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bility, were unable to pierce the impenetrable shield of our holy faith. And, what must have been still more mortifying to the church of Rome, she found an unanswerable opponent in one of her own sons, whom the mere force of conviction compelled, in opposition to every worldly view, to stand forth as the champion of trutlı and protestantism.
Buit long we had not enjoyed the fruits of this victory over one set of enemies, before the peace of our Zion was again disturbed by the attacks of another; who do not indeed call in question the regular mission and appointment of her clergy, but deny the necessity of any appointment at all; and who therefore, self-taught and self-commissioned, take upon them to preach, I will not say, the of God; for that they seldom preach;but rather their own crude fancies and distempered notions ; who, as St. C'yprian' says of the Methodists and im
pure word postors of his time, of their own ac46 cord, without God's appointment, set “ themselves up amid their temerarious 66 assemblers; who constitute themselves “ rulers, without 'any law of ordination; * who assume the name of teachers and
bishops, when no man gives them the
power;” and thus, creeping into houses and conventicles, lead captive silly men, and silly women; too often, it is well known, literally laden with their sins.
When, therefore, our pastoral office is thus openly invaded; when we are publicly arraigned as incapable of instructing the flock of Christ committed to our charge; I hope. I shall not employ your time either uselessly, or in a manner foreign to the present occasion, by endeavouring to shew, in opposition to these false teachers, that there always has been, from the first planting of Christianity, a regular designation and appointment of a particular set of men, to whom, and to
whom only, the office of teaching and preaching was committed; which the Apostle here calls“ being sent.”
In pursuance of this design, it shall be my business,
1st. To inquire, what it is to be sent as a teacher or minister;
2dly, To shew, that such as are not sent, may not lawfully preach; and,
ür, · 3dly, That such as are sent, both may and ought to preach.
In answer to the first enquiry, what it is to be sent, I cannot speak more satis.? factorily than in the words of the 23d Article of our Church, which says; “ Those we ought to judge lawfully called " and sent, which be chosen and called “ to this work (that is the office of public " preaching and ministering the sacra
"ments), by men, who have public aut
thority given unto them in the congres “gation (that is, the Church, for so the “.word congregation 'signifies in that ar"ticle), to call and send ministers into " the Lord's vineyard.”. And the same
“ That it is not lawful (that is, by the law of God, on which the " articles are supposed to be grounded) 6 for any man to take upon him that of fice before he be lawfully called, and $ sent to execute the same.") ist
And this has in fact been verified from the first appearance of Christianity in the world. For even Christ himself assumed not this office without a public commisa sion from God, by a visible descent of the Holy Ghost upon him, and an audible yoice from Heaven proclaiming him to be the Messias: " He glorified not himself
to be made an High Priest, says the Apostle, but he that said unto him, " thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee."
Nor did any of his D 4
Apostles presume to take the work of the ministry upon them, till he gave them particular commission to do so. Thushë first ordained twelve, whom he also named Apostles, and sent them to preach the kingdom of God." And afterwards he ordained seventy others to be assistant in a subordinate station. But we may remark, that during his continuance upon earth, none besides himself ordained ministers of either of the foregoing orders: but he only, who was “ Lord of the harvest, sent 4. forth labourers into his harvest.
: : : 1» But after he was risen from the dead, he enlarged his commission to his Apostles and their successors for ever; giving them å power (besides that of ministering his holy word and 'sacraments, which they could do before) to ordain also gospelininisters in his place and stead: « Aš my
Father has * sent me, says he, even