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But we should then have said of the remission of sins, saith St. Paul, "Who shall go up to heaven for it, and fetch it thence? for which cause," saith he, "the righteousness of faith speaketh thus, Say not so, &c."

Partly this, but there should be no such difficulty to shake our faith, as once to imagine to fetch CHRIST from heaven for the remission of our sins; and partly also, because CHRIST, to whom alone this commission was originally granted, having ordained Himself a body, would work by bodily things, and having taken the nature of a man upon Him, would honour the nature He had so taken, for these causes; that which was His, and His alone, He vouchsafed to impart, and out of His commission to grant a commission, and thereby to associate them to Himself, (it is His own. word by the prophet,) and to make them duvégyous, that is co-operatores, workers together with Him (as the Apostle speaketh) to the work of salvation, both of themselves and of others. From God then it is derived; from God and to men.

Now if we ask, to what men? the text is plain. They to whom CHRIST said this Remiseritis, were the Apostles.

In the Apostles, (that we may come nearer yet) we find three capacities as we may term them, 1. As Christians in general. 2. As preachers, priests, or ministers, more special. 3. As those twelve persons, whom, in strict propriety of speech, we term the Apostles.

Some things that CHRIST spake to them, He spake to them as representing the whole company of Christians; as His Vigilate.

Some things to them, not as Christians, but as preachers or priests; as His Ite prædicate Evangelium, and his Hoc facite ; which no man thinketh all Christians may do.

And some things to themselves personally: as that He had appointed them witnesses of His miracles and resurrection, which cannot be applied but to them and them in person. It remaineth we inquire, in which of these three capacities CHRIST imparted to them this commission.

Not to the Apostles properly; that is, this was no personal privilege to be in them, and to die with them, that they should only execute it for a time, and none ever after them. God forbid we should so think it. For, this power being more than needful for the world, (as in the beginning it was said,) it was not to be either personal, or for a time; then those persons dying, and those times determining them in the ages following (as we now in this) that should light into this prison or captivity of sin, how could they or we receive any benefit by it? Of nature, it is said by the heathen philosopher, that it does neither abundare in superfluis, nor deficere in necessariis. God forbid, but we should ascribe as much to GoD at the least, that neither He would ordain power superfluous or more than needed, or else, it being needful,

would appropriate it unto one age, and leave all other destitute of it; and not rather, as all writers both new and old take it, continue it successively to the world's end.

And as not proper to the Apostles' persons, so neither common to all Christians in general, nor in the persons of all Christians conveyed to them. Which thing the very circumstances of the text do evict. For He sent them first, and after inspired them; and after both these, gave them this commission. Now all Christians are not so sent, nor all Christians inspired with the grace or gift of the Spirit, that they were here. Consequently, it was not intended to the whole society of Christians. Yea, I add, that forasmuch as these two, both these two, must go before it, Missio and Inspiratio, that though GoD inspire some laymen, if I may have leave so to term them, with very special graces of knowledge to this end, yet inasmuch as they have not the former of sending, it agreeth not to them, neither may they exercise it, until they be sent, that is, until they have their calling thereunto.

It being then neither personal nor peculiar to them as Apostles, nor again common to all as Christians, it must needs be committed to them as ministers, priests, or preachers; and consequently to these that in that office and function do succeed them, to whom this commission is still continued. Neither are they, that are ordained or instituted to that calling, ordained or instituted by any other words or verse than this (John xx. 23). Yet not so, that absolutely without them, GOD cannot bestow it, on whom or when Him pleaseth; or that He is bound to this means only, and cannot work without it. For, gratia Dei non alligatur mediis, the grace of GoD is not bound but free, and can work without means either of word or sacrament: and as without means, so without ministers, how and when to Him seemeth good. But speaking of that which is proper and ordinary, in the course by Him established, this is an ecclesiastical act, committed as the residue of the ministry of reconciliation to ecclesiastical persons. And if at any time He vouchsafe it by others that are not such, they be in that case Ministri necessitatis, non officii, in case of necessity ministers, but by office not so.

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The remission of sins, as it is from GoD only, so it is by the death and blood-shedding of CHRIST alone; but for the applying of this unto us, there are divers means established. In the institution of Baptism there is a power to that end. 2. Again, there is also another power for the remission of sins, in the institution of the Holy Eucharist. 3. Besides, in the word itself there is a like power ordained. "Now are you clean,' saith CHRIST, (no doubt from their sins) propter Sermonem hunc. And the very name giveth as much, that it is entitled, "The Word of Reconciliation." 4. Further there is to the same effect a power in prayer, and that in the priest's prayers, "Call for the

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Priests," saith the apostle, "and let them pray for the sick person, and if he have committed sin, it shall be forgiven him." All and every of them, are acts for the remission of sins: and in all and every of these, is the minister required, and they cannot be dispatched without him.

But the ceremonies and circumstances that here (John xx. 23.) I find used, prevail with me to think, that there is somewhat here imparted to them, that was not before. For it carrieth no likelihood, that our Saviour bestowing on them nothing here, but that which before He had, would use so much solemnity, so diverse and new circumstances, no new or diverse grace being here communicated. I take it to be a power distinct from the former, and (not to hold you long) to be the accomplishment of the promise made (Matt. xvi. 19.) of the power of the keys, which here in this place and in these words is fulfilled; and have therein for me, the joint consent of the Fathers. Which being a different power in itself, is that which we call the act or benefit of absolution; in which, as in the rest, there is in the due time and place of it, an use for the remission of sins.

HALL, BISHOP AND CONFESSOR.-On Episcopacy, Pt. iii. p. 9.

And for you, my dearly beloved brethren at home, for CHRIST'S sake, for the Church's sake, for your soul's sake, be exhorted to hold to this holy institution of your blessed Saviour and His unerring apostles, and bless God for Episcopacy. Do but cast your eyes a little back, and see what noble instruments of GOD'S glory He hath been pleased to raise up in this very Church of ours out of this sacred vocation; what famous servants of GOD, what strong champions of truth, and renowned antagonists of Rome and her superstitions; what admirable preachers, what incomparable writers, yea what constant and undaunted martyrs and confessors, &c. ... Neither doubt I but that it will please GOD, out of the same rod of Aaron, still to raise such blossoms and fruit, as shall win Him glory to all eternity. So you are to honour those your reverend pastors, to hate all factious withdrawings from that government, which comes the nearest of any Church upon earth to the Apostolical.... Let me therefore confidently shut up all with that resolute word of that blessed Martyr and Saint, Ignatius... "Let all things be done to the honour of GOD, give respect to your bishop as you would GoD should respect you. My soul for theirs which obey their bishop, presbyters, and deacons; GOD grant that my portion may be the same with theirs." And let my soul have the same share with that blessed Martyr that said so. Amen.

LAUD, ARCHBISHOP AND MARTYR.-Conference with Fisher. xvi. 29.

"I am with you always unto the end of the world." Yes, most certain it is,-present by His Spirit; or else in bodily presence He continued not with His Apostles, but during His abode on earth. And this promise of His spiritual presence was to their successors; else, why "to the end of the world?" The Apostles did not, could not, live so long. But then to the successors the promise goes no farther, than "I am with you always," which reaches to continual assistance, but not to divine and infallible.

"The Comforter the Holy Ghost shall abide with you for ever." Most true again; for the Holy Ghost did abide with the Apostles, according to Christ's promise thus made, and shall abide with their successors for ever, to comfort and preserve them.

Ibid.-xxv. 15.

Christ promised the Keys to St. Peter. (Matt. xvi.) True; but so did He to all the rest of the Apostles (Matt. xviii. John xx.) and to their successors as much as to his..... St. Augustine is plain, "If this were said only of St. Peter, then the Church hath no power to do it," which God forbid! The Keys therefore were given to St. Peter and the rest in a figure of the Church, to whose power and for whose use they were given. But there's not one key in all that bunch, that can let in St. Peter's successor to a "more powerful principality" universal than the successors of the other Apostles had.

BRAMHALL, ARCHBISHOP AND.CONFESSOR.- Vindication of the Church of England.-Discourse III.

I do also acknowledge that Episcopacy was comprehended in the Apostolic office, tanquam trigonus in tetragono, and the distinction was made by the Apostles, with the approbation of CHRIST; that the angels of the seven Churches in the Revelation were seven Bishops; that it is the most silly ridiculous thing in the world, to calumniate that for a Papal innovation, which was established in the Church before there was a Pope at Rome; which hath been received and approved in all ages since the very cradle of Christianity, by all sorts of Christians, Europeans, Africans, Asiatics, Indians, many of which never had any intercourse with Rome, nor scarcely ever heard of the name of Rome. If semper, ubique, et ab omnibus, be not a sufficient plea, I know not what is.

But because I esteem them Churches not completely formed, do I, therefore, exclude them from all hopes of salvation? or esteem them aliens and strangers from the commonwealth of Israel? or account them formal schismatics? No such thing. First, I know there are many learned persons among them who do passionately affect Episcopacy; some of which have acknowledged it to myself, that their Church would never be rightly settled, until it was new moulded. Baptism is a sacrament, the door of Christianity, a matriculation into the Church of Christ: yet the very desire of it in case of necessity, is sufficient to excuse from the want of actual Baptism. And is not the desire of Episcopacy sufficient to excuse from the actual want of Episcopacy, in like case of necessity? or should I censure these as schismatics?

Secondly, there are others, who though they do not long so much for Episcopacy, yet they approve it, and want it only out of invincible necessity. In some places the sovereign prince is of another communion; the Episcopal chairs are filled with Roman Bishops. If they should petition for Bishops of their own, it would not be granted. In other places the magistrates have taken away Bishops: whether out of policy, because they thought that regiment not so proper for their republics, or because they were ashamed to take away the revenues, and preserve the order, or out of a blind zeal; they have given an account to God: they owe none to me. Should I condemn all these as schismatics for want of Episcopacy, who want it out of invincible necessity?

Thirdly, there are others who have neither the same desires, nor the same esteem of Episcopacy, but condemn it as an Antichristian innovation, and a rag of Popery. I conceive this to be most gross schism materially. It is ten times more schismatical to desert, nay, to take away (so much as lies in them) the whole order of Bishops, than to subtract obedience from one lawful Bishop. All that can be said to mitigate this fault is, that they do it ignorantly, as they have been mistaught and misinformed. And I hope that many of them are free from obstinacy, and hold the truth implicitly in the preparation of their minds, being ready to receive it when GoD shall reveal it to them. How far this may excuse (not the crime but) their persons from formal schism, either a toto or a tanto, I determine not, but leave them to stand or fall to their own Master.

But though these Protestants were worthy of this contumely, yet surely the Romanists are no fit persons to object it, whose opinastrety did hinder an uniform reformation of the Western Church. Who did invest Presbyters with Episcopal jurisdiction, and the power of ordaining and confirming, but the Court of Rome, by their commissions and delegations, for avaricious ends? And could they think that the world would believe, that neces

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