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who succeed the Apostles by a substitute Ordination,
He that heareth you, heareth me. So saith St. Atha-
nasius (e) How can they be Bishops, if they have re-
ceived their Ordination from Hereticks, even by their
own Accufation? Lastly, to omit infinite Passages
in Tertul. St. Aug. Optatus, &c. I shall bring one
Witness, whom they often, (tho' very unjustly)
claim, as a Favourer of their Cause, St. Jerome,
(f) who speaking of Hilary the Deacon, Author
of one of the Sects of the Luciferians, faith,
Together with the Man his Seet is likewise perished,
because a Deacon could not ordain a Clerk to fuc-
ceed after him. Now it is not a Church which hath
no Priests.

Were such Arguments as these Logical and
efficacious in the third and fourth Century of
Christianity, and are they of no Force now?
When was it that they began to lose their Vir-
tue? Did all the ancient Martyrs, Bilbops, and
Doctors of the Church, Champions of the Chri-
stian Religion, confound all the ancient Heresies,
by demonstrating that the Authors of them had
no personal, legitimate, nor do&trinal Succession;
and shall we believe such a Succession now is not
as necessary as then, or that there is any Valid
Ministry, where Regular, Successive, Ecclefiaftical
Order is laid aside? Is this a pure. Reformation,
or is it not rather Novelty, Heresy, and Schism?

What Words can come more Home to our Case, than these of the holy Fathers? Well may we think they were guided by a very extraordinary Measure of the divine Spirit, who, by Prophetical Impulse, so many Ages ago, not only

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(C) In Synod.

(f) In Dialog. contra Lucifer.


confuted the Heresies of their own Time, but · left fufficient Testimonies against all such as should afterwards arise to the Disturbance of the Church; being dead, they yet Speak by their pious and orthodox Writings, against all false Doctrine, Heresy, and Schifm ; and they that participate of that divine Spirit which animates the Body of Christ, they hear their Voice, or rather the Voice of the chief Shepherd in them, the Voice behind them, (that is, in the Ages past) calling from deftru&ive Error, Novelty, and Separation, and saying, This is the way, walk ye in it.

And let it be here observed, that these severe Denunciations of the Fathers were for the most Part against such as were Episcopally ordained, but had received their Orders from, and joyned in Communion with Heretical and Schismatical Bishops. The Arians, Novatians, Donatifts, Nestorians, Eutychians, &c. all had their Bishops and distinct Orders of Clergy. Aerius alone, (whom I mentioned before) was the only person in all the large Tract of Time, and Extension of Christianity, from the Apostles to the fifteenth Century, that ever pretended that Presbyters could confer Orders, or that Bishop and Priešł were the fame Order and Office. He had few Followers in this, as in other Heretical Opinions ; it was nor then fo easy, to perswade Men to run counter to the Custom ard Order of all the Churches of Christ. Yet God be thanked, there are such Arguments on our Side, as amount to a Demonstration, that our Zeal for the Apostolical Order of Epifcopacy is not a criminal Contention about a Thing indifferent (as the Latitudinarians, and Favourers of Occafional Conformity pretend) a Dispute about Words engendring Strife, but being zealously affected in a



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good Cause, such as concerns the very Life and Soul of Religion. For if our Presbyterian Teachers will but shew any from the Apostles down to the Days of Luther and Calvin, who held their Doctrine even in that one Particular, I dare oblige my self to prove he was marked as a Heretick, and his Sect was called by his Name, to distinguish it from the Houshold of Faith, over whom Christ has appointed Stewards to give them their Meat in due Season. We own, many among the Presbyterian Teachers may be of competent Abilities, and also of good moral Lives; but this is not what can constitute them Ministers, or give them Authority in the Church of Christ; for in neither of these do they exceed the sound Learning and pious Lives of the Orthodox Episcopal Clergy; it is not Personal Qualification, but Sacerdotal Power; not the Preaching or Praying well, bur the having Authority to do so, from such as received it succefliv:ly handed down from the Apostles, That we contend for; and this is so material, that without it, Succession in Do&rine signifies nothing. Miserable we are (faith a learned Divine of the Church of England) if he that now fits Archbishop of Canterbury, could not derive his Succeffion from St. Augustin, St. Augustin from St. Gregory, St. Gregory from St. Peter. Such Ordination have our Bishops as the Bishops in England, the same very Succession, as they agree in the same very Da{trine, and all the Separation is equally sinful in both Nations, only with this Aggravation, that here, they have proceeded to extirpate the ancient Church Government of Episcopacy, there; chey are labouring to undermine it; in both they have sworn to destroy it. Nor is the Crime of Schen? less, or Presbyterian Religion more Orthodox, or


the Condition of fuch as adhere to it less dangerons, that they are the Established Church Government in Scotland. Were the Arians the Church, because they were favoured by Imperial Edi&ts, and had Power to persecute' the Faithful by Form of Law, and Civil Process? Is a Church more a Church, when established by Law, than when subsisting without, or against Law? Then the Church of Scotland is more a Church than the

a whole Catholick Church in the three first Centuries; then Christianity is Heresy in all Dominions that are not Christian, and true Religion must appear in as many different Shapes, as the different Fancies and Humours of several Nations will have it: What is in one place Sound and Or. thodox, will be esteemed Herefy and False Doctrine in another; and a Christian must as often thift his Religion, as he changes his Habitation. But if Christian Religion is the same, and to remain unchanged in all the Variety of human Events, and the Church of Christ is Catholick, or Univerfal in Time and Place, then it will appear our Duty to adhere to that Form of Church Government, That Apostolical Order which has ever been observed in the Church of Christ. Chriftian Religion stands under the same Terms of Duty to God and Man as heretofore it did, we have as strict Obligation to Church Unity, and Obedience to those that are over us in the Lord, as had our first Fore-runners in the Faith; we are as forcibly bound to join in the same publick Wurship as they were, and all Separation will be as penal, and as certain a Prejudice to the Judgment of the Great Day, as it was esteemed in the primitive Church ; and 'tis declared to be by the holy Fathers: For what St. Augustin said to the Donatifs,

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'tis fit every Christian should seriously consider.
(a) Whoever shall be divided from the Church Ca-
tholick, how laudably soever he may think he doth
live, for this very Wickedness, that he lives disjoined
from the Unity of Christ, he shall not have Lifé, but
the Wrath of God remains upon him. But whosoever
within the Church lives well, other Mens Sins in it
do no way prejudice him. I shall conclude all with
the Rule of Vincentius Lyrinenfis, which I have
before mentioned, according to which let those
things be tried, viz. Whether Liturgy and Episco-
pacy were not always every where, and by all held
and approved ; and that all Separation has ever
been condemned in the Church of God. (b) As
“ holy and learned Men have taught me (faith
" he) 1o I cxhort others, that they interpret the
“ Divine and Canonical Scripture, according to
" the Tradition of the Universal Church, according

to the Rules of Catholick Doctrine, in which “ likewise they must of Necessity follow UNI


Catholick and Apoftolick Church. And therefore, “ if at any time a Part rebel against the Whole,

Novelty against Antiquity, the Dissention of one

or a few seduced with Error) against the Con“ fent of all

, or the far greater Part of Catholicks; “ in that Case, let them prefer the Integrity of Universality before the Corruption of a Part; “ and in Universalicy, let them also prefer the

Religion of Antiquity before profane Novelty: “ And again, in Antiquity, let them prefer be“ fore the Temerity of one or a few, the De

crees of a General Council, if any be; or if no



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