Baxter - BR161 B28 1680

C,rnrch-Hitory of Bit imps and lawful to plant Churches in. the Country, where there were enough to -coatitute them,and fometimestheydid fo, asby ClemensRoman. adCorinth. byHiftory appearèth. § 18. Grotùes thinketh that one City at firft had divers Churches and Bï- fhops,and that theywere gathered after the manner oftheSynagogues ; and Dr. Hammond thinketh that for forne time there were twoChurches and Bithops in manyCities, one of Jews and one of Gentiles ; and that in Rome Paul and Peter had two Churches, whom Lines and Cletus did fuc- ceed, till they were united in Clemens. s. 19. There is great evidence of Hiftory that a particular Church of the Apoftlesfetling was eflèntially only E" a Companyof Chriftians, Pa_ " ftors and Peopleaflbciated for perfonal holy communion and mutual help "in holy Doctrine, Worthip, Converfation, and Order.] Therefore itnever confifted of fo few or fomany, or fo diftant as to be uncapable of fuch perfonal help andCommunion : But was ever diftinguifh- ed as from accidental Meetings, fo from the Communionof many Chur- ches or diftant Chriftians, which was held but by Delegates, Synods of Paftorsor Letters, andnot by perfonal help, in prefence. Not that all thefe muft needs always meet in the fame place : but that ufually they did fo, or at due times at leaft, and were no morenor more diftant than could fo meet: Sometimes Perfecution hindred them; fom- times the Roommight be too fmall Even independent Churches among us fometimes meet indivers places : and one Parifh hath divers Chappels for the aged and weak that are unfit for travel. §, zó. Scotus began the opinion (as Davenport, Fr. a Santa Clara inti- mateth) and Dion Petavius improved it, and Dr. Hammond hath largely 2ffetted it, that the Apotties .at firft planted a fingle Bithop in each Church, with one or more Deacons, and that he had power in time to ordain Elders of adifferent Order, Species, or Office, and that the word Elder andBithop and Paftor in Scripture never lignifie thefe fubjett El- ders, but the Bithops only, and, faith he, there is no evidence that there were any of the fubjett fort of Presbyters in Scripture.times: Which conceffion is very kindly acceptedby the Presbyterians ; but they call for, proof that ever thefe Bithops were authorifed to make a new Species of Presbyters which were never made in Scripture-times? and indeed theyvehemently deny it, and may well defpair of fuch a proof. §. 21. But for my part I believe the foundation unproved ( that then there was but one Elder in a Church) and think many Texts of Scrip- ture fullyprove the contrary. But I join with Dr. Hammond in believ= ing that in Scripture-times there was no particular Church that had more ftated meetings for publick Communion than one: For if there was fo long but one Elder, there could be but one fuch Affembly at once; for theyhad no fuch Affemblieswhich were not guided by a Presbyter or Bi- fhop, in Doftrine, Worfhip, Sacraments and Difcipline: And theyufed to have the Eucharift every Lords day at leaft, andoftenmuchmore. And one man can beat once but in one place. 4.22.