Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5151 .B3 1659

( 74 ) texts inT i mothy, Titus, and the ref' ofthe New refitment, that rnentitngofpel Bifhops or Presbyters, do mean only fuck as have power of Ordination and Yurifdidion,without the concurrence ofany ftsperionr Bifhop. The common Inerpretatian ofthe Fathers, and the old Epifcopal Divines ofall ages, ofmoil or many of thofe texts is,that they fpeak of the office of fuch as non, are called Pres4ters. Lay both together , and if one ofthem be not mi- fiaken , they afford us this conclufìon, that the Presbyters that new are,have by tbefe texts ofScripture , the power of Ordination and7urifdit7ion without the concurrence of others. And if fo,then was it never the Apotties intent, to leave it to the Bifhops to or- dain a fort ofPresbyters ofanother order, that fhould have no fuch power ofOrdination or jurifdiftion, without theBifhops Negative. Reafon ai. We find in Church Hiflory that it wasfirfl infume fewgreat Cities (efpecially Rome and Alexandria) that a Bi. pp ruled many fettledworfhipping Congregations with their Prof- byters ; when nofuch thing at that time can be proved by other Churches : therefore we may well conceive that it was noOrdi- nance ofthe ApoRles but was occafioned afterwards, by the multiplying of Chrillians in the fame compafsof ground where theold Church did inhabite ; and the adjacent parts , together with thehumane frailtyofthe Bifhops, who gathered as many as they couldunder their own Government when they fhould have erected new Churches as free as their own. Reafon i z. If the Defcription ofthe Bilhops fettled in the New Rca Teflament, and thework affixed to them, befetchas cannot agree to our Diocefan Bifhops but to the Pallars of afingle Church, then was it never themindof the Holy Ghaft that thofe Bifhops Aould degenerate afterwards into Diocefan Bifhops: But the Ameceaent is certain ? thereforefo is the Confequent. I here ftill fuppofe with Learned Dr. ELAanot in Al. II, 6pailirn,that thename Presbyter in Scripture fignifieth a Bi- filop, there being no Evidence that in Scriptun time anyof that Second Order, ( viz. fubjeft Presbyters ) were then inflituted. Though I am far from thinking that there was but one ofthere 3ilhops in a Church at lea-a as tomany Churches. Now aèwe areagreed defaFiaThat it was but a tingle Church that then was under Bifhop and not many fuch Churches ( for that follow: Lade.