Owen - Houston-Packer Collection BT768 .O9 1654

A Preface to the Reader. to it when the reafon ofit fhall be a little weighed and confidered. The fumme is , that the name Church , in the fingular number , is never ufed , but when it relates to the tingle congregation , in or of one City , or Towne. That of Churches refpeding the feo. veral Churches, or Congregations that were gathered in any Country or 'Province ;manifeft then is it from hence, that there is in the newTeftament no Churchof onedenomination be- yond a frngle congregation ; And where there are more they are alwaies called Churches ; how evidently this is deftruelive to any Diocefan , or Metropolitical Officer , who hath no Church left him thereby , ofChrift's Inftitution tobe related to , an other opportunitywill manifeft. For the prefent let us fee what ufe ourDotionr makes of this obfervation. Sell: 3. Sayes he ?udea and the reit ofthe places where Churches are mentioned , are the names of Provinces, 47.exrw,, quatenas ea neieotr:oss dlateil.7Fw contrail; linguntur. But if the Dollourtakes thefe words in an Eccle/iaflical fenfe,he beggs that which will upon fuch un- worthy termes never be granted him ; Ifno more be intended, but that udaa ,Galatia, and the like names ofCountryes,wereProvinces whereinwere many Churches; Smyrna, ephefus, ofTownes and Citties, wherein there was but one. We grantit with him : And how much that Conceflion of ours is to his advantage bath been intima- ted. And this feemes to be his intendment by his following words , provinciarum in- quarn in quibxa plurima civitates fingulie fingnlarum Ecclefiarumfedes , comprehendebantur, ideeg3 Ecclefi.e in plural, ifliuefive iflitu provincis,dìcevda,well,whatthen?cum tamest unagnsg, civitas, cum territorio fbi adjnnllo (nñp,}l) ab Epifcopofxoadminiflrats, fingxlarrs &cclefia dr- cenda fit : ideoq quodear Lwr.nnoíavfat1um dicirur, AEI: 14. 25: i nrsiv fierijubetUr, Tit; r. 5. that in every City there was a fingular Church in thofe Provinces (I (peak of thofe where anynumber wereconverted to the faith ) I grant, for the annexed Territories let the DoEour takecare:There being one Church at Corinth, and an other at Cenchrea. So that every tingle City, had it's own tingleChurch, with itsBifhops in it, as at Philippi. The paffagementio- ned by the Doëíour, concerning the Epiftle ofDionyfrm to the Church at Goryna in Creel, is very little to his purpofe: neither doth he call Philip the Bithop ofthat Church, theBithop of all the other Churches in Creel, asthe Dot-lour intimates:but the Bithopof them to whom efpecially and eminently he wrote. Sell: 4. Application is made of the fore mentionedObfervation. SeF`I: 2, and the Inter- pretationgiven ofit Seal : 3, in thefe words; Hisfic pots'tes, illudflatim fequitur nr (in imperil cognition ) in provinciâ quolibet, cam plures V rbesfins, ums Comex primaria, E principalis cot- fend.; crac, itnapónonis idro dicîa, cui indem inferioresrelique civitátesfubjiciebantxr, at ervitsti- bin regions , lit & inter Ecclefiat , & Cathedras Epifcop,elcsunamtemper primariam (Me- tropoliricamfuiffe. In this Seálion the :Dolloser bathmoll ingenienfly s and truly given us the rife and occation of his Diocrfan, and Metropolitical Prelates , from"the aimes of men to accomodate Ecclef- afical,or Church-affaires to the ltate and condition ofthecivil Goverment , and diftributions ofProvinces, Metropolitan Cities, & chiefTomneswithin the fever al dependencies,( the neigh- boringVillages being call in as things ofno great efteem , to the lot of the next contiderable Towne,and feat ofJudicature,)did the Hierarchy which he fo feduloully conrendeth for arife: what Advantage were afforded to the worke, by the paucity ofBelievers in the villages , and lefs Townes(from whichat length, the whole body ofHeathenifh Idolaters were denominated Pagans ) the fiat planting of Churches in the greater Cities , theEminence ofthe officers of the firfl Churches in thole Citties, the weaknels of many rural Rifhops,themultiplying and growing in numbers and perlons ofgifts, abilities and conlderable fortunes , and employ- ments in this world, in the MetropolitanCities , with their fame thereby, the tradition ofthe abode of fome, one or ether of the Apoftles in fuch Cities, and Churches,with the eminent Accommodation at the adminiftration ofcivil7urifdillion,& other Affaires,which appeared in that fubordination and dependency whereunto the Provinces, chief Ciries,and Territories in theRemane Empire were caft,with which opportunities Sathangot by thefe meanes, to intro- duce their waies, flute, pompe, words, phrafes,termes ofhonour ofthe world into the Chur- ches inlenfibly getting groundupon them , and prevailing to their declenfion from the na- ked bmpliciry eï preity,wherein they were firft planted,fome other Occalon may giveAdvan- tage forus to manifefl:for the prefent it may fufficethat it is granted that the Magnifiek,Hie- rarchie of theChurch , atole from the accommodation of it's flare and conditionof the Ron mane Empire,and Provinces. And tins inthe inflames ofafter Ages that might be produced, will eafily be madeyet farther evident ; In thole fhamefeil, or indeed ratherfaamele/s Contests, whichfell out among the Bithops of the thirdCentury , anddownWard,aboutprecedency,titlis of