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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

Collations from prelates cannot give a lawful call for 1


appear qualified according to the rule of the word; and may doubt if he be a qualified minister before God, wanting these qualifications which the word requireth,' Apol. Relat. sect. 15. p. 285. Secondly, They have not the lawful call of a minister of Christ, so much as an external call of his institution: which I prove thus. They that have presentations from patrons, and collations from prelates, and no more for a call, have no lawful call at all; but the curates have presentations from patrons, and collations from prelates, and no more for a call: Ergo they have no lawful call at all. The minor cannot be doubted: 'For, in this government, the minister's mission, call, ordination, and relation to such a people over whom he is to officiate, flows all from the prelate; the congregational eldership hath not the least interest in it: hence the presbyterian way of calling pastors was ranversed by the parliament, when prelacy was set up, and the old custom of patronages was restored,' Rectius Instru. Confut. of 1 Dial. chap. 4. p. 3. The major proposition may be proven by parts. First, Presentations from patrons cannot give a lawful call; for besides what other reasons might be given against this old relict of popish bondage of patronages, it destroys that privilege and liberty of the church in calling their own pastors, and makes all intruders, without the church's choice; whereas the flock are allowed a judgment of discretion, knowledge of, and consent to the admission of their pastors, to whom they intrust their soul's directions, before they be subject to, and obey him in the Lord, for otherwise he is a stranger that hath not come in at the door, and they must not, nor will not be imposed upon, John x. 1-5. They had an interest in choosing and nominating even the apostles, though there were other apostles of infallible knowledge, as to qualifications, present to ordain them; and they appointed two to be chosen by lot, Acts vi. 23. and even the deacons were looked out and chosen by the people, and appointed over the business, Acts vi. 3. 'Much less ought ministers to be thrust upon such a weighty employment, to pleasure great men who are patrons, since in their faithfulness the people are infinitely more concerned,' Rectius Instruen. ubi Supra. Hence, if the curates have no call but what destroys the people's privilege, they have no lawful call at all, neither ought they to be owned, or countenanced as called ministers; but by the presentation of patrons they have no call, but what destroys the people's privilege: Ergo--Next, collations from prelates cannot give a lawful call: for (1.) they cannot give that to others which they have not themselves; but they have not a lawful call themselves, because they are not lawful officers, as is clear, and may be proven afterwards. (2.) the only way of conveyance of an ordinary call to this office, is by the act of a presbytery, Tim. iv. 4. And, by ministers, their ordaining elders in every church, with the consent of that church; but a prelate's collation is not this act of a presbytery. (3.) That which only makes a man a prelate's

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