſo will diſtribute to this our lacerated Church ſome portion of that his peerleſſe Legacy left unto his Apoſtles, when he ſaid, My peace I leave with you, by vertue whereof we may with one Heart and Mind faithfully Worſhip God in Spirit and in Truth.

The Contents of every THESIS.

  • I. THeſis. That our Engliſh Epiſcopacy hath been juſtified by the confeſſion of the moſt learned Proteſtants of remote Churches, in ſpeciall by the Church of Geneva. Pag. 1
  • II. Theſis. That there was never any vi­ſibly conſtituted Church in all Chriſtendome ſince the Apoſtles time for 1500 yeares and more, which held Epiſcopacy in it ſelfe to be unlawfull. Pag. 5
  • III. Theſis. That Epiſcopall Prelacy is acknowledged by Proteſtant Divines of remote Churches to be according to the Word of God, and their conſent therein unto Primitive Anti­quity. Pag. 7
  • IV. Theſis. That Epiſcopall Government in the Church is, in reſpect of the neceſſary uſe thereof, the Beſt, by the conſent of Proteſtant Divines of other reformed Churches. Pag. 9
  • V. Theſis. That the moſt Proteſtant Churches doe profeſſe and practice a Prelacy over Presbyters. Pag. 13
  • VI. Theſis. That the former Reaſons of Confeſſions of Pro­teſtant Divines, concerning the neceſſity of Epiſcopall Prelacy, for preſervation of concord and preventing of Schiſme, is correſpon­dent to the judgement of Antiquity. Pag. 14
  • VII. Theſis. That Biſhops primitively were not onely the chiefeſt Champions for the Chriſtian Faith, but alſo the greateſt adverſaries to Romiſh Popedome, as have alſo our Engliſh. Pag. 16
  • VIII. Theſis. That to be of Apoſtolicall Inſtitution argueth in it a divine Right by the confeſſion of excellent Divines of the Reformed Churches. Pag. 18
  • IX. Theſis. That no Ancient Father abſolutely denyed the Apoſtolicall Originall of Epiſcopacy, no not the objected Hie­rome, who will ſhew himſelfe a manifeſt Patron thereof. Pag. 19
  • X. Theſis. That Clement an Apoſtolicall Diſciple, to whoſe arbitrement both our Oppoſites and we offer to yeild our ſelves doth patronize Epiſcopacy, as being Apoſtolicall. Pag. 21
  • XI. Theſis. That other Primitive Fathers before Hierome did unanimouſly teſtifie an Apoſtolicall Light of Epiſcopacy. Pag. 24
  • XII. Theſis. That the Apoſtolicall Antiquity of Epiſcopacy is confeſſedly proved out of Ignatius. Pag. 26
  • XIII. Theſis. That Antiquity hath given us Rules of Reſo­lution for the knowledge of any Apoſtolicall practiſe; which may ſerve in the caſe of Epiſcopacy. Pag. 27
  • XIV. Theſis. That Proteſtant Divines of other Reformed Churches have held it moſt equall to be directed by the judge­ments of Ancients for a proofe of a practiſe Apoſtolicall. Pag. 28
  • XV. Theſis. That Maſter Beza himſelfe is challengeable to yield unto an Apoſtolicall right of Epiſcopacy from his owne for­mer confeſſion. Pag. 30
  • XVI. Theſis. That the teſtimonies of Nazianzen and Au­guſtine are unworthily objected to the contrary. Pag. 30
  • XVII. Theſis. That Timothy and Titus both had a Prelacy over Presbyters notwithſtanding the objection of the community of names of Biſhops and Presbyters is ſufficiently confeſſed by Proteſtant Divines of remote Churches. Pag. 32
  • XVIII. Theſis. That Timothy and Titus have had a Pre­lacy as Biſhops over Presbyters in the Apoſtles times, notwith­ſtanding the Objection, that they were called Evangeliſts accor­ding to conſent of Proteſtants of Reformed Churches. Pag. 34
  • XIX. Theſis. That Antiquity taught an Epiſcopacy both in Timothy and Titus. Pag. 36
  • XX. Theſis. That our Oppoſites firſt Expoſition, which inter­preteth the Angell to meane the whole Church and Congregation is notably extravagant. Pag. 38
  • XXI. Theſis. That our Oppoſites ſecond Expoſition of the word Angell to ſignifie onely the Order and Colledge of Preſ­byters is erroneous, notwithſtanding the Arguments of our Op­poſites to the contrary. Pag. 39
    • The Anſwer to the firſt Argument. Pag. 39
    • To the Second. Pag. 39
    • To the Third. Pag. 41
    • To the Fourth. Pag. 42
    • To the Laſt. Pag. 43
  • XXII. Theſis. That our Oppoſites third Expoſition of the word Angell to ſignifies one onely Paſtour in the Church of E­pheſus is extremely now and naughts.
  • XXIII. Theſis. That by the word Angell of Epheſus to ſignifie a ſingular and individuall Paſtour having a Prelacy o­ver Presbyters is proved by a large conſent of Proteſtant Divines without Exception judicious and ingenuous. Pag. 45
  • XXIV. Theſis. That Antiquity held not the word Angell, (whereof we treat) to be taken collectively for a Multitude of Paſtours. Pag. 48
  • XXV. Theſis. That the word Angell in other places of the Revelation is commonly, if not alwaies individually taken. Pag. 48
  • XXVI. Theſis. That by Angell is meant individually one Biſhop, is demonſtrated by Hiſtoricall learning without contra­diction. Pag. 50
  • XXVII. Theſis. That Chriſt himſelfe ſhewed his approbation of Prelacy, which the foreſaid Angells had in their ſeverall Churches. Pag. 52

The judgement of Proteſtant Di­vines, of remote Churches, as well ſuch, as were the firſt Reformers of Religi­on, as others, after them, in behalfe of Epiſcopall degree in the Church.

THis they performe, both by their direct and ingenious confeſſions, and after by ſound and ſolid proofes, ſo farre as to ſhew Epi­ſcopall Prelacie to be According to Gods Word, as alſo to acknowledge the ſame for uſe to be the Beſt kinde of Eccleſiaſticall Government. We are, in the firſt place, to try their plaine confeſſions concerning the ſaid Prelacy, as well in ſpeciall, for our Engliſh, as touching Epiſcopacy in generall, in what Orthodox Church ſoever, and afterwards to adjoyne the proofes.

I. THESIS. That our Engliſh Epiſcopacy hath beene juſtified by the confeſſion of the moſt learned Proteſtants of remote Churches, in ſpeciall by the Church of Geneva.

OUr Epiſcopall Prelacy we are ſure was profeſs'd, and practic'd by Biſhops.

1. In the dayes of King Edward the 6th, who as they were the principall Authors of the Reformation of our Proteſtant Re­ligion,2 ſo did ſome of them ſeale the truth of their profeſſion with their bloud, and have therefore beene with others thus extoll'd by that golden mouth of the French Church(a)(a)Moulin epiſt. ad epiſc. Win­ton Quorum Martyrum ha­bemus ſcripta, & meminimus geſta, ac zelum; nullá ex parte inferiorem zelo praeſtantiſsimo­rum Dei ſervo rum, quos Ger­mania, aut Gal­lia tulit: hoc qui negat, opor tet ut fit vel ïmprobè vecors, vel gloriae Dei ïnvidus, vel ce­rebroſâ ſtolidi­tate caliget in clarâ luce. Maſter Moulin ſaying, That they were for zeale nothing inferiour to the moſt excellent ſervants of God, that Germany or France ever had; which (ſaith he) none will deny is ſo, if not wilfully ſtu­pid, and blinded in day-light. Yea, and touching thoſe then Archbiſhops and Biſhops,(b)(b)Bezae Re­ſponſ ad Sarav. de Miniſt. gra­dibus, c. 18 p. 303. Quod ſi nunc. Anglica­nae Eccleſiae in­ſtauratae ſuorum Epiſcoporum & Archiepiſcoporum authoritate ſuffulta praeſtant, quemadmodum hoc illi noſtrâ memoriâ contigit, ut ejus ordinis homines non tantùm inſignes Dei Martyres, ſed etiam praeſtantiſſimos Paſtores, ac Doctores habuerit Beza for the Church of Geneva. It happened in our memory, that ſhe (ſpeaking of our Engliſh Church) hath had men of that calling, not onely conſtant Mar­tyrs of God, but alſo excellent Paſtours, and Doctors.

2. In the dayes of Queene Elizabeth, Calvin the moſt lu­ſtrious ſtarre of the Church of Geneva doubted not to inſtile Archbiſhop Cranmer(c)(c)Calvin epiſt. Cranmero, Te praeſertim (Ornatiſſime Praeſul) qui altiori in ſpecula ſedes, in hanc curam incumbere neceſſe eſt. Scio non ita unius An­gliae haberi abs Te rationem quin univerſo orbi conſulas. A moſt accompliſh'd Prelate, (ſaith he) who hath the cure, not onely of England, but alſo of the whole Chriſtian world, which he did to the dignifying of the go­vernment of our Engliſh Church; and no marvell, ſeeing that he durſt profeſſe to yeild, in behalfe, even of Popiſh Biſhops, upon condition, that renouncing the dependance upon the Pope, and acknowledgement of Chriſt as their onely Head, with profeſſion of his Truth(d)(d)Calvin. tom. 7. ad Sadoletum, & de neceſſitate reformandae Eccleſiae. p 69. Verùm talem nobis ſi contribuant Hierarchiam in quâ emineant Epiſcopi, ut Chriſto ſubeſſe non recuſent, ut ab illo tanquam ab unico capite pendeant, & ad ipſum referantur, in quâ ſi fraternam charitatem inter ſe colant, & non alio modo quam ejus veritate colligati, tum verò nullo non Anathemate dignos fatemur ſi q­erunt, qui eam non reverenter & ſummâ cum obedientiâ obſervent. Then ſhall we profeſſe all them (ſaith he) who ſhall not reverently and willingly ſubmit to their government, to be worthy of whatſoever Anathema or curſe. So he, even in his Tractate of reformation of the Church. At what time alſo Beza after his congratulating the reſtitution of our Proteſtant Religion in England, earneſtly de­ſired the whole Clergy under the government of Grindall then3 Biſhop of London, to(e)(e)Beza ad Grindal Epiſt. 23. ut omnibus praeſulibus ſuis ex animo obſe­quantur: ma­jori poenâ digni ſunt qui Autho­ritatem Tuam aſpernabuntur. Idem rurſus ad Sarav. upon the conſiderati­on of the Go­vernment by Arch-Biſhops and Biſhops. Fruantur ſane iſtâ Dei benefi­centiâ, quae uti­nam ſit illi na­tioni perpetua. ſubmit unto him, holding him wor­thy of much puniſhment who ſhould deſpiſe his Authority. Yea, and ſo well did he approve of the then government by Arch-Biſhops and Biſhops, as to wiſh it might be perpetuall unto them. This is cited by the Author of the Survey of the preten­ded holy diſci­pline, &c. Be­za apud Sara­via de Miniſt. gradibus. p. 343. c. 21. Nedum, ut quod falſiſſi­ & impuden­tiſsimè nonnulli nobis objiciunt cuiquam uſpiam Eccleſiae ſequendum noſtrum peculiare exem­plum praeſcribamus, ìmperitiſſimorum illorum ſimiles, qui nihil niſi quod ipſi agunt, rectum putant.Sadell likewiſe, who is ſufficiently commended by his excellent writings in defence of the Proteſtant Religion, did joyne together with Beza in an Apology to vindicate themſelves from a ſiniſter report, as if they had detracted from the Right of Government by Arch-biſhops and Biſhops, avouching the ſame aſperſion to have beene a moſt impious ſlaun­der. And(f)(f)Pet. Martyr Epiſt praefix. Juelli Apol. Ampliſſime Praeſul, & Domine mihi quotidie etiam atque etiam obſervande. Biſhop Juell, how was he honoured by Peter Martyr, calling him A moſt renowned Prelate; and by Sib­brandus**Sibrand contra Grotium p. 183. citatus à Ni­cholao Videlio, lib. de Epiſcopat. Conſtantini magni p. 25. Lubbartus, entitling him The Ornament not onely of England, but alſo of the whole world.

(g)(g)Zanchius in Epiſt. ad Eli­zab. Angliae Regin. Cogitet Tua Majeſtas in hoc omnem Tuam curam, potentiam, & authori­tatem intendere, ut Imprimis Epiſcopos habeas pios, & in Sacris literis eruditos ſicut Dei be­neficio habes quamplurimos, eoſque foveas & audias.Hierom Zanchee, one in the opinion of our Oppoſites (we doubt not) worthily renowned, in his Letters to Queene Elizabeth, he exhorteth Her Majeſtie with an Imprimis, and eſpecially to extend her care, power, and authority, to have godly Biſhops, skilfull in holy Scriptures, of which ſort (ſaith he) by the bleſſing of God you have already very many: and to che­riſh and heare them. (h)(h)Idem Epiſt. Edmund. Grindallo Epiſcop. non poſſum non gratulari novam & ampliſſimam dignitatem: quoniam iſta ſunt di­vinae benedictionis Teſtimonia & conſtantis Tuae in Deum pietatis quâ ejus beneficentiâ cura Tua magis magîſque in verâ Religione & pietate promoveri poſſit.Alſo in his Epiſtle to Arch-biſhop Grindall, upon occaſion of his remove to Canterbury, he ex­preſſeth his joy for that acceſſe of dignity, as a teſtimony of Gods love towards him, and a meanes whereby he might more and more promote Gods true Religion. Our Oppoſites ought not to be offended with us, although we offer unto them next an Author, ſomewhat diſtaſtfull unto them at the firſt hearing,4 namely(i)(i)Saravia de Miniſt. gradi­bus in Epiſt. ad Lectorem. Saepe miratus ſum eo­rum ſapientiam, qui Anglicanae Eccleſiae reſti­tuerunt divinum cultum, & ita ſe attempè­rârunt ut nuſ­quam deceſsiſſe ab antiquâ & priſcâ Eccleſiae conſuetudine re­prehendi poſſint. Et in Epiſt. De­dicatoriâ. In parte foelicitatis Regni Anglica­ni numerandum eſt, quód hunc Ordinem Epiſco­porum retinet. D. Saravia, becauſe as he is a Religious Divine, and as un-Epiſcopall as any other, ſo alſo is he as Orthodox; every where, as they know, inveighing againſt the Romiſh Hierarchie; he confeſſeth himſelfe to wonder at the wiſedome of the Reformers of Religion in England, ſo as not any where deviating from the antient Church of Chriſt: and concludeth with this Epiphonema, ſaying, I hold it a part of her happineſſe that ſhe hath retained with her the order of Biſhops.

3. In the raigne of King James, that famous(k)(k)Iſaac 'Ca­ſaub. Regem al­loquens, in praefat. ad exercit. Qui Eccleſiam habeas in Tuis regnis partim ſum olim ita in­ſtitutam, partim magnis Tuis la­boribus ita inſtauratam, ut ad florentis quondam Eccleſiae formam nulla bodie propius accedat, quàm Tua: inter, vel exceſſu, vel defectu peccantes, mediam viam ſequuta. Quā mode­ratione hoc primum aſſecuta eſt Eccleſia Anglicana, ut illi ipſi, qui ſuam foelicitatem invi­dent, ſaepè tamen ex aliarum comparatione illam cogantur laudare. Idem Epiſt. ad Card. Peron. Reg. Brit nomine: ſed ex animi quoque ſui ſententia. Certo ac liquido mihi con­ſtat, ſi notae〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉quaerantur, & verè neceſſaria ad Salutem ſpectentur, aut etiam ad decorum Eccleſiae, nullam in orbe terrarum (Deo uni ſit laus & gloria) inventam, quae pro­piùs ad fidem aut ſpeciem antiquae Eccleſiae Catholicae accedat, &c. Iſaack Ca­ſaubon, whom we reckon as the fourth witneſſe from the Church of Geneva, had that eſtimation of our Engliſh Epiſco­pall government, as to confeſſe, That no Church doth come nearer the forme of the Primitive Church, then it doth; ſo farre, that even they who envyed her happineſſe, are notwithſtanding conſtrained to extoll it. He proceeds furthermore to blazon the worthineſſe of it. If (ſaith he) the eſſentiall part of the Church be enquired into, and what either neceſſarily belongeth unto the doctrine of Salvation, or elſe to the decency of the Church, then (prayſed and magnified be God) no Church upon earth can be found, which more profeſſeth the faith, and reſem­bleth the forme of the ancient Catholique Church, then it doth. So he.

But to returne to our French witneſſe again: worthy**Maſter Moulin in his Buckler of Faith, p. 271. Ma­ſter Moulin, in an anſwer to a Papiſt, who upbraided him with the diſcipline of England, doth avouch the dignity thereof, telling him furthermore, That their agreement is ſuch, that England (ſaith hee) hath beene a refuge to our perſecuted Churches, and correſpondently the excellenteſt ſervants of God in our Churches, as Peter Martyr, Calvin, Beza, and Zanchee,5 have often written Letters full of reſpect and amity to the Pre­lates of England. So he.

Laſtly, now under our Gracious Soveraigne King Charles, in the time of Arch-biſhop Abbot, whoſe daily experience did teſtifie the reciprocall correſpondence betweene him, and with other Biſhops and all reformed Churches beyond the Sea. At what time likewiſe Cyrill late Greeke Patriarch of Conſtan­tinople did ſo farre honour both him and our Engliſh Church, as to profeſſe his accordance therewith, more ſpecially then with any other. And if our Biſhops of later date had not beene re­ſpected, then ſurely would not the Divines about Breme in Germany have ſent their controverſies had among themſelves, onely unto certaine Biſhops in England (as they did) to have them moderated by their judgements, not to ſpeake of their dedications of ſome of their Bookes unto Biſhops. Theſe laſt Relations nothing, but the importunity of theſe times, could have extorted from us. Thus much of particular reſpects had in ſpeciall to our Engliſh Epiſcopall Government, by ſingular approved Divines of the reformed Proteſtant Churches. In the next place, as the thread of our method leadeth us, we are to examine what they will ſay touching the unlawfulneſſe, or lawfulneſſe thereof in generall.

II. THESIS. That there was never any viſibly conſtituted Church in all Chri­ſtendome ſince the Apoſtles time for 1500 yeares and more, which held Epiſcopacy in it ſelfe to be unlawfull.

WE are not ignorant that even at this time, all Epiſco­pacy, and Prelacy of any one above Presbyterie, is cryed downe by ſome as unlawfull in it ſelfe,Auguſt. de Aërio lib. de Haereſi cap. 53. Quia non potuit Epi­ſcopus ordinari, dicebat Presby­terum ab Epiſco­po nullâ diffe­rentiâ debere diſcerni. notwithſtanding our Oppoſites cannot but know what, beſides Epiphanius, Saint Auguſtine recorded of one Aerius, to wit, that he, be­cauſe he could not obtaine to be made a Biſhop, did therefore teach that there ought to be no difference betweene a Presbyter and a Biſhop. So he: and for that cauſe they liſted him among the erroneous Authors of that Age, but (he being excepted)6 never any viſible Church of Chriſt before him, we adde, not yet any thus proteſted after him, nor before theſe dayes of con­tradiction defended his opinion. Now whether the humour of deſire to rule others, and the unwillingneſſe to be ſubject un­to others, may not equally tranſport ſome Eccleſiaſticks to op­poſe againſt Epiſcopacy, they can beſt judge whom it moſt concernes. We know (beſide infinite others, who have ac­knowledged the lawfulneſſe of Epiſcopacy) ſome Proteſtant Divines of remote Churches, who have fully condemn'd the opinion of Aërius. Three may ſuffice for three hundred if they be learned and judicious Authors, and not intereſted in that which is now called Epiſcopall Policy. (a)(a)Maſter Mou­lin in Epiſt. 3. ad Epiſc. Win­ton. Ab incuna­bulis Aërium damnavi.Maſter Mou­lin commeth on roundly: I have ſince my infancy (ſaith he) abhorr'd the opinion of Aërius. (b)(b)Tylenus in paraeneſ. Ante Aërium de Epi­ſcopis exauto­randis nemo, poſt Aërium ſo­lùm Geneven­ſes ſtudebant.Tyllenus alſo a Divine of the French Church as pertinently and plainly. None ever be­fore Aërius endeavoured the extirpation of Epiſcopacy, nor yet after him any, but ſome of Geneva. What ſome he might meane we know not, but whom he might not meane we have already ſhewne; as Calvin, Beza, Sadel, and Caſaubone, who have given their ample ſuffrages for our Engliſh Epiſcopacy, but onely ſpeake againſt the Romiſh Hierarchie: And now, for the generality of it,(c)(c)Beza de Mi­niſt. gradibus. p. 2. Si qui ſunt (quod ſanè mi­hi non facilè perſuaſeris) qui omnem Epiſco­patûs Ordinem, ut Tu ſcribis, rejiciunt, abſit, ut quiſquam ſa­naementis furo­ribus illorum aſſentiatur. Iidem ſi modò deformatam domum Dei adamuſſim ex verbi divini Regulâ proviribus inſtaurarent, ut Eccleſiae Chriſtianae fidos paſtores, cur non agnoſcamus? obſervemus? & omni Reverentiâ proſequamur? Beza is againe at hand, ſaying, If there be any, as I thinke (ſaith he) there is not, who altogether reject the Epiſcopall Order, God forbid that any of ſound braines ſhould ever aſſent to their furies; and beſides, proteſteth his ac­knowledged obſervance, and all reverence to all Biſhops reform'd. Hitherto againſt the objected unlawfulneſſe of Epiſcopacy in the Church of Chriſt. But this will not ſatisfie ſome men, ex­cept furthermore the lawfulneſſe thereof may appeare in that degree which is called in reſpect of its right, According to the Word of God. It belongeth unto us to ſhew this by the Con­feſſion of Divines of remote Proteſtant Churches, which we are ready to performe, and more too.


III. THESIS. That Epiſcopall Prelacy is acknowledged by Proteſtant Divines of remote Churches to be according to the Word of God, and their conſent therein unto Primitive Antiquity.

LƲther may well be allowed for the fore-man amongſt the Reformers of the Proteſtant Religion,Luther. com. 1. fol. 309. Reſo­lut. ejus ſuper propoſitionibus Lypſiae diſputa­tionibus habitis, concluſio. Probo quam libet civi­tatem habere debere Epiſco­pum proprium jure divino, quod ex Paulo ad Titum oſten­do dicente (Hu­jus rei gratiâ reliqui Te Cre­tae, ut quae de­ſunt corrigas, ut conſtituas ſimplices Preſ­byteros per ci­vitates ſicut Ego diſpoſui Ti­bi, Hos autem Presbyteros fu­iſſe Epiſcopos Hieron. & tex­tus ſequens oſtendit, dicens, oportet Epiſcopum irreprehenſibilem eſſe. who proveth the Prelacy of Epiſcopacy above ſimple Presbyters (for ſo he ſaith) by divine Right; and this he doth in his Tractate called his Reſolution, grounding his judgement upon Scripture, whereof hereafter. Accordingly Bucer, againſt the Pope as Anti-Chriſt:(b)(b)Bucer, de Regno Chriſti lib. 2. cap 12. Ex perpetuâ Eccleſiarum obſervatione ab ipſis Apoſtolis videmus viſum hoc eſſe ſpiritui Sancto, ut inter Presbyteros unus Eccleſiarum & totius Sacri Miniſterii gerat curam ſingulorum, & cunctis praerat aliis quâ ác cauſâ Epiſcopi nomen hujuſmodi Eccleſia­tum Curatoribus eſt peculiariter attributum: tametſi hi ſine Presbyterorum conſilio nihil ſta­tuēre debuerant qui & ipſi propter hanc communem Eccleſiarum adminiſt. rationem Epiſcopi in ſcripturis vocantur. We ſee (ſaith he) by their perpetuall obſerva­tion of Churches, and from the Apoſtles themſelves, that it ſee­med good to the Holy Ghoſt that ſome ſingular one ſhould be ap­pointed among the Presbyters to governe in ſo ſacred an Order, who hath, for the ſame cauſe, the Appellation of Biſhop in Scripture, Scultetus the Divine, Profeſſour at Heidelberg, profeſſing Epi­ſcopall degree to be of divine Right, and profeſſeth to prove it to be ſuch by efficacious reaſons, who in the ſequell of his diſcourſe, will be as good as his word; with whom agreeth that admirable Schollar(c)(c)Iſaack Caſaubon. Exercit. Epiſcopi, Presbyteri, Diaconi apertit Scripturae teſtimoniis ſunt fundati. Ibid Apoſtolorum hodie vicarii ſunt, et ſi non pari pote­ſtate cum Apoſtolis omnes Epiſcopi, ut è B. Cypriano-antea dicebamus. Exercit. 14. Cyprian, Ep. 65. Apoſtolis vicariâ ordinatione ſuccedere Epiſcopos. Iſaack Caſaubon the ornament of Geneva, who held the ſame to be grounded upon the Teſtimo­nies of Scriptures. Theſe may ſerve for the preſent, till we come to a larger conſent.

All theſe and other the former confeſſions of Proteſtant Di­vines are the proper idiom, and language of primitive Anti­quity, teaching thus. Epiſcopacy is by the Ordination of Chriſt. 8So(d)(d)Ignatius il­lam formam E­piſcopalem〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Teſte Sculteto in Titum. Ignatius: and againe,(e)(e)Cyprian E­piſt. 65. ad Ro­gat. Quod ſi­nos aliquid fa­cere contra De­um audemus, qui Epiſcopos facit. Et Epiſt. 27. ad Lapſ. cum igitur di­vinâ lege ſun­data ſit &c. Epiſt ad Cornel. Eccleſiae guber­nandae ſublimem adivinam po­teſtatem. Reverence your Biſhop as Chriſt and the Apoſtles have commanded you. Or thus, To be a divine power, the reſiſtance whereof is againſt God himſelfe: So Cyprian. And thus, God placed Biſhops over his family: So(f)(f)Origen. Tract. in Mat. 31. cognoſcunt Epi­ſcopi quòd hoc non vos ſalvat, quod conſtituit eos Dominus ſuper familiam ejus &c. Origen. And thus, The Apoſtles were made Biſhops by Chriſt, who ordained others (meaning Biſhops) in other places, by whom the Church ſhould be govern'd:(g)(g)Auguſt. in quaeſtion. veter. & novi Teſta­ment. pag. 97. Nemo ignorat Salvatorem no­ſtrum Epiſcopos inſtituiſſe, quando Apoſtoli facti ſunt, qui miſſi ſunt ut mittere poſſint alios; Ipſe enim imprimit Apoſtolos inſtituit Epiſcopos. So Auguſtine. Or thus,(h)(h)Epiphanius adverſus Aërium. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. De Haereſi 75. Biſhops conſtituted over Presbyters, as the Word of God teacheth: So Epiphanius. And thus,(i)(i)Auguſt. lib. 7. contra Donatiſt. cap. 42. De Apoſtolis à Chriſto miſſis, qui­bus nos ſucceſſimus eâdem poteſtate Eccleſiam Dei gubernantes: & de Verb. Domini Serm 24. Qui vos ſpernit, me ſpernit &c. None can be ignorant that Biſhops were inſtituted by Chriſt when he made his Apoſtles, by whom others ſhould be made Biſhops, whom we ſuc­ceed, and (ſpeaking of Biſhops) of whom Chriſt ſaid, he that de­ſpiſeth you, deſpiſeth me: So againe Auguſtine.

Before we end this point we ſhall deſire our Oppoſites to bethinke themſelves what they thinke may ſignifie the ſuffra­ges of the Fathers of the Synod of Calcedon, for Antiquity, one of the firſt foure Generall; And in this generality univer­ſally receiv'd throughout Chriſtendome, for amplitude con­ſiſting of ſix hundred and thirty Biſhops, and for averſneſſe againſt the Pope of Rome, that which undermin'd the very foundation of Romiſh Popedome, which is a pretence of ha­ving beene eſtabliſhed by the divine Authority of Chriſt the univerſall Biſhop of the Church, and equalling another Pa­triarch with him, and ſhewing that all the Primacy which the Pope of Rome had, was but from humane Authority. This(k)(k)Concil Calced, Can. 29. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Councell concerning Epiſcopacy ordain'd, that To depoſe a Biſhop downe to the degree of Presbyter, is Sacriledge.

This ſo great a Harmony, betweene the former Proteſtant Divines, and thoſe eminent Fathers, how ſhall it not ſound delightfull unto every docible and unpreoccupated hearer? Theſe confeſſions notwithſtanding, we have not diſcharg'd9 our Aſſumption, untill we produce their proofes, which is to be perform'd according to our former promiſe, after that we ſhall manifeſt the like confeſſions of Proteſtant Divines and ac­cordance to Antiquitie, in acknowledging Epiſcopacy to be the beſt forme of Government in reſpect of the uſe thereof.

IV. THESIS. That Epiſcopall Government in the Church, is, in reſpect of the neceſſary uſe thereof, the beſt by the conſent of Proteſtant Di­vines of other reformed Churches.

SOme peradventure will conceive, that three at the leaſt be­ing required in the degree of compariſon, to make up a beſt: Therefore our three muſt be taken either for Epiſcopacy, which is a Prelacy of one above more; or Presbytery, which is an equality of moe among themſelves; or that which is cal­led an Independency, of one in each Pariſh without relation to any other. Which miſ-begotten brat was never heard of in ancient times, or approv'd of any latter Church of Chriſt ſince; and indeed is but the erecting of a Pope in every Pa­riſh, whereof ſomething**See here­after. hereafter. It will be ſufficient that we underſtand a beſt in the full latitude with compariſon of whatſoever other.

Our Proteſtant Witneſſes we ranke into two Claſſes; Firſt is the Church of the Lutherans, who were the firſt Reformers of our Proteſtant Religion. (a)(a)Luther: tom. 2 fol. 307. Plus illis tribuo, quàm merentur, qui eos tam ſan­cto & veteri nomine dignor. Lupos enim & canes appellare oportet, & fol. 320. Nemo contra ſtatum Epiſcoporum, & veros Epiſcopos vel bonos paſtores dictum putet quicquid cóntra hos Tyrannos dicitur. Apol. Confeſſ. Aug cap. de numero & uſu Sacramenti. Nos ſaepe proteſtati ſumus ſummâ cum vo­luntate conſervare Politiam. Eccleſiaſticam & gradus in Eccleſiâ factos etiam ſummâ autho­ritate. lib 4. cap. Proteſtant. de unitat. Eccleſ ut ſchiſmata vitarentur acceſſit utilis ordina­tio ut ex multis Presbyteris eligeretur Epiſcopus qui regeret Eccleſiam docendo Evangelium, & retinendo Diſciplinam, ut praeeſſet Presbyteris, &c.If our Reader will be pleaſed but to caſt his eye upon the Marginalls, he may finde out theſe following obſervables, viz. that Luther will be known, when he complained of Biſhops, to have meant over tyrannous (Po­piſh) Biſhops, and them, (as he ſaith) who are unworthy of the10 Holy name of Biſhop; next, that all Proteſtant Churches of Germany in their generall Confeſſions, had (as they ſay) often proteſted their earneſt deſire to conſerve the diſcipline of degrees in the Church by the Authority of Biſhops, whereby to remove diſſenſions and Schiſmes from the Church, Then that(b)(b)Phil Me­lanct Hiſt. conf. Aug. pag. 365. Teſte Sarav. de Miniſt. gradi­bus cap. 16. Quanquam ut ego quod cenſeā dicam, utinam poſſem admini­ſtrationem reſti­tuere Epiſcopo­rum. Video e­nim qualem ſi­mus habituri Ec­cleſiam diſſolu­ politiâ Eccle­ſiaſticâ. Video poſtea futuram Tyrannidem multò intolera­biliorem, quàm unquam fuit, nihil conceſsi­mus praeter ea Lutherus cen­ſuit eſſe red­denda. Melancthon ci­tat Bucerum diſciplin cleric. Quia omnino neceſſe eſt ut Cle­rici ſuos habe­ant Curatores atque Cuſtodes inſtaurandos, ut Epiſcoporum, ita & Archiepiſcoporum, alio­rumque omnium, quibuſcunque nominibus cenſeantur poteſtas & animadverſio, ne quis omninò fit in hoc ordine〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Me­lancthon, by the perſwaſion of Luther, was as much bent for Epiſcopall Government as any, when he burſt out into this expreſſion; I would to God it lay in me to reſtore the Govern­ment of Biſhops, for I ſee what a Church we ſhall have, the Ec­cleſiaſticall Policy being diſſolv'd, I foreſee it will be farre more intolerable then ever it was. There is added to this the ac­knowledgement of Bucer; Holding it neceſſary, that the Cler­gy have thoſe, (ſpeaking of Biſhops) to whom the Authority of the Church is committed: His reaſon, leſt that refractory and diſſolute perſons ſhould be in the Church. Prince Hanolt, after he became a ſincerely profeſs'd Proteſtant and faithfull Prea­cher of the Goſpell, ſpeaking of Biſhops, that would be faith­full in governing the Church:(c)(c)Georgius Princ Anholt. Concion. In praefat. de Ordina­tione Teſte Saravia pag. 267. utinam ſicut gerunt nomina & titulos, ita ſe reipſâ praeſtarent Epiſcopos. Si fideliter Eccleſias regerent, quàm libenter, quantâque cordis laetitiâ, pro Epiſco­pis ipſos habere, revereri, morem gerere, debitam juriſdictionem & ordinationem eis facere, eâque ſine ullâ recuſatione frui vellemus. How willingly, and with what gladneſſe of heart, would we (ſaith he) reverence, obey, and yeeld them their ordination and juriſdiction, the which we and Luther have very often proteſted, both by word and wri­ting.

We now paſſe unto the other Claſſes of Proteſtant Divines, of Reformed Churches, beginning with Calvin himſelfe, who hath a double intuition concerning Presbyteriall Go­vernment. One as it may be conſidered is in an Independency; ſo that every one have a Right of excommunication in him­ſelfe:(d)(d)Calvinus Epiſtol. ad Gaſparum Magnum. uti­le fuit jus excommunicandi permitti ſingulis paſtoribus, nunc ea res odioſa eſt, & facilis eſt tapſus in Tyrannidem, & Apoſtoli alium uſum tradiderunt. this he calleth, unprofitable, odious, and ſuch as eaſily11 turneth into Tyranny, and contrary to that which the Apoſtles taught. Next beholding them in a joynt parity, he relateth the reaſon of the firſt beginning of Epiſcopacy, and ſaith true­ly,(e)(e)Calv. inflit. lib. 4. cap. 2. & Tom. 7. fol. 218. Presbyterum in ſuo numero ex ſingulis civita­tibus unum eli­gebant, cui ſpe­cialiter titulum Epiſcopi da­bant, ne ex ae­qualitate ut fe­ri ſolet, diſſidia naſcerentur. That by the parity and equality among Presbyters, (as it uſeth to be) Schiſmes and diſſentions might ariſe among them. This Parentheſis [as it uſeth to be] which he inſerteth, cer­tainly hath in it a ſting, which pierceth into the bowells of the cauſe. Succeſſour to Calvin was Beza, who thus far ſucceedeth him alſo in his opinion, as(f)(f)Beza de di­verſ. Miniſtro­rum gradibus cap. 23. apud Sarav. p. 386. Ipſâ tandem experientiâ compertum ſu­iſſe, non ſatis virium eos ha­buiſſe ad impro­bos compeſcen­dos; communi­catâ viz: ſingu­lis paſtoribus per vices hujus Primatûs dignitate: Ergo viſum fuit ad unum, & illum quidem totius Presbyterii judicio, delectum trans ferre, quod certè reprehendi non debet cum praeſertim vetuſtus hic mos fuit in Alexandrinâ Eccleſiâ, jam inde à Marco Evangeliſtâ obſervatus eſſet, & rurſus, abſit ut hunc Ordinem, etſi merâ divinâ diſpoſitione non conſtitutum, tamen aut ut te­merè, aut ſuperbè inventum reprehendam, cujus potiùs magnum uſum fuiſſe, quandiu boni & Sancti Epiſcopi Eccleſiis praefuerunt, quis inficiari poſsit? to confeſſe (as he ſaith) from ex­perience, this of the Presbyterian Government, That it being not ſufficient to repreſſe vices, choice was made of one to governe the reſt, as was obſerved anciently (ſaith he) from the Evang. Marke in the famous Church of Alexandria: Againe, ſpeaking of the inſtitution of Epiſcopacy, whatſoever it was, he will be known to abhor & reprehend it, as erected by pride: But why? For none can deny (ſaith he) but that there was great uſe of it whilſt that goodly and godly Biſhops were chiefe over others.

We may well preſume (as was ſaid) that the other part of the miſquoted ſentence of Zanchie is extant in ſome Impreſſion of his Works, wherein he did ſo ſymbolize with the forecited Sentence of Calvin,(g)(g)Citat. per Petrum Moulin: filium Hieron. Zanch. Theſibus de verâ reformandarum Eccleſiarum ratione. Teſtor me co­ram Deo in mea conſcientiâ non alio habere loco quam Schiſmaticorum illos omnes, qui in parte Reformationis Eccleſiarum ponunt nullos habere. Epiſcopos, qui authoritatis gradu ſuos compresbyteros emineant, ubi liquido poſſint haberi. Praeterea cum D. Calv nullo non Anathe­mate dignos cenſeo, quotquot illi Hierarchiae, quae ſe Domino Jeſu ſubmittit, ſubjici no­lunt. Teſtifying before God (for theſe are the words) that he holdeth them Schiſmaticks, who ſhall deter­mine, that in the reſtauration of Churches there ought to be no Biſhops, having authority over Presbyters, where freely they may be had. He proceedeth furthermore, I thinke with Calvin ſaith he, them to be worthy of whatſoever Anathema, who will not12 be ſubject to their government, which ſubmitteth it ſelfe to Chriſt. So he, furthermore concerning the teſtimonies, as I may ſo ſay, of Eccleſiaſticall Government,(h)(h)Zanchius Pag. 7. in ſuâ confeſſione. Quid certius exhiſtoriis, ex con­ciliis, ex omni­um patrum ſcri­ptis, quam illos Miniſtrorum Ordines, de qui­bus dicimus cum totius Reipubl. Chriſtianae conſenſu in Eccleſiâ conſtitutos & receptos fu­iſſe? Quis autem ego ſum qui quod tota Eccle­ſiâ approbat, improbem? neque omnes docti viri noſtri temporis improbare auſi ſunt, quippe quod norunt & licuiſſe haec Ec­cleſiae, & ex pi­etate atque ad optimos fines pro aedificatione e­lectorum ea om­nia fuiſſe per­fecta & ordi­nata: quid quòd in Eccleſiis proteſtantium non deſunt Epiſcopi. Zanchie con­feſſed Epiſcopacy to have beene ordained for the beſt end, to wit, the edification of the Elect. The ſentence of Calvin hath beene formerly alleadged; Unto theſe we adde the ſaying of the Proloquutour in the Synod of Dort, who is rendred unto us, by them that heard him, to have wiſhed, That the Church with them were ſo happy as our Engliſh, by having an Epiſcopall Government among them. This caſe was ſo evident to a late Advocate for Presbyters, Salmaſius by name, that although he relucteth juſtly againſt an irregular Prelacy, yet doth he freely and ingenuouſly grant, That(i)(i)Walo, alias Salmaſius lib. de Epiſe. p. 413. Epiſcopus Eccleſiis regendis unicus praepoſitus eſt qui & Presbyteris pluribus unius Eccleſiae praeeſſet. Bono fine hoc inſtitutum eſſe nemo negat, cum optima ratio fuerit ita inſtituendi. the preferring of one Biſhop in every Church, was inſtituted with beſt reaſons.

Would any ſee more? Then he is to obſerve the Proteſta­tion made by the German Divines in the Auguſtane confeſſi­on, proteſting their deſire for the conſervation of Epiſcopacy; whereof it is teſtified by a(k)(k)Conradus Vorſtius in Apol. pro Eccleſ. Orthodox; de Auguſtan. Confeſſ. pag. 285. In Colloquio Poſſiaceno Auguſtanae confeſſioni per omnia ſe ſubſcribere paratos eſſe, te­ſtati ſunt, praeterquam Articulo doctrinae de Euchariſtiâ, utpote obſcuriùs poſitâ. Theologicall profeſſour, that other Proteſtants were ready to ſubſcribe to the Auguſtane Confeſſion, (per omnia) excepting onely the Article of the Euchariſt, becauſe it was not clearly explain'd: among theſe Proteſtants he names Calvin, Beza, Vermilius, Marlorat, and Zanchius, which probably could not have beene altogether true, if they had beene adverſaries to the foreſaid Proteſta­tion.

Before we can conclude, we returne to Geneva to be ſatis­fied in a maine queſtion; which is, whether the forme of Government in Geneva ought to be preſcribed as a patterne to other Reformed Churches to be regulated thereby: and13 when we conſult with(l)(l)Beza c. 21. pag. 343. apud Sarav. Quod falſiſſimè & im­pudentiſsimè nonnulli nobis objiciunt, cui­quam uſpiam Eccleſiae ſequendum noſtrum peculiare exemplum praeſcribamus, imperitiſſimorum illorum ſi­miles, qui nihil, niſi quod ipſi agant, rectum putant. Beza about this very poynt, he telleth us, that this opinion was imparted unto their Church, but in the name of the whole Church of Geneva rejecteth it as A moſt falſe and impudent exprobration. After this compa­riſon made by weight and ponderation, we ſeeke to try what may be done by computation and numbring.

V. THESIS. That the moſt Proteſtant Churches doe profeſſe and practice a Prelacy over Presbyters.

MAny now look upon our Engliſh Biſhops as birds upon owles, yet not peradventure ſo, as they for ſtrangeneſſe or for reverence; but with left eyes in an opinion of ſingulari­ty and onelineſſe, as a thing not acknowledged in other re­mote and Reformed Churches of Proteſtants; not conſidering what hath beene publiſhed to the world long-agoe, that the word Superintendent is of the ſame ſignification with the word Biſhop: both from the ſame Greeke,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Yet ſome Proteſtant Churches practiſing a Prelacy, vayle it over with the word ſuperintendency: If we would know what,(a)(a)Zanchius in ſuâ confeſſione. fuit mihi prae­terea habenda ratio illarum e­tiam Eccleſia­rum, quae licet Evangelium complexae ſint, ſuos tamen, & re & nomine habuerunt E­piſcopos, quos (mutatis bo­nis graecis nominibus in malè latina) vocant Superintendentes & Generales Superintenden­tes; ſed etiam ubi neque vetera illa bona Graeca neque haec nova malè Latina verba obtinent, ibi tamen ſolent eſſe aliquot primarii, penes quos fere tota eſt Authoritas. Sed cum de rebus convenit quid de nominibus altercamur? Teſte Sarav de Miniſtrorum gradibus, c. 23. p. 365. Zan­chie will ſpeake out, and to the purpoſe, in telling us that E­piſcopi (whom we call Biſhops) and Superintendents are words of the ſame ſenſe and ſignification: and therefore where there is an agreement in the thing ſignified, there ought not to be any al­tercation and ſtrife about words. But what will he ſay to the practiſe? he diſtinguiſheth Proteſtant Churches in this reſpect into three differences, ſome whereof practiſe a ſuperiority of one above the Clergy under the proper name of Biſhops; an­other14 ſort the ſame, but under the name of Superintendents and Generall Superintendents, whom we call Arch-Biſhops. Laſtly, he diſcloſeth a third kinde, (a circumſtance very remarkeable) who although they avoid the Titles of Biſhops or Superin­tendents, yet uſe they to be ſuch primarii, as to ſay, eminent in Prelacy, as in whom (for ſo he ſaith) the whole Authority con­ſiſteth. Now therefore our queſtion muſt be, whether the Church exerciſing Prelacy, or the other, that onely practiſe e­quality exceed in number.

The number of Churches, which had Prelates under the name of Biſhops, and the other of Superintendents (being in ſignification the ſame) ſeemed to Greg. de Valentia the Jeſuite ſo many, that he thought all Proteſtant Churches to have Biſhops.

An excellent ſervant of God Doctor Duraeus, and a zealous hunter after the beſt game, which is, the generall peace of Pro­teſtant Churches among themſelves, hath ſet downe a Cata­logue of the Churches reform'd on both Parties, and reckon­eth (if I be not miſtaken) ſeven Biſhops in the Kingdome of Swede: in Denmarke Biſhops, in other Lutheran Churches Su­perintendents, and in all Imperiall Cities among the Prote­ſtants, beſides divers other reform'd Churches the like; which we ſuppoſe will rather keepe their conformity with England, then taſt new wine with others, ſeeing that, as the Text ſaith,**Luk. 5.39. The old is better: and whether the Epiſcopall forme be not the onely and Apoſtolicall cometh now to be diſcuſſed by in­quiring into Antiquity.

VI. THESIS. That the former reaſons of Confeſſions of Proteſtant Divines, concerning the neceſſity of Epiſcopall Prelacy, for preſervation of concord, and preventing of Schiſme, is correſpondent to the judgement of Antiquitie.

IT would be worth our knowledge to underſtand, that the former Confeſſions of Proteſtants Divines are, in effect, but15 the ecchoings unto the ſentences of ancient Fathers. Among whom, Hierome could tell us,(a)(a)Hieron. in Epiſt. ad Evagr. Omnes Epiſcopi (ubicunque ſunt locorum) Suc­ceſſores ſunt A­poſtolorum. Ad Evagr. Quòd poſteà unus eſt electus, qui prae­poneretur caete­ris, in Schiſmatis remedium fa­ctumeſt, ne quiſ­quam ad ſe tra­bens Eccleſiam Chriſti corrum­pat. That the originall of Epiſco­pacy (which is the placing of one Presbyter in a degree above others) was decreed throughout the whole world, for taking a­way Schiſme: which uſe thereof was held ſo neceſſary in the dayes of Antiquity, that the ſaid Hierome ſpared not to af­firme,(b)(b)Hieron. ad­verſ. Lucif. Ec­cleſiae ſalus ex ſummi Sacerdo­tis dignitate pē­det, cui niſi ex­ors quaedam & ab omnibus emi­nens detur pote­ſtas, tot in Ec­cleſiâ efficientur Schiſmata quot Sacerdotes. That the ſafety of the Church dependeth upon the dignity of a Biſhop, to whom except ſome eminent authority be given, there will be as many Schiſmes, as there are Prieſts in the Church. So he, and before him Tertullian thus,(c)(c)Tertull. lib. de Baptiſmo, Epiſcopus propter Eccleſiae honorem, quo ſalvo ſalva eſt Pax. The Biſhop is for the honour of the Church, which being in ſafety, our peace will be alſo ſafe. But how(d)(d)Nyſſen Hom. in Eccleſiaſt ut Chorus ad Choriphaeum respicit nempè ſuum ductorem, nauta ad Gubernatorem & Acies ad Imperatorem; ita etiam ad Eccleſiamii, qui praeſunt in coetu Ec­cleſiae. Chryſoſtom. orat. in dicta Apoſtoli Omnia in gloriam Dei] Quemadmodum Cho­rus Praecentorem, & nautarum multitudo Gubernatorem requirit ſic & Sacerdotum coetus Pon­tificem, &c. Chryſoſtome and Gregory Nyſ­ſen doe illuſtrate, both affirming the ſame neceſſity of a Bi­ſhop in the Church, as is a Praecentor in a Quire, a Governour in a Campe, and a Pilot in a Ship. By which Epiſcopall order (ſaith(e)(e)Baſil. in Epiſt. ad Eccleſ. Ai. de Epiſcopis Membra Eccleſiae hâc dignitate tanquam unâ quadam animâ in concordiam, & communionem reducantur. Baſil) the Church is reduced as one ſoule into com­munion and concord: yea, and before all theſe;(f)(f)Cyprian. E­piſt. Ʋnde Hereſes, unde Schiſmata, niſi quòd Sacerdoti Dei non obtemperent, qui eſt loco Chriſti Judex. Idem Epiſt. 55. Actum eſt de Epiſcopatûs vigore, & de Eccleſiae gubernandae ſublimi ac divinâ poteſtate, &c. (where he ſpeaketh of himſelfe, and not of the Biſhop of Rome) Cyprian Biſhop and Martyr, complained of ſuch inſolencies of Preſ­byters againſt their Biſhops, as being cauſes of hereſies and ſchiſmes againſt a divine power of Government. So he; Theſe, will ſome ſay, are but their ſayings, and ſhall we therefore thinke that their ſayings were not the ſymbolls and expreſſi­ons of their meaning? but we preſume better of them that are ingenuous, and the rather for their further ſatisfaction which may be had in the next Theſis.


VII. THESIS. That Biſhops primitively were not onely the chiefeſt champions for the Chriſtian faith, but alſo the greateſt adverſaries to Ro­miſh Popedome, as have alſo our Engliſh.

BEfore we can begin the proofe of this Theſis, we are con­fronted by our Oppoſites againſt Primitive Fathers in ſtrange termes,Smectym. in their vindi­cation. Biſhops by advancing the authority of Epiſco­pacy did thereby (ſay they) but plead their owne cauſe, and made a ſtirrop for the Romiſh Antichriſt to mount into his Pontificall ſaddle. So they. Which contumely againſt the reverend an­tiquity, we are loath to call by its proper name; being there­fore not to reprove others, but to prove what we have in hand, which is that ſome of the ancient Biſhops lived in the torrid zone of fiery perſecution, and others in a temperate. Of the firſt ſort we have it confeſſed, That the perſecuting Emperours did, above all others, make their Inquiſitions and exerciſes of their furies moſt eſpecially upon Biſhops; we have it upon record in Cyprian, but much more in other Ec­cleſiaſticall Hiſtories, wherein, as is confeſſed by(a)(a)Brightman. in Apocalypſ. Diocleſiani tēporibus erant a­trociſſimae cla­des, ſed tamen fideles ad extre­mum certamen conſtanter per­ſtitetunt, repor­tantes Trophaea victoriae corpo­ris ſtigmata. Ma­ſter Brightman, although Diocleſian in his Edict, did eſpecially command the deſtruction of all that had taken ſacred Orders, yet in a further(b)(b)Complures Epiſc. inſignes erant in Conci­tio Nicaeno; & rurſus qui hiſto­riam ſcripſit, meminit centum & ſexaginta Epiſcoporum, qui in Sagaſanâ extincti ſunt, & in provinci­as edicto Re­gis proferantur ut delerentur univerſi qui ſa­cros ordines habuerint. ſpeciality the maſſacring of Biſhops; he relateth that one hundred and ſixty of them were martyred in two places; yea, and in the Church of Rome it ſelfe is alſo reckoned the num­ber of 25 Biſhops, who were Martyrs of Chriſt in thoſe primi­tive ages. To fancie that theſe afflicted and perſecuted Mem­bers of Chriſt for their degree ſake, could pride it in their E­piſcopall office, would be held to be but a dreame, they will rather thinke, that if they ſhould prelate it, (as Mariners uſe to frolike it) rather in a calme of tranquillity; but for this alſo we ſhall eaſily ſubſcribe to the judgement of Maſter Beza, who when he was thus poſed, whether he ſhould impute the note of pride unto theſe Primitive ſervants of God, (whoſe names have alwaies beene celebrious in the Church of Chriſt17 (to wit) Baſil, Nyſſen, Nazianzen, Athanaſius, Chryſoſtome, Ambroſe, and Auguſtine, who are knowne to have afterwards had Epiſcopall Government in their ſeverall Churches) an­ſwereth, ſaying,(c)(c)Beza de Miniſtrorum gradibus, c. 25. pag. 543. apud Saraviam. Ne­minem adhuc audivi loquen­tem, neque legē ſcribentem, qui non honorificè, ſicut par eſt, de magnis illis ſuo­rum temporum hominibus ſen­tiat: nempe Nazianzeno, Niſſeno, Baſi­lio magno, Atha­naſio, Cypriano, Chryſoſtimo, Ambroſio, Au­guſtino. I never heard any ſpeake, or read any write otherwiſe then honourably of thoſe men, as was meete. So he, of his time; he could not propheſie of the future. It were good, that theſe who uſe this new and broad language had conſidered,**Iren. lib. 5. adverſus haereſ. cap. 20. That Biſhops were then almoſt the onely ones, who, as occaſion fell out, either pulled the Romiſh Pope out of his Saddle when he was mounted, or elſe pluckt away his Stirrop, that in thoſe times he could not get up. For whereas Popedome, being a double uſurpation one of pleni­tude of Authority,See the booke intituled, The Romiſh Grand Impoſtor, throughout. univerſall over Biſhops; and the other of an infallibility of judgement in determining all Controver­ſies of Faith, it hath beene evidently and copiouſly proved, that the amplitude of his Dioceſſe was limited by three hun­dred Biſhops in the Generall Councell of Nice. His preten­ded right of Univerſall Authority was contradicted an. 553. by ſix hundred Biſhops in the Councell of Calcedon, where we finde it accounted to be but of Humane Authority againſt his pretended univerſall challenge of appeale to Rome, it was twice contradicted by Biſhops in two Councells in Africk; and as for his pretended infallibility in judgement, the 165 Biſhops in the Councell of Conſtantinople condemned the De­cree of Pope Vigilius; and in the ſixth and ſeventh Councells, conſiſting in all of 603 Biſhops, was Pope Honorius condem­ned for an Heretique. We may not omit the mention of ſin­gular perſons Biſhops, who have had their ſolemne oppoſiti­ons againſt the Popes of their times, Cyprian, Athanaſius, Ba­ſil, Cyrill of Alexandria, Hilary of Arles, and Auguſtine, with many others. But what talke we of Biſhops in other Sees? ſeeing we have in the See of Rome it ſelfe one, who did prejudice the pretended and uſurped dignity and authority of all his Succeſſours in condemning the pretence of the high­eſt Title and Prerogative which the Pope doth challenge; which is to be called, The Ʋniverſall Biſhop of Chriſts Church, by judging it to be proud, prophane, and blaſphemous, and18 the Biſhop we meane was Pope Gregory the firſt, whom Mr. Brightman hath adorned with this Encomium,**Mr. Bright­man, in Apoc cap. 8.13. cited hereafter. The fly­ing Angell mentioned, Apoc. 8.13. whoſe luſtre, ſaith he, God would uſe for the Church. As for our Church of England ſince the Reformation, it hath beene conformable to the Primitive. Surely greater faithfulneſſe could not be ſhowne then in the ſeale of Martyrdome, nor more oppoſition to Popedome, then to cut off all dependence upon it by the necke ever ſince, not this more by any then in Biſhops, as our Eccleſiaſticall monu­ments have recorded; not to mention the writings publique in confutation of all Popiſh errours and Hereſies, onely let it be lawfull for us to point at, the laſt Synod and Convocation was vehement againſt Popery, as (for this is ſpoken by him that was abſent from it) any one may read. After theſe Con­feſſions of Proteſtant Divines we are to aſcend higher to our proofes, for evincing the ſame to be according to the word of God, as Apoſtolicall; firſt from Antiquity, and after from the word of God it ſelfe.

Our firſt proofe, that Epiſcopacy is according to the word of God, by manifeſting it to have beene of Apoſtolicall Inſtitu­tion by neceſſary reaſons.

VIII. THESIS. That to be of Apoſtolicall Inſtitution, argueth in it a divine Right, by the Confeſſion of excellent Divines of the Reformed Churches.

FRom the Church of Geneva, we have before us Mr. Beza to deliver his owne words. (a)(a)Beza tra­ctat. de Miniſt. gradibus c. 23. Certè ſi ab ipſis Apoſtolis eſſet profecta haec mutatio, non vererer illam ut caeteras Apoſtolicas Ordinationes divinae in ſolidum diſpoſitioni tribuere.Surely if Epiſcopacy had proceeded from the Apoſtles, I would not doubt to aſcribe un­to it a divine Ordinance. So he. This is plaine; Second­ly, From the Churches within the Palatinate Scultetus by name, argueth accordingly. (b)(b)Scultetus obſervat in Tit. eſſe jutis divini. Ratio. Apoſtolos praefixiſſe Presbyteris Epiſcopos.The Apoſtles placed Biſhops19 above Presbyters, and therefore is Epiſcopacy of divine Inſtituti­on. A third, property call'd Salmaſius, out of the Univerſity, and Church of Leiden in the Low-Countries, one of great fame, and a profeſs'd friend unto our Oppoſites; and not­withſtanding confeſſeth, ſaying,(c)(c)Walo alias Salmaſius lib. de Epiſc. pag. 422. Inſtitutio Epiſ­copi ſi ab Apo­ſtolis, eſt Jure Divino. If the Inſtitution of Epiſ­copacy (ſaith he) be from the Apoſtles, then it is of divine Right. So they. Certainly, becauſe what power was ordained by the Apoſtles proceeded from the Spirit of God: like as was their decree againſt Strangled and Bloud, their Holy-kiſſe, their Agapae, and the like in their firſt Inſtitution.

And although theſe were abrogated in time, yet the neceſſi­ty of perpetuating Epiſcopacy ſtandeth upon two grounds, one is the firſt reaſon of inſtitution thereof, which was, for a­voyding Schiſme; the other was, the univerſall continuance thereof from Age to Age, upon experience of the ſame rea­ſon: which as we have heard, hath beene held moſt reaſon­able to almoſt all Proteſtant Divines of remote Churches. Now therefore, that which we are to make good is onely our Aſſumption, to wit, that Epiſcopacy was of Apoſtolicall In­ſtitution, then which nothing almoſt can be more evincible, if teſtimonies from Antiquity, evidences out of Scriptures, and upon both theſe, the confeſſions of Proteſtant Divines of the Reformed Churches may be held ſatisfactory, our firſt endeavours concerning Antiquity, for this performance muſt be to remove objections which our oppoſites caſt in our way. The onely peremptorily objected Ancients are theſe two, Hieron, and Clement, both whom we are now to ſalute.

IX. THESIS. That no Ancient Father abſolutely denyed the Apoſtolicall Ori­ginall of Epiſcopacy, no not the objected Hierome who will ſhew himſelfe a manifeſt Patron thereof.

THe objected ſentence of(a)(a)Hieron. in 1. ad Tit. Sicut Presbyterī ſci­ant ſe Eccleſiae conſuetudine iit, qui ſibi praepoſiti ſunt eſſe ſubjectos; ita Epiſcopi noverint ſe magis conſuetudine, quam dispoſitionis Dominicae veritate Presbyteris eſſe majores, & in com­muni debere Eccleſias regere. Hierome, ſaying, concerning Epiſcopall Prelacy, That it is rather by the cuſtome of the20 Church, then by the Lords diſpoſall, is confeſſed by the Theo­logicall Proteſtant Profeſſour in the Univerſity of Heidelberg to be underſtood,(b)(b)Scultet. obſervat in Tit. c. 8. Niſi fortè conſuetudinem Eccleſiae pro con­ſuetudine Apo­ſtolicâ, et diſpo­ſitionis Domi­nicae veritatem pro inſtituto Chriſti capiat. by the decree of the Lords diſpoſall; the immediate ordinance of Chriſt, in his dayes upon earth, and affirming the Cuſtome, happily, to have meant the Apoſtolicall cuſtome after they began the forming and framing of the Churches. However, for this one place objected againſt us, we have many moſt evident Teſtimonies out of Hierome him­ſelfe, to prove the firſt inſtitution of Epiſcopacy to have been indeed Apoſtolicall.

Firſt is from the originall occaſion, whereunto he alludeth, even the contention in the Church of Corinth, when(c)(c)Hieron. in 1 Tit. Ante­quam Diaboli inſtinctu ſtudia in Religione fierent diverſa in­ter populos, E­go ſum Pauli, Ego Apollinis, Ego Cephae, communi conſi­tio Presbyteris Eccleſiae guber nabantur poſteà autem in toto terrarum orbe decretum eſt ut unus ex Presby­teris electus ſu­perponetur caeteris. ſome held of Paul, ſome of Apollo, ſome of Cephas, whereof it is confeſſed by the forecited Palatinate Doctour,(d)(d)Scultetus in Tit. Hoc coep­tum eſt viventibus Apoſtolis, prior Epiſtol. ad Corinthios nos dubitare non finit. That the words of the Apoſtle will not ſuffer me (ſaith he) to doubt, but that alteration was made in the dayes of the Apoſtles, and his confirmation is as doubtleſſe; namely, becauſe no man can pro­duce any other originall of the queſtioned Schiſme and con­tention. This is a chiefe poynt, and therefore we deſire to heare what(e)(e)Videlius in Epiſt. Ignat. ad Philadelphenſes, cap. 14. Diſcrimen illud Presbyterorum & Epiſcopi ut ex pluribus Epiſtolarum locis apparet, tempore Ignatii fuit, etenim illud valde maturè ipſorum Apo­ſtolorum temporibus in Eccleſiam irrepſit ſtatim poſt quam dici coeptum eſt. Ego ſum Pauli, Ego Cephae, &c. Teſte Hieronymo in Titum. Vedelius the Divine Profeſſour in Geneva will ſay unto it. He handleth the matter accurately, which is to be reſerv'd to its proper place. In ſumme out of Ignatius the diſciple of the Apoſtles he ſheweth the difference of Biſhop and Presbyter begun timely in the Church even preſently after the contention to the Corinthians, whereof it is ſayd, ſome held of Paul, and ſome of Apollo, and ſome of Cephas.

Secondly, Hierome granteth in generall, yet diſtinctly of Biſhops,(f)(f)Hieron. in Epiſt. ad Euagr. Omnes Epiſcopi (ubicunque ſunt locorum) ſucceſſores ſunt Apoſtoli. That they are the Succeſſours of the Apoſtles.

Thirdly, yea he ſheweth who were Succeſſours in the very dayes of the Apoſtles, reckoning among others,**As they are ſet downe in their divers Titles in his Booke, De Eccleſiaſticis ſcriptoribus. Timothy, Titus, Polycarpus, and Euodius.


Fourthly, He relateth who were firſt Biſhops of all others after them, to wit,(g)(g)Idem de ſcript. Eccleſ. Jacobus minor Hieroſolymita­nus Epiſcopus, Marcus Eccle­ſiae Alexandri­nae primus E­piſcopus. James of Hieruſalem, and Marke of Alexandria.

Fifthly,(h)(h)Idem Epiſt. ad Euag. 58. Aaron & filii ſummi Sacerdo­tes & ut Aa­ron, Eleazar, & Levitae, juxta traditiones Apoſtolicas hoc ſunt Epiſcopi, Presbyteri, & Diaconi. he alleadgeth the Analogy betweene Aaron and his ſonnes in reſpect of the Levites with Biſhops and Preſ­byters, from (as he ſaith) Apoſtolicall tradition.

Sixthly, the(i)(i)Idem ad Rupert. ad­verſ. Vigilant. Miror ſanctum Epiſcopum in cujus parochiâ Presbyter eſſe dicitur, acquieſcere furori ejus, & non virgâ Apoſtolicâ & ferred confringere vas inutile. Epiſcopall part of Excommunication a­gainſt Vigilantius he calleth His Apoſtolicall Iron Rodde. So Hierome. It were incredible if that all theſe Apoſtolicall Re­lations concerning Epiſcopacy, ſhould not amount unto ſo much as to make up an Apoſtolicall Inſtitution thereof.

The ſecond objected Father is Clement, whereof their ſuc­ceſſe will be no better, if not much worſe.

X. THESIS. That Clement an Apoſtolicall Diſciple, to whoſe arbitrement both our Oppoſites and we offer to yeeld our ſelves, doth patro­nize Epiſcopacy, as being Apoſtolicall.

WEe are earneſtly called upon to hearken unto Clement talking of a Prophecy of a future contention which ſhould happen about the name of Biſhop. Next,Smectym. vind. pag. 136. That there is no peece of Antiquity of more eſteeme, then the Epiſtle of Clement unto the Corinthians, Then; That this was brought to light by a learned gentleman M. Patrick Young; and laſtly for the mat­ter it ſelfe, That there is a common and promiſcuous uſe of the word Presbyter and Biſhop.

We ſhall anſwer punctually to every one, viz. The Pro­phecy maketh for us, the Epiſtle much more, the Publiſher alſo as much as can be deſired, and that Objection of the indiffe­rency of the Words of Biſhop and Presbyter is ſcarce worthy the mention.

We begin with the Prophecy. The Prophecy was onely,22 that there ſhould be in time to come, a contention about the word Biſhop. If we ſhould aske our Oppoſites, when this con­tention was firſt knowne in times of old, they would be loth to tell us, knowing right well, that it was firſt rayſed by one Aërius, of whom Epiphanius and Auſtin have**See above. told us, that he broke out into Schiſme, and**See above. becauſe he could not obtaine to be made a Biſhop, did therefore ſpurne againſt Epiſcopacy, teaching, ſaith Saint Auſtin, that there ought to be no difference betweene Biſhops and Presbyters; therefore thus they may ſee the Prophecy fulfilled, both when, and in whom, if they like it. But if any ſhall boaſt, that it is fulfilled now by their pre­ſent Oppoſalls againſt Epiſcopacy, after that it hath had ap­probation with a continuall uſe univerſally in the Churches of God: then have we nothing elſe to reply, but what the ſpirit of God, from the pen of the holy Apoſtle, putteth in our mouth; If any be contentious (ſaith he) we have no ſuch cu­ſtome, nor the Churches of God, whereby the wilfully conten­tious maketh himſelfe an adverſary to the Churches of God, and conſequently no way acceptable to God himſelfe.

The ſecond poynt which we are to diſcerne, is that, which they call identity of names of Biſhops and Presbyters: they ſhould have called it community of names, eſpecially know­ing that there is no more identity in the words Presbyters and Biſhops, then there is betweene the letters of P. and B. but this was a lapſe; Therefore to our matter in hand. We an­ſwer, that meere names and words make but verball conſe­quences, to which we oppoſe a reall and Logicall conſequence à paribus, thus; for of the very Apoſtles of Chriſt one inſti­led himſelfe Co-presbyter, another himſelfe Presbyter, a third himſelfe Deacon, who are all common names with others that were not Apoſtles; and notwithſtanding; the Apoſtles them­ſelves in reſpect of their Offices and Functions were Gover­nours over Presbyters, which ſheweth that the enterchange­ableneſſe of names cannot conclude an indifferency of degree. But this crambe will be ſodden once againe, when we ſhall be occaſioned to give further ſatisfaction. As for the preſent, it may well be ſaid, what ſhall we need words, when we ſee acts23 and deeds, namely concerning this Clement? not onely that he maintained the diſtinct degrees of Epiſcopacy, but that al­ſo he was diſtinctly above Presbyters, a Biſhop himſelfe. Yet ſhould not our Oppoſites poſe us in that, where(a)(a)Vedelius. Exercit. 8. ad Mariam in Ig­natium, cap. 3. Lino & Cleto defunctis ante Clementem, ſo­lus Clemens ſu­perſtes, ſolus e­tiam Epiſcopi nomen retinuit, tum quia inter adjutores Apo­ſtolorum ſolus ipſe reſtabat, tum quia jam invaluerat di­ſtinctio Epiſcopi & Presbyteri, ita ut caeteris Eccleſiae Roma­nae Presbyteris, qui cum ſolo Clemente eſ­ſent, nomen id non fuerit tri­butum. Vedelius a Profeſſour of Geneva gave them (if they have read him) ſome ſatisfaction; ſhewing, that as ſoone as Clemens remained the ſole Adjutour of the Apoſtles after Linus and Cletus, the name of Biſhop was given unto him, and not attributed to any Presbyter or Presbyters in the Church of Rome. So he. Is not this to the poynt; the diſtinguiſhing of times doth ſalve ma­ny doubts. It is meet now at length we heare Clemens him­ſelfe ſpeake. Clement immediately after his relation of the aforeſaid Prophecy, addeth, ſaying concerning the Apoſtles,(b)(b)Clement ad Corinth. Epiſt. p. 57. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. For this cauſe, they having a perfect foreknowledge, conſtitu­ted the aforeſaid, and left a deſcription of Officers and Miniſters in their courſe, who after that they themſelves ſhould fall aſleep, other godly men might ſucceed and execute their function. So Clement. Whence it is evidently collected, that Biſhops were the ſucceſſours of the Apoſtles, becauſe a Role and Catalogue of Biſhops is frequently had in Eccleſiaſticall ſtories, lineally deduced from the Apoſtles, as the moſt of the learned Prote­ſtants of the Reformed Churches have ever confeſſed. But if our Oppoſites cannot prove the like Catalogue of Presbyters of a primitive and right line of deſcent, then are they wholy to yield the cauſe, and that even by the judgement of Clement, which is now ready to be furthermore confeſſed by the exact learning of the Publiſher of Clement. This Gentleman, our Oppoſites call Learned, we owe him an higher title, even one exquiſitely learned; he commenting upon the ſame Epiſtle of Clement, now objected againſt Epiſcopacy, teacheth that the right word〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉agreeth with the word cenſus in Tertullian, by whom it appeareth, that it was a cuſtome in Apoſtolicall Churches to make a Role (for this word he held not unfit) of the Order of Biſhops to bring them unto their firſt originall, even as, ſaith Tertullian, Polycarpus was from John the A­poſtle in the Church of Smyrna, and Clemens, in the Church of Rome, from Peter, ſpeaking even of this our Clemens, and24 addeth of others; and others (ſaith he) whom the Apoſtles conſtituted Biſhops, from whom others might deduce their tradu­ctions and offsprings; what is, if this be not, an inexpugnable convincement of our Oppoſites to prove Epiſcopacy to be of an Apoſtolicall Ordination. Yet is not this all.

Clement is further repreſented unto us by the ſame learned Publiſher, as one regiſter'd and enroll'd by antiquity as Biſhop of Rome, in the Catalogue of the ſame Biſhops lineally deſcen­ded from the Apoſtles, whether in the firſt, ſecond, or third ranke, it matters not; and the doubt, ſuch as it is, is ſolved in the Margent by our foreſaid Geneva Profeſſour: And for witneſſes hereunto, are cited Optatus, Hierome, Ruffinus, Eu­cherius, and Photius, ſet downe expreſſely in the ſame Booke, which our Oppoſites have objected againſt us; which if you would not ſee, or ſeeing not regard, all we ſhall ſay is, We are ſorry for it: Yet after this our retorſion of their objected Au­thours upon themſelves, we ſhall indeavour to give them fur­ther ſatisfaction from our ſelected and expreſſe ſuffrages of antiquity for the truth of Apoſtolicall ſucceſſion of Epiſco­pacy.

XI. THESIS. That other Primitive Fathers before Hierome did unanimouſly teſtifie an Apoſtolicall right of Epiſcopacy.

NOthing can be more manifeſt for the firſt three(a)(a)Ireneus ad­verſ. haereſ. l. 3. c. 3. Habemus annumerari eos qui ab Apoſtolis inſtituti ſunt E­piſcopi in Eccle­ſiis, qui nihil ta­le docuerunt, & l. 4. c. 43. Qui cum ſucceſſione Epiſcopatùs Chriſma Veritatis certum acceperunt. Ireneus(b)(b)Tertull praeſcript. cap. 31. lib. 4. contra Marcion. cap. 5. Romanae perinde & caeterae extant Eccleſiae, quae ab Apo­ſtolis in Epiſcopatum conſtitutos Apoſtolici ſeminis traduces habeant. Tertullian, and(c)(c)Origen in Johan. de Epiſc. Quod Dominus in Eccleſià ordinavit poſt Apoſtolos, quià in primum ſortiti ſunt locum. Origen, to which we adde(d)(d)Auguſt. Epiſt. 42. Radix Chriſtianae ſocietatis per ſedes Apoſtolorum & ſucceſſio­nes Epiſcoporum certâ per orbem propagatione diffunditur. Au­guſtine, doe all profeſſe themſelves ready to deduce the ſucceſ­ſion of Biſhops in the principall Sees from the dayes of the Apoſtles? next they inſtance in ſome Apoſtolicall Church,25 as namely from Ja. the Bop of Hieruſ. & Mark in Alexandria: What ſay our Oppoſites to this? a principall one(e)(e)Walo alias Salmaſ. de Epiſc. pag. 201. Ab­ſurdum eſt Cle­mentis Alexan­drini commen­tum. & p. 406. Fabula eſt, quam in libre Hypotypoſeω̄r de ordinatio­ne, &c. (Salma­ſius by name) calleth this alleadgement of James a Biſhop falſe and fooliſh: his reaſon was, becauſe James was an Apo­ſtle, and therefore not to keepe reſidence in one See. Firſt, be it knowne, that whatſoever this James was, all Antiquity ren­dereth him unto us a Biſhop of Hieruſalem, (viz.) (f)(f)Euſebius lib. 7. cap. 8: Jacobus, quem Scriptura fratrem Domi­ni nominat, Hie­roſolymae Eccle­ſiae ſedem acce­pit.Eu­ſebius,(g)(g)Epiphan. lib. 2. cap. 2. Haereſ. 65. Ja­cobus primus Eccleſiae Hiero­ſolymitanae. Epiphanius, Hierom,(h)(h)Egeſippus. Apoſtolorum temporibus erat quod Jacobus cognomento Juſtus Eccleſiam Hieroſ. poſt Apoſt. accepit, ſic Hieron. de ſcriptis Eccleſiae in Jacobo Egeſippus,(i)(i)Chryſoſt. Hom. 33. in Act. 1.15. Jacobus Epiſc. Eccleſiae Hiero­ſelymitanae. Chryſoſtom and(k)(k)Ambroſ. in 1 Galat. Jacobus ab Apoſtolis Hieroſol. conſtitutus eſt Epiſco­pus. Ambroſe the(l)(l)Synod. 6. in Trullo can. 32. Ad ſtipulantes. enimvero hic eſt ille Jacobus, qui fixum Hieroſolymis habuit domicilium velut Ordinarius Epiſcopus, quem Paulus primo & ulti­mo ſuo adventu invenit in urbe Apoſtolis ſere omnibus foris Evangelizantibus, Gal. 1. Act. 21. Synod of Trullo: How then ſhall it become us but of yeſterdayes birth, thus to pull reverend An­tiquity, by the beard, and give them the foole? Yet we may not reſtraine rationall men from reaſoning, & therefore we an­ſwer; that were it that Ja. had been an Apoſtle, yet other Pro­teſtant Divines of the reformed Churches, were no fooles, as Dr.(m)(m)Scultetus obſervat. in Tit. Jacobum ab Apoſtolis Hieroſolymorum Epiſcopum ordinatum teſtantur patres quam plurimi. Scultetus,(n)(n)Zuinglius tom 2. de Eccleſ. fol. 48. Apoſtoli Apoſtolorum nomina depoſuerunt, uni ſedi affixi, ſive ſenectâ impediti, aut peregrinationibus afflicti; exem­plum eſto Jacobus minor Hieroſol. Epiſcopus. Zuinglius, and Mr. (o)(o)Moulin lib. de Vatibus cap. 10. Apoſtoli toti Eccleſiae invigilabant in ſolidum & indiviſum, aliquam tamen peculiarem provinciam qui­buſdam Apoſtolis fuiſſe aſſignatam diſcimus ex Sacrâ Scripturâ. Gal 2.7. Moulin each one can anſwer; that notwithſtanding the proper fun­ctions of the Apoſtles, in viſiting of Countries after Coun­tries for converſion of people, and founding of Churches; yet whether enfeebled by Age, or upon extraordinary occaſions, they might fix themſelves to one Province. But yet are we not conſtrained to this Anſwer; but furthermore tell our Oppo­ſites that, (which hath been(p)(p)Archiepiſco­pus Spalatenſis, tomo quarto. judiciouſly proved at large, that this was not James that Apoſtle, but James the Brother of our Lord; and onely an Apoſtolicall Diſciple, which may ſa­tisfie26 our Oppoſites, untill we come to ſpeake of their obje­cted Timothy and Titus, called Evangeliſts; As for Marke if in the line of ſucceſſion of Biſhops of Alexandria, he onely be taken excluſively, yet muſt the Ordinance of that See be ne­ceſſarily held Apoſtolicall.

XII. THESIS. That the Apoſtolicall Antiquity of Epiſcopacy is confeſſedly proved out of Ignatius.

Vedelius pro­feſſor Gene­venſis Apol. pro Ignatio. cap. 1. Ignatius Apo­ſtolorum diſci­pulus erat; quem nemo negabit fuiſſe virum ſanctiſſimum, Eccleſiae Antiochiae Epiſcopum, et qui Chriſti ve­ritati Teſtimonium praebuerit ſaeviſſimo mortis genere ſub Tra­jano Impera torc.Item Exercit prima in Ep. ad Tract cap. 4. § 4. Bellar. lib. 4. de Pontifice c. 25 Quemadmodum Apoſtoli primi erant ſub Chriſto, ita Epiſcopi primi ſub Pontifi­ce. Reſp imo Epiſcopi non ſunt primi ſub Pontifice, ſed ſub Chriſto, niſi Bellarmino Ignatius mentitur, qui Epiſcopum nullam in Eccleſiâ habere ſupra ſe poteſtatem dicit hâc ipſâ Epiſte­ Et Epiſt. ad Smyrnenſes. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Ib. c 9. num 8. Pon­tificii ſtatuunt Papam ut Epiſcoporum Dominum: at Ignatii tempore maximus in Eccleſiâ erat epiſcopus, poſt. Archiep. Item Exercit. 1. cap. 2. num. 4 Ignat. in Epiſt ad Polycarp. Verba e­jus monent Epiſcopum officii ſui. ut agneſcat ſe tum demum aliorum Epiſcopum eſſe quando ipſe Epiſcoporiprincipi pareat: Talibus Epiſcopis & libenter paremus. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉.VEdelius that learned Divinity Profeſſor in the Acade­my of Geneva, in his moſt elaborate worke of Exercita­tions upon the Epiſtles of Ignatius for vindicating his Doctrine from the falſe gloſſes of Bellarmine, Baronius and o­ther Romiſh writers, is copious in manifeſting the direct judgement of Ignatius in many notable points. Concerning Ignatius himſelfe he rendereth him unto us a Diſciple of the Apoſtles, a Biſhop of Antioch, an holy man, and a faithfull Mi­niſter of Chriſt. 2. Concerning the cauſe againſt Bellarmine, and others who will have Biſhops the firſt under the Pope of Rome, as the Apoſtles were under Chriſt, this he confuteth out of Ignatius, who tanght that Presbyters ſhould be ſubject to Biſhops, and Biſhops to Chriſt. 3. Againſt Papiſts who pro­claime the Pope to be Biſhop of Biſhops: he confeſſeth Ig­natius holding the Biſhop in every Church to be the next un­der Chriſt, and chiefe therein. 4. The diſtinction betweene Bi­ſhops and Presbyters, was in the dayes of the Apoſtles: and laſtly profeſſeth for himſelfe and others, that if they had a Bi­ſhop27 ſuch as was Polycarpus (a Diſciple alſo of the Apoſtles) they as Ignatius required of the Smyrnaeans, would willingly, yea, neceſſarily obey him. So he. In this Maxime we behold two Diſciples of the Apoſtles, Ignatius and Polycarpus: both Bi­ſhops diſtinctly from Presbyters and governours: and this in the Apoſtles times. As well therefore may our oppoſites deny themſelves to have depended naturally from their own pa­rents, as Biſhops originally from the Apoſtles. We are to purſue this yet a little further.

XIII. THESIS. That Antiquity hath given us Rules of Reſolution for the know­ledge of any Apoſtolicall practice, which may ſerve in the caſe of Epiſcopacy.

THe rule given by Antiquity, was alwayes held Catholique throughout all Chriſtian Churches of ancient times. St. Auſtins rule may be our firſt direction thus(a)(a)Auguſt. de Baptiſm. contra Donatiſt l. 4. Quod univerſa tenet Eccleſia, nec conſiliis in­ſtitutum, ſed ſemper reten­tum eſt, non niſi Authoritate A­poſtolicâ tradi­tum rectiſſime creditur. Whatſo­ever the Ʋniverſall Church holdeth, and was not inſtituted by Councels, but alwayes kept, that muſt moſt rightly be judged to have beene from Apoſtolicall Authority: So he: which for our purpoſe is as much as Dr. Scultetus moſt judiciouſly and ingenuouſly confeſs'd, that if no Interim can be ſhewne be­tweene the Apoſtles times, and the dayes immediately ſuccee­ding, when there was no Epiſcopall Government over Presby­ters in the Church, then muſt the ſame have proceeded im­mediately from the Apoſtles. We hold this moſt reaſonable; even as if the Queſtion were, what the practice is of the Country adjoyning unto us; Our next bordering neighbours to it, would be the moſt competent witneſſes of their manners, ſuch have beene hitherto our proofes even from ſuch anci­ents, as either had ſeen the Apoſtles, or elſe from ſuch as had beene converſant with the immediate Diſciples of the Apo­ſtles. Our Oppoſites not able to inſtance in the practice of any one Primitive Church to the contrary, onely object a com­munity of names of Presbyters and Biſhops, which ſhadow28 will vaniſh, as ſoone as we ſhall give light by proofes of the A­poſtolicall Originall of Epiſcopacy in divers Theſes follow­ing, by expreſſion, confeſſion and Authorities.

XIV. THESIS. That Proteſtant Divines of other reform'd Churches, have held it moſt equall to be directed by the judgements of Anci­ents for proofe of a practice Apoſtolicall.

(a)(a)Calv. Tract. Theol. Eccleſ. reform. pag. 374 Ireneo & Ori­gini negotium erat cum impro­bis nebulonibus, qui, dum prodi­gioſos errores proferrent in medium, eos ſibi divinitus reve­latos dicebant. Hujus mendacii facilis erat Re­velatio, quòd ad huc ſuperſtites erant multi, qui familiares Apoſtolorum diſcipuli fue­runt, quibus re­cens erat hujus doctrinae me­moria, quam Apoſtoli tradiderunt.WE pleade no other equity in this cauſe, then what Calvin held neceſſary againſt Anabaptiſticall Revela­tions, arguing negatively in this manner. Theſe lyes, (ſaith he) are eaſily confuted, becauſe many were then living who had beene converſant with the Diſciples of the Apoſtles. So he concerning doctrines. How much more convincent muſt this Argument be, when our Queſtion ſhall be of the practice of the Church in the dayes of the Apoſtles? even as is dayly done by all Chriſtian Churches, for proofe of the practice of baptizing of Infants, againſt the ſame Anabaptiſticall Faction; yea, why not alſo for the like Originall practice of Epiſcopacy, even by the confeſſion of Proteſtant Divines of excellent judgement:(b)(b)Beza de Miniſt. gradibus. Pro primatu Ordinis inter Presbyteros communicato ſingulis paſtoribus per vices Primatûs dignitate, quòd viſum fuit hunc ad unum equidem totius presbyterii judicio delectum transferre, certè reprehendi nec poſſit, nec debet cum praeſertim vetuſtus mos fuit primum presbyterum deligendo in Alexandrinâ Ec­cleſiâ celeberrima inde à Marco Evangeliſtâ obſervatus. Beza muſt not be neglected, telling us, that he ought not to neglect the Ordinance of a higher degree of a Biſhop above a Presbyter, becauſe this was an ancient cuſtome in the famous Church of Alexandria. So he. This is well, but he hath not quite told out his tale, which he doth elſwhere out of the words of(c)(c)Beza de Miniſt. grad. cap 23. Quod autem unus electus eſt qui caeteris praeponeretur, in Schiſmatis factum eſt Remedium, ne unuſ­quiſque ad ſe Chriſtum trahens Eccleſiam rumperet; nam & Alexandriae a Marco Evangeliſtâ ad Heracl. uſque et Dionyſiam Epiſcopos, Presbyteri unum ſemper à ſe electum in celſiore gradu collocatum Epiſcopum nominabant. Hierome, ſaying namely, that in Alexandria, from Marke the Evangeliſt, one was elected by the Presbytery,29 and placed in a higher degree, whom they named Biſhop, which was done for a remedy againſt Schiſme. Be it then that touching this Series and order of Succeſſion, as it was ſaid of Saint Marke the Apoſtle, be it taken incluſively, or excluſively; it neceſſarily implyeth, that the Originall of Epiſcopacy was in the dayes of the ſame Apoſtles. Maſter Moulin giveth us a lowder Accent. ſaying, that(d)(d)Moulin Ep. 3. ad Epiſc. Winton. Non ſum adeo oris duriut velim adverſus illa veteris Eccleſiae Lumina Ignati­um, Polycarpum Cyprianum, Au­guſtinum, Chry­ſoſtomum &c ferre ſententi­am, ut adverſus uſurpatores mu­neris illiciti: plus ſemper a­pud me potuit veneranda An­tiquitas, quàm novella cujuſ­quam conſtitu­tio See below. The like ac­knowledgment will Beza give us hereafter. he was never ſo hard faced, as to cenſure theſe Biſhops: Ignatius, Polycarpe, Auguſtine, Chryſoſtome, and other great lights of the Church, to have u­ſurped an unlawfull function in the Church of Chriſt. So he: Alleadging among his ancients Polycarpe, and Ignatius; the firſt of which, as all the learned know, lived in the dayes of the Apoſtles, and as antiquity it ſelfe teacheth, and conſent of Proteſtant Divines of Remote Churches will afterwards grant, to have beene in the dayes of Saint John the Evangeliſt, the Biſhop of Smyrna. The other, viz, Ignatius, was alſo ac­quainted with thoſe, who had beene the Diſciples of Chriſt. Beſides, we have heard(e)(e)Scultet. obſervat. in Titum. c. 8 ſed ego de Jacobo dicam, non illo quidem A­poſtolo ſed Salvatoris noſtrifratre. Sculietus reſolving, that James (not the Apoſtle) the Brother of our Lord, was Biſhop of Hie­ruſalem, from the plentifull teſtimonies of Antiquity it ſelfe. We will conclude with this our proofe from the ſame Anti­quity, but what? even that which(f)(f)Bucer de Anim. curâ et officio paſtor: Apud patres Hieronymo vetuſſiores clara habemus Teſtimonia, in praecipuis Eccleſiis omnibus temporibus Apoſtolorum ita comparatum eſt, ut Presbyteris omnibus quidem officium Epiſcopale fuerit impoſitum Interim tamen Apoſtolorum temporibus unus de Presbyteris electus utque or­dinatus eſt in officii ducem & quoſi Antiſtitem, qui caeteris omnibus praeiit, & curam animarum, miniſteriumque Epiſcopale praecipuè & in ſummo geſſit atque adminiſtra­vit, quod de Jacobo legis, Act. 15. ubi Lucas Jacobum deſcribit ut Antiſtitem totius Eccleſiae omniumque Presbyterorum Bucer finds reſolved upon (as he ſaith) before Hierom. let us take his own words. Di­vine Fathers more ancient then Hierom. Cyprian, Ireneus, Eu­ſebius, and other Eccleſiaſticall Hiſtorians ſhew, That in the Apoſtles times there was one elected, and ordayned, who ſhould have Epiſcopall function, and ſuperiority over Presbyters; ſo30 he, inſtancing in James, of whom we have ſpoken who was Biſhop of Hieruſalem.

XV. THESIS. That Maſter Beza himſelfe is challengeable to yeild unto A­poſtolicall right of Epiſcopacy, from his owne former confeſſion.

MAſter Beza hath already**Vide Theſin 12. confeſſed concerning the famous Church of Alexandria, that from Marke the Evangeliſt, one was choſen to be placed in a degree above Presbyters, called Biſhop, is according to the Teſtimony of Hierom. The ſtory hereof hath beene of late publiſhed by Maſter Selden, the Ornament of our Nation, excellently con­verſant in ancient & exotick Learning, out of the Relation of Eutycheus, that Mark the Ev. placed Anianus Patriarch or Bi­ſhop over Presbyters in the Church of Alexandria. In which book alſo, there is ſet down the full Catalogue of 18 Biſhops ſucceſſively unto Dionyſius, that poſſeſſed the ſame See, which proveth as plainly an Epiſcopall & perſonall ſucceſſion, by an Apoſtolicall Conſtitution from Anianus to Alexandria in a lineall ſucceſſion, as was the filiall and naturall deſcent from Adam to Thara, which makes up eighteene Generati­ons. What need then many words? the moſt Theſes which have beene premiſed, and almoſt all afterwards to be propoun­ded, do declare the ſame by joynt accordance of Proteſtant Divines of reformed Churches, and ſurffages of Antiquity. We haſten to our laſt proofe; but are areſted in our way by our Oppoſites, to anſwer two objected Teſtimonies of Antiquity.

XVI. THESS. That the Teſtimonies of Nazianzen, and Auguſtine are unwor­thily objected to the contrary.

VVE are urged to reckon theſe two excellent Biſhops, although in true Conſtruction they have anſwered for themſelves. Smect. vindi­cat. pag. 88. Nazianzen (ſay our Oppoſites) muſtering up the evils that had happened unto him, reckoneth31 ejection out of his Epiſcopacy, holding it a part of wiſedome to avoid it, wiſhing that there were no〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉place of Pre­ſident-ſhip, or〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉or Tyrannicall Prerogative in the Church, but that they might be knowne onely by vertue, We have alleaged Nazianzen according to the genuine ſenſe; So they; but ſo as uſually in an Heterogeneall ſenſe to inferre a neceſſary abnegation of Epiſcopacy. They who ſeeke ingenuouſly the genuine ſenſe of Sentences in Authors muſt be Janus-like faced, looking〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉backward and forward, both which properties have been wanting to our op­poſites; firſt becauſe before the words objected they lay be­fore their eyes this ſaying of(a)(a)Nazianz. orat. 28. Fuit tempus quando cordati & prudentes viri Epiſcopa­tum in admira­tione habuerunt & deſiderabant. Nazianzen; There was a time when Epiſcopacy was had in great admiration, and deſired of wiſe and prudent men; and the ſecond, as not conſidering that was then ſpoken onely comparatively againſt the Tyrannicall Government of Biſhops, which by all Proteſtant Biſhops hath beene condemned in the popiſh Hierarchie; beſides, that this was but the breath of vexatious paſſion upon occa­ſion of one Maximus, whom Nazianzen calleth a Cynicke and doggiſh Philoſopher, becauſe, whereas he himſelfe had the generall eſteeme in the Church of Chriſt to be, by way of excellence, called〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the Divine, notwithſtanding he was vehemently perſecuted by the ſame unworthy Prelate, and by his circumvention diſturb'd out of his Biſhopricke; and therefore ſenſible of that indignitie, did utter the language of his hearts griefe. But why did not our Oppoſites tell us, that af­ter this ſtorme their fell a calme, when the ſame godly Biſhop was with generall applauſe received to his Biſhoprick againe; but eſpecially we may complaine that they have by their ſi­lence ſmothered Nazianzens judgement concerning the cauſe it ſelfe, which is the right of Epiſcopacy, and which he e­ſteemed the moſt perfect kinde of Government; So he. And is not this as much as to have held it the beſt? which he further declareth in his funerall Orations which he had of 3. famous Biſhops, Baſil, Athanaſius, and Cyprian. Auguſtine writing to Hierome(b)(b)Walo pag. 355. uſus, inquit obtinuit, ut E­piſcopatus Presbyterio ma­jor fit ſecundum honorum voca­bula Ergo uſu & conſuetudine Eccleſiae priùs conſtitutum eſt ut Epiſcopi ma­jores eſſent Presbyteris, tum ex re di­ſtinctâ vocabu­lorum etiam in­ſequuta eſt di­ſtinctio. ſaith, that cuſtome hath obtained, that Epiſcopacy ſhould be higher then Presbytery, according to the honour and32 dignity of the words. Therefore (ſaith Walo) the diſtinction of Epiſcopacy and Presbytery was firſt conſtituted by the Church. So he; whoſe Diſciples our other Oppoſites have learned this leſſon, ſaying,(c)(c)Smect. Vin. dic. pag. 87. If Auguſtine had knowne the majority of Biſhops above Presbyters, to have beene of Divine or Apo­ſtolicall inſtitution, he might have ſaid ſo much; nay, he would have ſaid as much. And we anſwer, if any of our Oppoſites had regarded to ſearch the judgement of Auguſtine, they would not have ſaid thus much, becauſe it is evident that Au­guſtine did ſay as much as they require he ſhould have ſaid, as hath beene ſhewne; ſaying of himſelfe and other Biſhops, thus; we ſucceed the Apoſtles in the ſame power, and that Chriſt inſtituted Biſhops when he ordeined his Apoſtles: that weSee above repeate not his condemning Aërius (as Epiphanius did) for denying Epiſcopacy to have beene an inſtitution Apoſto­licall; and now whether our Reader thinke it more reaſona­ble, to yeild to the ſuppoſition of what Auguſtine would have done, or the manifeſtation what he did, we permit to his judgement. This obſtacle thus remov'd, we fall now upon the laſt proofe.

Our laſt proofe, That Epiſcopacy is of Apoſtolicall right, & ac­cording to the word of God, even from the word of God it ſelfe.

To this purpoſe, two places of Scripture are eſpecially to be alleadged: The Epiſtle of Paul to Timothy and Titus, and the Epiſtles of St. John in the Revelation to the ſeven Chur­ches in Aſia, which are to be diſcuſſed according to our for­mer Method, by the conſonant Teſtimonies of ancient Fa­thers; and conſent of Proteſtant Divines of generall eſteeme and approbation.

XII. THESIS. That Timothy and Titus both had a Prelacy over Presbyters, notwithſtanding the objection of the community of Names of Biſhops and Presbyters, is ſufficiently confeſſed by Proteſtant Divines of Remote Churches.

THere can none be held a more ſufficient witnes with our Oppoſites, then he who hath profeſſedly pleaded this33 cauſe in their behalfe, & notwithſtanding freely, & deerly gran­teth: that(a)(a)Walo lib de Epiſc. per totum cap primum ex­traordinariâ miſſione & fun­ctione p. 70 ſic alii diſcipuli Chriſti & Apo­ſtolorum ejus &c. p. 229. Ti­tum Cretae inſu­lae praefecit Paulus, qui non ſingulari in ali­quâ Civitate E­piſcopus fuit, ſed totam illam provinciam ad tempus procura­ret. Tales fue­runt Apoſtolo­rum auditores & diſcipuli, quique primi eo­rum ſucceſſores. Timothy and Titus were indeed Governours o­ver their Provinces and places, where the Apoſtle had appointed them; and that they had over the Presbyters a kinde of Apoſto­licall authority, which he in his owne judgement calleth extraor­dinary, and we take him at his owne words; in granting that it was ſome way an Authoritative Prelacy, & for the diſtincti­on of extraordinary, it will by and by receive an ordinary, but a true Anſwer: yet we do not ſo much preſſe his confeſſion, as we may do his Reaſons thereof, deducted from the Texts themſelves, concerning their Prelaticall power of ordering matters that were amiſſe. Tit. 1.5. of receiving Accuſation againſt Presbyters, 1 Tim. 5.19. and the like.

But our other Oppoſites will needs poſe us, requiring us to anſwer their firſt Objection, videl. Smect.That the Biſhops, whoſe pedegree was derived from the Apoſtles, were no other then Pres­byters; then, this is proved, ſay they, by two inſtances: The firſt is, The identity of their names, which (quoth they) is a proofe of no ſmall conſequence, we anſwer, yea, rather of none at all: elſe was Maſter Beza but of ſmall judgement, when ſpeaking of the Apoſtolicall Age, he confeſſed,(b)(b)Beza de Miniſt. grad. cap. 22. Habuit jam tum Pres­byterium ſuum aliquem〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Presby­terum, etiam Presbyterorum manente com­muni appellati­one. that the Presbytery had then a Preſident over them, yea, when the com­munity of names So he of Presbyters and Bpſ remayned among them: accordingly as(c)(c)Doctor Reynolds his conference with Hart. c. 8. diviſ. 3. Dr. Reynolds hath ſaid that the Pres­bytery had then one, who was Preſident over them, when as yet the names of Biſhop and Presbyter were the ſame; who further­more concerning the time of diſtinguiſhing the name of Bi­ſhop and Presbyter, whether ſooner or later, here or there, he ſaith. The name of Biſhop was afterwards appropriated by the uſuall language of the fathers of the Church, to him that had the Praeſidentſhip over the Elders, So he, Hereby granting that the Preſidentſhip by Biſhops was of force before the ti­tle and name was appropriated and allotted unto them. If our Oppoſites had acquainted themſelves with theſe learned authors, they would have ſpared their paines in oppugning Epiſcopacy. How much more if they had conſulted with Gods owne Oracle in his word, wherein we finde (which34 formerly we pointed at) that Saint Peter entitled himſelfe a Copresbyter. 1 Pet. 5. & 1. Saint John himſelfe a Presbyter. 1 John 1. And Saint Paul himſelfe thrice (he could then ſtoope no lower) a Deacon. Col. 1.23. & 25. 2 Cor. 3. & 6. Yet notwithſtanding all theſe inferiour appellations they held ſtill the Authority of their Apoſtleſhip: we end this point in hope that our Oppoſites will take out that leſſon, which Calvin learnt from the divine Text in the Epiſtle of Titus: what's that? even our full concluſion in this cauſe. (d)(d)Calvinus in Titum 1.5. Diſ­cimus ex hoc lo­eo non eam fu­iſſe aequalitatem inter Miniſtros, quia unus ali­quis authoritate praeeſſet.We learne from hence, that there was not then an equality (ſaith he) among the Miniſters of the Church; but that one was with Authority placed over others. Their ſecond convincing ob­jection would be diſcuſs'd.

XVIII. THESIS. That Timothy and Titus have had a Prelacy, as Biſhops over the Presbyters in the Apoſtles times: notwithſtanding the ob­jection that they were called Evangeliſts, according to con­ſent of Proteſtants of reform'd Churches.

IN the next place we are to examine the ſecond, and onely other objection, which our Oppoſites enforce in this caſe, to wit,Smectym vin­dicat. pag. 115. that Timothy and Titus, with all other ſuch Diſciples of the Apoſtles, the Aſſiſtants and immediate ſucceſſors, did take care of the Churches, not as properly Biſhops, but as Evange­liſts, who had no ſetled reſidence in any of the Churches: So they; But are encountred with other Proteſtant Divines of remote Churches in good number. For(a)(a)Luther tom 1. fol. 309 Re­ſolutiones ejus ſuper propoſitio­nes Lypſiae diſ­putat. concluſ. 13. Probo quam­libet civitatem habere debere Epiſcopum pro­prium jure divino, quod ex Paulo ad Titum oſtendo dicente, (Hujus rei gra­tià reliqui te Cretae, ut quae deſunt corrigas, & conſtituas Presbyteros per civitates, ſicut ego diſpoſui tibi) Hos autem Presbyteros fuiſſe Epiſcopos Hieroni & textus ſequens oſtendit dicens, Oportet Epiſcopum irreprehenſibilem eſſe, &c. B Au­guſtin. in Epiſt. ad Hieron. Epiſcop. deſcripturus rationem reddit & dicit. Erat enim Civitas quaſi diceret, non erat ſimplex Presbyter, ſed Epiſc. de quo loquor, quia erat civitas cui praeerat. Luther among his other Reſolutions inſerted this: That Epiſcopacy was of divine Right, grounding his judgement upon the Text, ſpecifying Titus his Government in Creete, as being conſonant to the judgement of Auguſtine.


2. Their learned(b)(b)Scultetus in Titum cap. 8. pa. 10. At Pau­lus Epheſi et in Cretâ aliquan­diu docuerat, i­deo Titum & Timotheum in Cretâ jubet ma­nere, non utiquè ut Evangeliſtas, ſed Eccleſiae gu­bernatores. Id quod etiam E­piſtolae ad u­trumque ſcriptae evincunt: In his enim non Eccle­ſiae colligendae, quae erat Evan­geliſtarum, ſed collectae guber­nandae, quae eſt Epiſcoporum, rationem, illis praeſcribit; ſuntque praecep­ta omnia ita confirmata, ut non ſpeciatim ad Timotheum vel Titum, ſed generatim ad omnes Epiſcopos referantur. Ideoque ad Temporariam Evangeliſtarum poteſtatem minimè quadrent. Scultetus ſheweth, that at this time, they were not exercis'd in aſſiſting the Apoſtles for collecting of Churches as Evangeliſts, but for governing of them, that had beene collected, as the generall praecepts given by the Apoſtles, (ſaith he) do prove thereby to become the examples and Types for the ſucceſſours to follow: and thereupon he concludeth them to have beene the ſame, who otherwiſe were called Evange­liſts for preaching the Goſpell, although by their ſuperinten­dency Biſhops. To the ſame purpoſe(c)(c)Moulin in Epiſt. 3. ad Epiſc. Win­ton. Quomodo appellaveris Titum, Timotheum, & Marcum, ſeu Epiſcopos five Evangeliſtas? con­ſtat eos habuiſſe ſucceſſores Epiſcopos haeredet illius preminentiae Maſter Moulin will have it knowen, that whatſoever Timothy and Titus had, whe­ther as Biſhop or Evangeliſt, it was ſuch as had a continuall ſuc­ceſſion in the Church, which is as others confeſſe, as James had in Hieruſalem, and Marke in Alexandria, which was Epiſco­pall. Titus (ſaith(d)(d)Paulus Toſſanus index in Sacra Bib. Titus comes Peregrinationum Pauli, poſtea Cretenſium Epiſcopus. Toſſanus) after his peregrinations with Paul, was appointed Biſhop of Creet, and before theſe(e)(e)Zuinglius tom. 2. fol. 45. Idem Epiſcopi & Evangeliſtae nomen: nam Paulus, 2 Tim. 4. [Tuvigila, opus Evan­geliſtae perage; miniſterium tuum probatum reddito] aliquo in loco tunc temporis fuit Epiſcopus, cum haec ſcriberet Apoſtolus, Ergo conſtat idem fuiſſe Officium utriuſque. Zuin­glius confeſs'd, that Tim. at that very time, when Paul advis'd him to purſue the worke of an Evangeliſt. 2 Tim. 4. was then Bi­ſhop in ſome place or other, by all conſequence.

(f)(f)Gerhard. tom. 6. De Miniſter. Eccleſiaſt. num. 227. 2 Tim. 4. Fac quae Evangeliſtae. Haec vox hoc in loco generaliter ſumitur, non ſpecialiter pro quodam Doctorum ordine, quo Timotheus conſtitutus fuerit Eccleſiae Epheſinae Epiſcopus, nec ulterius Paulum comitatus. Sicut etiam Lutherus red­didit ſpecialiter [dicti Evangeliſta erant Apoſtolorum〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, à quibus in partem muneris Apoſtolici aſciti ad diverſa loca ab illis mittebantur. In illorum Evangeliſta­rum numero cenſendi ſunt Timotheus et Titus. Timotheum Lyſtriae aſſumpſit Paulus Act. 16. poſtea eum miſit in Macedoniam Act. 19.22. & ad 1. Cor. 4 17. Ad Phil. 2.19. Ad Theſ. 1: c. 3.2. Tandem verò Epheſinae Eccleſiae Epiſcopus. 1 Tim. 3.15. Titum〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. 2 Cor. 8.23. Eum miſit ad Corinth. 2 Cor. 5 6.12.18. Aſſumpſit ſecum Hieroſol. Gal. 2.1. Miſit in Dalmatiam. 2 Tim. 4.10. Tandem Cretenſium Eccleſiarum conſtituit Epiſcopum Tit. 1.5. Dr. Gerhard a late famous Theologicall Authour is copi­ous in this Argument: who in the ſame ſheweth that the word Evangeliſt, given to Timothy when Paul wrote unto him, was taken in a generall acceptation, and not as properly be­longing to him, as he had beene an Aſſiſtant, even as Luther36 (ſaith he) underſtood it. Beſides he ſheweth out of Scripture exactly the ſeverall Stations, which Timothy had with Saint Paul in exerciſing his office, before that time that he was placed Biſhop in Epheſus.

We forbeare the full allegation of the like Authours cited by others, that we may hearken to our Engliſh Doctour Rey­nolds, nothing inferiour to any of the reſt even in the opinion of our Oppoſites themſelves, telling us of that very time, when Paul aſſembled the Miniſtry at Miletum, Act. 20.28. (g)(g)Dr. Rey­nolds Confe­rence with Hart, cap. 8. diſtinct. 3.One was choſen as chiefe in the Church of Epheſus to guide it, the ſame whom afterwards the Fathers of the Primitive Church called Biſhop. So he. And for confirmation hereof ſheweth that which muſt indeed be impregnable, to wit, A lineall ſucceſſion of 27 Biſhops (as hath beene proved) from Ti­mothy in the Church of Epheſus, and for ſurpluſage to all this we anſwer, to the objected reaſons propounded for Timothy's non-reſidence in Epheſus by that qualification, which(h)(h)Calvin. in­ſtitut lib. 3. c. 3. §. 7. Paſtoribus ſingulis aſſigna­tur ſedes, inter­ea non negamus, quià paſtor a­lias Eccleſias adjuvare poſſit, qui uni eſt alli­gatus: ſive quid turbarum inter­cedat quod ejus praeſentiam re­quirat, ſive ab eo petatur con­ſilium. Nec e­nim ſunt veluti Glebae addicti, ut Juriſcon­ſulti. Cal­vin hath done in like caſes, namely, that Paſtours are not ſo ſtrictly tied to their Glebe or charge, as that they may not helpe other Churches upon neceſſary occaſions. As for the objected terme of Evangeliſts, we moreover anſwer from Scripture, where we finde Philip preaching the word of God in Samaria, Act. 8.5. Called an Evangeliſt, Act. 21.8. And yet was one of the ſeven, meaning Deacons, Act. 6.5. Our Quaere is, why Timothy might not as well be called an Evangeliſt for preach­ing the word, being a Biſhop, as Philip was, for the ſame cauſe, named an Evangeliſt, being a Deacon. We thinke all this ſhould be ſatisfactory, although no more were ſayd: But more we have.

XIX. THESIS. That Antiquity taught an Epiſcopacy both in Timothy and Titus.

OUr ſtrongeſt Oppoſite(a)(a)Walo, alias Salmaſ. lib. de Epiſc. pag. 229. Titum Cretae inſulae praefecit Paulus, qui non ſingulari in aliquâ civitate Epiſcopus fuit, ſed totam illam provinciam ad tempus procuraret. Tales fuerunt Apoſtolorum Auditores & diſci­puli, quicunque primi eorum ſucceſſores extitere. Salmaſius could not but con­feſſe concerning Antiquity, (although he ſpurne againſt37 it) That Chryſoſtome, Epiphanius, Theophylact, Theodoret, and other Greeke Commentatours have collected out of the words of Paul, that Titus was verily Biſhop of Creete, and that there could not be divers Biſhops in one City, which is our preſent defence, and agreeth as well to Timothy as to Titus. (b)(b)Hieron. de Eccleſ. ſcript. Epheſiorum E­piſcopus à Pau­lo ordinatus.Hie­rome hath recorded both Timothy, and Titus Biſhops, the one of Epheſus, and the other of Creete, to whom(c)(c)Ambroſ. in praefat. ad Ti­moth. c. 3. Hunc creatum Epiſco­pum. Ambroſe,(d)(d)Greg. Pap. de Curat. Paſt. part. 2. c. 11. Primaſius,(e)(e)Primaſius in 1 Tim. Gregory the Great, doe conſent: Luther alſo bringeth in Auguſtine into the ſayd Chorus. We haſten to our laſt Act.

Our ſecond ground out of Scripture to prove a Prelacy over Presbyters, to be according to the word of God is, Rev. c. 2.3.

In the booke of Revelation, Chriſt by his Angell (properly ſo called) commandeth John to write unto the ſeven Chur­ches in Aſia, verſ. 1. Telling him myſtically of ſeven golden candleſticks, verſ. 13. and of ſeven ſtarres, verſ. 16. and after­wards expoundeth their meanings; ſeven ſtarres, to ſignifie ſeven Angells of the ſeven Churches; and ſeven candleſticks, to betoken the ſeven Churches, verſ. 20. By and by, deſcend­ing to particulars, he directeth his ſeverall Epiſtles to the ſeverall ſeven Angells of the ſeven Churches, beginning at the Church of Epheſus, ſaying, Write to the Angell of the Church of Epheſus, and ſo of the reſt. Theſe are our Texts, which we are in diſcuſſing theſe our differences to inſiſt upon.

The State of the Queſtion.

We readily grant, that whatſoever matter was written to theſe Angells concerning either themſelves or others, were by them to be communicated ſeverally to the Churches, and all the faithfull, as they were intereſted therein, according to that Epiphonema, ſeverally applyed in every Epiſtle thus; [He that hath an eare to heare, let him heare] But the onely queſti­on is, whether each of theſe Angells of the Churches were ſingular perſons, having a Prelacy over other Paſtors, and Clergy, or no? our Oppoſites ſay nay, we yea. The odds is ex Diametre.


We are therefore according to true method; firſt, to diſprove their negative, and after to evince our affirmation: But, in the firſt place, be it knowne that our Oppoſites in their negatives are diſtracted into three Opinions. One ſort, by the word Angell, will have underſtood the whole Church collectively, as well Laitie, as Clergy. Not ſo, ſay the ſecond Opinatours, but by Angell is collectively meant onely the Or­der or Colledge of Paſtours or Presbyters. After theſe the No­veliſts, its neither ſo, nor ſo; but by Angell is meant one in­dividuall Paſtour, without relation to any other, newly called an Independent, whereas our tenet is, by Angell, to under­ſtand one individuall Eccleſiaſticall perſon, having a Prelacy above the reſt.

XX. THESIS. That our Oppoſites firſt Expoſition, which interpreteth the An­gell to meane the whole Church and congregation, is notably extravagant.

ALthough(a)(a)Lib. 3. de Epiſc. pag. 183. Sit ergo hoc fixum, per An­gelos nihil aliud voluiſſe Johan­nem deſignari, niſi ipſas Ec­cleſias. Walo Meſſalinus, the grand adverſary to Epiſcopacy, be very peremptory for this expoſition, yet will it altogether appeare groundleſſe. But firſt we are to hearken unto his gloſſe. Let it be held a firme and fixt truth, (ſaith he) that by the name of Angells are not ſignified any that had Preſidency over others, but the whole congregation and Churches. So he; Pythagorically upon his owne word, as we ſee: whereunto we may rather anſwer, Let it be held firmely and fixtly, that this gloſſe upon the Text is evidently confuted by the context, which ſtandeth thus, cap. 1. & 20. The An­gells are called Starres, and the Churches Candleſticks, ſo that he muſt turne Starres into Candleſticks, before that he can make the Angell to ſignifie the whole Congregation. Be­ſide cap. 2.1. the command to John is, Write to the Angell of the Church of Epheſus, where if by Angell muſt be underſtood the Church, then were it as much as to have beene ſayd, Write unto the Church of the Church of Epheſus. But we know the ſpirit of wiſdome could not write unwiſely.


XXI. THESIS. That our Oppoſites ſecond Expoſition of the word Angell, to ſig­nifie onely the Order and Colledge of Presbyters, is erroneous, notwithſtanding the Arguments of our Oppoſites to the con­trary.

The Anſwer to their firſt Argument.

THis indeed is the common expoſition of our oppoſites, whereunto our objectours adhere, upon, as they call them firme Arguments, as firſt; Our firſt Argument, ſay they, is drawne from the Epiſtle to the Church of Thyatira, where after it was ſaid to the Angell [I have ſomething againſt thee] in the ſingular number, cap. 2.20. It is after added in the plurall, verſ. 24. [But I ſay to you, and to the reſt] But what of this? This ſheweth (ſay they) the word Angell to be collective, to ſig­nifie a multitude of Paſtours. We anſwer, if ſo, then was Be­za but dim-ſighted, who paraphras'd upon theſe words thus [unto you] that is (ſaith he) unto the Angell as Preſident, and unto Collegues, as unto the Aſſembly (meaning of Presbyters) and to the reſt, that is, to the whole flocke. So he. Where we ſee that the Angell was as individuall, and ſingular, as ei­ther, Thee, or Thy: And is it poſſible our Oppoſites ſhould be ignorant what an Apoſtrophe is? and that there is no figure of ſpeech more familiar and uſuall among men, then it is? as when a Lord writing to his chiefe Steward of matters belonging to him and other Officers under him, and the whole Family: Be thou circumſpect in managing my affaires, and af­terward as well unto him, as others, But ſee that you and the reſt keepe at home, as much as may be, becauſe of the dan­ger of the Peſtilence which now rageth on all ſides,

Anſwer to the ſecond Argument.

Our ſecond Argument (ſay they) is drawne from the Phraſes,Smect. vindi­cation. even in this very booke of Revelations, wherein it is uſuall to ex­preſſe a company under a ſingular perſon, as the civill State of40 Rome called a Beaſt with ten heads, which proveth that the Angell might be taken collectively. Is this all I Maſter Meade (ſay they) one better skill'd in the meaning of the Revelation, then our Adverſary, ſayd, that the word Angell is commonly [if not alwayes] in the Revelation taken collectively. So they. This ſaying have I diligently ſought after, but it fled from me: but yet I ſhall be content to be ſatisfied of Mr Meade his mean­ing from his other ſayings more obvious unto me, to ſhew, that he hath not beene rightly underſtood by theſe obje­ctours. For Collectively, properly taken, is a word compre­hending a multitude without diſtinction of perſons, as Chriſt in his Lamentation ſayd, O Hieruſalem, how oft would I have gathered Thy Children, but Thou wouldſt not] where the words ſingular Thou, and Thy, doe here comprehend all the Citizens of Hieruſalem without diſtinction. Had Maſter Meade this collective ſenſe? He ſheweth the flat contrary, Apoc. 9.14. [foure Angells] Theſe foure (ſaith he) were put for Nations, which they were thought to governe. So then, they did repre­ſent Nations, as notwithſtanding to be diſtinctly their foure Governours. Next upon Revel. 14.6. [I ſaw another An­gell flying] We are to call to minde (ſaith he) that, which be­fore was cap. 7. ſhewed: That the Angells of like Viſions doe re­preſent them, of whom they have government whereſoever. And againe upon verſ. 7. The flying Angell is ruler, not onely of men, but alſo of a more eminent ranke. So he. If that our Objectours had (according to Maſter Meade's direction) but call'd to minde his owne explanations, they might have eaſily per­ceived he ſaid no more, then as if we may grant that under the word Angell, to whom the Epiſtle is in ſpeciall directed, are implyed all thoſe who are concern'd therein. But how? not by alteration of his perſon, but by communion of intereſt, for which cauſe Maſter Beza acknowledged him