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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

From a new architectonic usurped power in the church


III.

It is necessary also, that all with whom we own communion as ministers, should be Christ's ambassadors, having then, when we hear them, and holding still their commission from Christ as king, and only head of his church: conveyed not only from church-officers, in a way that he hath revealed as the prophet of his church, but in a way of dependence upon, and subordination to Christ as king, who ascending far above principalities and powers, appointed and gave the gifts of the ministry, Eph. iv. 8, 11. and set them in the church, 1 Cor. xii. 28. and gave them commission to go and teach the nations, by virtue of that all power that was given to him in heaven and earth, Matth. xxviii. 18, 19. If then they take a new holding, and close with a new conveyance of the ministry, and of the power to exercise the same, from a new architectonic usurped power in the church, encroaching on Christ's royal prerogative, we dare not homologate such an affront to Christ, as to give them the respect of his ambassadors, when they became the servants of men, and subject even in ministerial functions to another head than Christ, for then they are the ministers of men, and by men, and not by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead, because they do not hold the head, Col. ii. 19. Hence those that receive and derive their church power from, and are subordinate in its exercise to, another head than Christ Jesus, should not be received and subjected to as the ministers of Christ in his
church; but the prelates and their curates do receive and derive their church power from, and are subordinate in its exercise to, another head than Christ: therefore they should not be received, &c. The first proportion cannot be denied, the second is proved thus: Those officers in the church, professing themselves such, that derive their church power from, and are subordinate in its exercise to, a power truly architectonic and supreme in the church (to wit the magistrate) beside Christ, do derive their power from, and are subordinate in its exercise to another head than Christ Jesus; but so it is that prelates and their curates do derive, &c. Therefore----The major is evident; for whosoever hath a supreme architectonic power in and over the church, must be a head to the same, and the fountain of all church-power. The minor is also clear, from the foregoing historical deduction, manifesting the present prelacy to be gross erastianism; for the disposal of the government of the church is declared by law to be the crown-right, and and an inherent perpetual prerogative, and thereupon the bishops are restored to the episcopal function; it is expressly declared, that there is no church power in the church office-bearers, but what depends upon, and is subordinate unto the supremacy, and authorized by the bishops, who are declared accountable to the king for the administration; by virtue of which ecclesiastic supremacy, he put excommunication, and


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