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who are the Apostles' successors in that power; and when the question is asked of that power, I must be understood of the power of governing the Church peculiarly, (of which the power of the keys was and is a principal branch,) for it must again be remembered that the Apostles are to be considered under a double notion, first, as planters, then as governors, of the Church. . . . Which distinction being promised, the question will now more easily be satisfied, being proposed in these terms; who were the Apostles' successors in that power, which concerned the governing their Churches which they planted? and first, I answer, that it being a matter of fact, or story, later than that the Scripture can universally reach to, it cannot be fully satisfied or answered from thence... but will in the full latitude, through the universal Church in these times, be made clear from the recent evidences that we have, viz. from the consent of the Greek and Latin fathers, who generally resolve that Bishops are those successors.

TAYLOR, BISHOP, CONFESSOR, AND DOCTOR.-On Episcopacy. Introduction.


Antichrist must come at last, and the great apostasy foretold must be, and this not without means proportionable to the production of so great declensions of Christianity. "When ye hear of wars and rumours of wars, be not afraid," says our blessed Saviour, "the end is not yet." It is not war that will do "this great work of destruction;" for then it might have been done long ere What then will do it? We shall know when we see it. In the mean time, when we shall find a new device, of which, indeed, the platform was laid, in Aerius and the Acephali, brought to a good possibility of completing a thing, that whosoever shall hear, his ears shall tingle, "an abomination of desolation standing where it ought not," "in sacris," in holy persons, and places, and offices, it is too probable that this is preparatory for the Antichrist, and grand apostasy.

For if Antichrist shall exalt himself above all that is called GOD, and in Scripture none but kings and priests are such, "dii vocati, dii facti," I think we have great reason to be suspicious, that he that divests both of their power, (and they are, if the king be Christian, in very near conjunction,) does the work of Antichrist for him; especially if the men whom it most concerns will but call to mind, that if the discipline or government which Christ hath instituted is that kingdom by which He governs all Christendom, (so themselves have taught us,) when they (to use their own expressions) throw Christ out of His kingdom; and then either they leave the Church without a head, or else put Antichrist in substitution.

We all wish that our fears in this and all things else may be vain, that what we fear may not come upon us; but yet that the abolition of episcopacy is the forerunner, and preparatory to the great Apostasy, I have these reasons to show, at least, the probability. First, &c. *


Sections 2 and 3. This government was by immediate substitution delegated to the Apostles, by Christ Himself, "in traditione clavium, in spiratione Spiritûs, in missione in Pentecosto." . . . . . This power so delegated was not to expire with their persons; for when the great Shepherd had reduced His wandering sheep into a fold, He would not leave them without "guides to govern" them, so long as the wolf might possibly prey upon them, and that is, till the last separation of the sheep from the goats. And this Christ intimates in that promise, "Ero vobiscum (Apostolis) usque ad consummationem seculi." "Vobiscum;" not with your persons, for they died long ago: but "vobiscum et vestri similibus," with Apostles to the end of the world. And, therefore, that the Apostolate might be successive and perpetual, CHRIST gave them a power of Ordination, that by imposing hands on others, they might impart that power which they received from Christ.


The Church, at his (St. John's) departure, he left firmly grounded in all the points of faith and doctrine, taught by CHRIST our Saviour, as well settled in the outward government, the polity and administration of the same, which had been framed by the Apostles, according to the pattern and example of their Lord and Master. For being that the Church was born of seed immortal, and they themselves, though excellent and divine, yet still mortal men, it did concern the Church, in a high degree, to be provided of a perpetuity, or, if you will, the immortality of overseers, both for the sowing of this seed, and for the ordering of the Church, or the field itself. This, since they could not do in person, they were to do it by successors, who by their office were to be the ordinary pastors of the Church, and the Vicars of Christ. Now, if you ask the Fathers who they were that were accounted in their times and ages the successors of the Apostles, they will with one accord make answer, that the Bishops were.


The separateness of the functions of the Clergy, the incommunicableness of their offices to persons not separated for them, is so

express a doctrine both of the letter of the text and of the Holy Ghost, that sure I need not to say more, though several heads of probation offer themselves; as first the condition of the callings, which does divide from the community and sets them up above it. And here I might tell you of "bearing rule," of "thrones," of "stars," and "Angels," and other words of a high sense, and yet not go out of the Scripture bounds, although the dignity did not die with the Scripture age, or expire with the Apostles; the age as low as Photius words it thus, To droosoλixiv, x. 5.λ. "That Apostolical and Divine dignity, which the Chief Priests are acknowledged to be possessed of by right of succession." Styles which I could derive yet lower, and they are of a prouder sound than those the modest humble ears of this our age are so offended with. But these heights, it may be, would give umbrages; although it is strange that men should envy them to those, who are only exalted to them, that they may with the more advantage take them by the hands and lift them up to heaven. Those nearnesses to things above do but more qualify them to draw near to God, on your behalf, that these your Angels also may see the face of your Father which is in heaven, and those stars are, therefore, set in Christ's right hand, that they may shed a blessing [blessed?] influence on you from thence..

The censures of the Church, the burden of the keys, which (passing by the private use of them in voluntary penitences, and discipline upon the sick,) as they signify public exclusion out of the Church, for scandalous enormities, and re-admission into it upon repentance, have been sufficiently evinced to belong to the governors of the Church. The exercise of them is so much their work, that St. Paul calls them "the weapons of their spiritual warfare, by which they do cast down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ," (2 Cor. x. 4, 5,) a blessed victory, even for the conquered, and these the only weapons to achieve it with. If those who sin scandalously, and will not hear the admonition of the Church, were cast out of the Church, if not religion, reputation would restrain them somewhat; not to be thought fit company for Christians, would surely make them proud against their vices. Shame, the designed effect of their censures, hath great pungencies; the fear of it does goad men into actions of the greatest hazard, and the most unacceptable; such as have nothing lovely in them, but are wholly distasteful . . . . . Now, the infliction of these censures is so much the work to which Church governors are called by the Holy Ghost, that they are equally called by Him to it and to Himself; both are alike bestowed upon them. "Receive the Holy Ghost; whose sins ye retain, they are retained." (John xx. 22.) And in the first derivations of this office,

it was performed with severities, such as this age, I doubt, will not believe; and when they had no temporal sword to be auxiliary to these spiritual weapons.

PEARSON, BISHOP AND DOCTOR.-On the Creed, Article ix.

[After considering the Church as one, by reason of its one foundation, faith, ministry of sacrament, hope, and charity, he continues,-]

Lastly, all the Churches of GoD are united into one by the unity of discipline and government, by virtue whereof the same CHRIST ruleth in them all. For they have all the same pastoral guides appointed, authorized, sanctified, and set apart by the appointment of GOD, by the direction of the Spirit, to direct and lead the people of GOD in the same way of eternal salvation: as, therefore, there is no Church where there is no order, no ministry; so, where the same order and ministry is, there is the same Church.

The necessity of believing the Holy Catholic Church appeareth first in this, that CHRIST hath appointed it as the only way unto eternal life. We read at the first, "The Lord added to the Church daily such as should be saved;" and what was then daily done hath been done since continually. CHRIST never appointed two ways to Heaven; nor did He build a Church to save some, and make another institution for other men's salvation. "There is none other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved," but the name of JESUS; and that is no otherwise given under Heaven than in the Church. As none were saved from the Deluge but such as were within the ark of Noah, formed for their reception by the command of God; as none of the first-born of Egypt lived, but such as were within those habitations whose door-posts were sprinkled with blood by the appointment of GOD for their preservation; as none of the inhabitants of Jericho could escape the fire or sword, but such as were within the house of Rahab, for whose protection a covenant was made; so none shall ever escape the eternal wrath of GOD, which belong not to the Church of GOD. This is the congregation of those persons here on earth which shall hereafter meet in heaven. These are the vessels of the tabernacle carried up and down, at last to be translated into and fixed in the Temple.

Next, it is necessary to believe the Church of CHRIST, which is but one, that, being in it, we may take care never to cast ourselves, or be ejected, out of it. There is a power within the Church to cast those out which do belong to it; for if any neglect to hear

the Church, saith our Saviour, let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican. By great and scandalous offences, by incorrigible misdemeanors, we may incur the censure of the Church of God; and while we are shut out by them, we stand excluded out of Heaven. For our Saviour said to His Apostles, upon whom He built His Church, "Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained." Again, a man may not only passively and involuntarily be ejected, but also may, by an act of his own, cast out or eject himself, not only by plain and complete apostasy, but by a defection from the unity of truth, falling into some damnable heresy; or by an active separation, deserting all which are in communion with the Catholic Church, and falling into an irrevocable schism,


Apostles,.... Prophets,. . . . Evangelists, .... Pastors, and Teachers.... For the three first, some part of their function was temporary and extraordinary; in what was ordinary and perpetual, Bishops succeeded.

BULL, BISHOP AND DOCTOR.-Vindication of the English Church, 24.


We proceed, in the next place, to the constant visibility and succession of Pastors in our Church. . . . . And here I make him this fair proposal: let him, or any one of his party, produce any one solid argument to demonstrate such a succession of Pastors in the Church of Rome, and I will undertake by the very same argument to prove a like succession in our Church. Indeed,.... the Author of the Letter is concerned, no less than we are, to acknowledge such a succession of lawful pastors in our Church, till the time of the Reformation; and if we cannot derive our succession since, it is a hard case. But our records, faithfully kept and preserved, do evidence to all the world an uninterrupted succession of Bishops in our Church, canonically ordained, derived from such persons in whom a lawful power of ordination was seated by the confession of the Papists themselves. For the story of the Nag's Head Ordination is so putid a fable, so often and so clearly refuted by the writers of our Church, that the more learned and ingenious Papists are now ashamed to make use of it.

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