Baxter - BR161 B28 1680

their Councils abridged. §..zi. I have elfewhere fully proved, that the ancient Churches that had Bifhopswere no bigger than our Parithes (and few aquarter fo big as the greateft of them) and confiftedof no more than might havefuch prefent perfonal Communion as is before defcribed ; the proofs are too largeto behere recited. Ignatius is, the plaineft, who faith, that this was thenote of a ChurchesUnity, that [To every Church there was one Altear, and one Bilhop, with his Fellow Prefbyters and Deacons:] And elfewhere chargeth theBifhop to take account of his Flockwhether theyall come to Church, evenServant-men and Maids. Clemens Romanis before him intimateth the like, mentioning even Coun- tryBithops. Yuflin Martyr'sDefcriptionof the Chriftian Affemblies plainlyproveth- it. Tertullian's Defcriptionof them andmany other paflàges in him prove it more fully. He profell'eth that they took not the Lord'sSupper fave only from the hand of the Bithop (Antiflitis manta) who could give it but to one Affembly at once. ManyCanons alto fully Phew it (elfewhere cited) force appoint all the people to joyn with theBilhop on the great Feltivais of the year, even a- bove 30o years after Chrift. TheCuftom alto of choofingBithops Iheweth it, where all the people metand chofe him : Yea in Cyprian's time the Exercife of Difcipline prov_ eth it, when even in fuch great Churches as Carthage it was done in the pretenceof the people, and with their confent. S. z 3. The only Churches in the World, that for about zoo years af- ter Chrift, if not more, had more than one ordinary Aflèmbly, for Church- Communion, though but likeour Parith Chappels, were Rome and Alexandria, as far as I can learn inany Hiftory : For that at Yerufalem for all the numbers had no more Rated Members than oft met in one place (exceptingoccalional abfents). And I find no reafon to believe that ever thefe two (the chief Cities of the Empire,) had fo long more than 'fume London'Parithes (which have above fixty thoufand'fouls as is fuppofed) no nor near (if half). fo many. And becaufeelfewhere I have only except- ed thefe twoCities, I will yet add fomewhat to thew, that even there the cafe was not as many now imagine. f.24.. Cornelius in an Epiftle to Fabius of Antioch (in Eufib. Hill. 1. 6 c. 43. alias 42.) faith that "in the Church of Rome were 46 Presbyters,, 7 Deacons, and of other Officers 94. that is, 4z Acolites, 52 Exor- "Gifts and Readers, with Porters, Widows, and impotent perfons a. bove top fouls, who are all relieved by the grace and goodnefs of Almighty God, &e.] This is the chief teítimony in the thirdAge to . prove -that this one Church had more than could- either meet in one place', or holdperfonal Communion. S.2.5. But let it be confidered, r. That partly for the honour of quali- fied perfons, and partly that all the Church might in fe.afon have the help of 7