Baxter - BV669 B3 1681

( 17 ') Yet afterward the Bifhop for the honour of his calling appropria. ting certain aEtions to himfelf alone, the Presbyters not exercifing thofe acts in time, the not exercifing them f eined to fignifie a want of Of- fice or power to exercife them; and fo fubjeét Presbyters ( who were never made by the Apoftles that can be proved, nor by theircommand) were like a diftinft Order or Species of Church-Officers, and grew from fyn-Presbyters or afleflours'of the fame Office infpecie to be as much fub..' jeEts to theBithops, as the Deacons were to the Presbyters. 34. All this while the Bifhop with his fellow Elders and Deacons dwelt together in the fame City, and often in the fameHoule, and met in the fame Church, the Bifhop fitting in the midit on a higher feat, and the Presbyters on eachhand him in a femi-circle, and the Deacons ftand. ing; And the Presbyters Preaching and otherwife officiating as the Bt. Shop appointed, who ruled the anion. And the Converts oftheVillages cameto this City Church as Members of it, and joyned with the rest. In the days of the Author of the Epiftles afcribed to Ignatius, every Church had but One Altar, and One Bifhop with his Fellow Elders and Deacons as the note of its "Unity; or Individuation. For fo many peo. ple as had perfonal Communion at One Altar, with the Bifhop or Elders were the conftitutive parts of theChurches. 35. Thus it continuedalto in the days of7ufiin,Tertullian and Cyprian; no Bifhop havingmore thanone Church or Altar, without any other formedfelf- communicating Church under him, but only Oratories in City or Country. 36. The firft that brake this Order wereAlexandria and Rome, where Converts foon multiplyed to a greater number than could meet in one place, or CommunicateatoneAltar : wherefore fub-affemblies with their particnlar Presbyters, were there firft formed, who Communicated di- ftinaly by themfelves. (Though there is no proof that they Communi- cated there in the Sacrament of a long time after that they met for Preaching and Prayer.) Yet even inRome and Alexandria the onlyplaces that had more than one Rated AfIèmbly for zoo years or more, there were not fo many Chriftians then as in theParifh that I now live in; See moreof my Proof in the beginning of my ChurchHillary abridged: vvhofe firftand fecond Chapters belongfpecially to thisTreatife, and therefore I mutt refer the Reader to them. 37. Even in Epiphanies time about 370 yearsafter Chrift, it is noted by him as a fingularity in Alexandria, that they had diftinit Affemblies befides the Bifhops; whereupon Petaviushimfelf.largely givethus notice, that in thofe days, except in a few very great Cities, there was but one Church- affembly in a Bifhops charge. 38. After that in Cities, or Country Villages, the Converts multi- plyed into more than could meet in one Affembly, and had allowance to Communicate in their fub-affemblies; yet were they appointed oncertain great and folemn Feftivals, to Communicate all with the. Bithops at the chief City Church, which fheweth that the fub-aflèmblies then were feVö and final!. D 39. Thits