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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

A prelate's depute is no minister


depute, cannot give him a call

to the ministry of Christ; but this collation only makes a man a prelate's depute. Or thus, a prelate's depute is no minister; but a curate is a prelate's depute: Ergo----That a prelate's depute is no minister, I prove; not only from that, that a prelate, as such, is not a servant of Christ, but an enemy; and therefore cannot confer upon another, that dignity to be Christ's servant; but from this, that the scripture allows no derivation of deputed officers. If no officers of Christ can have deputes of Christ's institution; then the deputes that they make cannot be Christ's officers of his institution; but no officers of Christ can have deputes by Christ's institution: every man that hath any piece of stewardship in God's family must ever see and execute it immediately by himself, and wait upon it, Rom. xii. 7, 8. That curates are prelates deputes is clear: for they are subject to them in order and jurisdiction, and derive all their power from them, and are accountable to them: therefore they cannot be acknowledged with confidence of conscience to be Christ's ministers. 'Because they have not such a visible evidence of the call of Christ, as, in reason and charity, doth oblige all men to receive the person so called, as truly sent: which things are so evident in themselves, that whoever denieth them, is obliged by the same consequence to affirm, that if Simon Magus had in his horrid wickedness, purchased the apostleship by money, the Christian world had been bound to receive him
as an apostle,' Naphtali, p. 105, 106, first edition. That their ministry is the Lord's ordinance is plainly denied, Naphtali, p. 109. 'They have nothing like a solemn ordination, having no imposition of hands of the presbytry with fasting and prayer, according to the order of the gospel, but the sole warrant and mission of the prelate, and therefore it cannot be lawful to countenance such, and to look upon them as lawful ministers,' Apol. Relat. sect. 15. pag. 183. It will be objected here, 1. 'That then their baptism is no baptism, if they be no ministers.' Ans. '(1.) what sad consequences may follow upon the nulling of their office, let them see to it who either send such forth, or employ them.' Apol. Relat. ib. p. 294. the best way to avoid these inconveniences is not to countenance them. But (2.) the same answers may serve which are adduced for popish baptisms and ordinations: and the deed sometimes signifies, That it ought not to be done. Next it will be, Object. 2. That many of the curates were in the ministry before, therefore the argument is not stringent against them. Ans. The one half of it about the qualifications does still urge them, through the want of which, and their base treachery and betraying their trust, and perjuries in breaking covenant, they have really forefaulted their ministry, and loosed all from an obligation to hear them, or any other to whom these scripture-characters may be applied, and brings all under the guilt of partaking with them that hear them.

II. It is necessary also, that all whom we may lawfully hear as ministers and ambassadors of Christ, should not only have had a commission from Christ, sometimes conveyed to them in his orderly appointed way, by and from approven church officers; but


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