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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

But by conveyance of the prelate


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they must have it then when

we hear them, at this time when we own communion with them. For if they have sometimes had it, and forefaulted or changed it, by taking a new right another way, it is all one in point of owning them, as if they had none at all: and we must not meddle with such changelings, in things that they and we must not come and go upon, Prov. xxiv. 21. Now plain it is, that some curates sometimes had a commission from Christ, when they were presbyters; but now they have changed their holding, and taken a new right from them who are no officers of Christ, invested with power to confirm or convey a ministerial mission; and so they have forefaulted what they had. Mr. Durham, in a digression on this subject of hearing, shews, that ministers may forefeit, on Revel. chap. i. p. 55. in 4to. 'In matter of hearing (says he) it is not so hard to discern, who are to be counted to speak without God's commission; because ordinarily such have no warrantable call at all (no not in the outward form, and so cannot be counted but to run unsent) or by palpable defection from the truth, and commission given them in that call, they have forefeited their commission: and so no more are to be counted ambassadors of Christ, or watchmen of his flock, than a watchman of the city is to be accounted an observer thereof, when he hath publicly made defection to the enemy, and taken on with him.' Let the indulged and addressing ministers advert to this: and consider, whether or not the truly tender have reason to discountenance
them, while they continue in their palpable defection. But undeniably this resells that objection of the curates ordination before they were curates; for they that change their holding of a right, and take a new right which is null, they forego and forefeit their old right, and all right; but the prelatic curates have changed their holding of their right, and taken a new one, which is null: therefore they have foregone and forefeited their old one. The minor I prove thus. They who had a right from Christ by conveyance of his officers, and take a new grant for the exercise of it, not from Christ, but by conveyance of such as are none of his officers, they change their holding, and take a new one, which is null. But the prelatic curates, who had a right by conveyance of his officers, have taken a new grant for the exercise of it, not from Christ, but by conveyance of the prelate, which is none of his officers; Therefore----The stress of all will ly in the probation of this, that the prelate is none of Christ's officers, and therefore the conveyance of a power from him is not from Christ. Which I prove, 1. Because his office is cross to the very nature of gospel church government, and therefore he cannot be a gospel church ruler. Christ discharged his officers to exercise dominion (or lordship, Luke xxii. 25.) or authority, as the Gentiles did, but that the chiefest should be only a minister, Matth. xxii. 25, 26. The apostle Paul disclaims dominion over the church, 2 Cor. i. ult. Peter exhorts the elders not to be lords over God's heritage, 1 Pet. v. 3. The authority of church-officers then is not a despotic power, but a ministerial stewardship. But the diocesan bishop is both a lordly title and power, having all authority in the diocese derived from him, as being as it were the universal pastor, and so taking upon him a power, which is neither commanded, nor can be discharged.


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