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two warrantable Authorities from Ireneus and Tertullian (here noted in the * Margin) for it.
Here was an early Occasion given indeed for his singular Distinction (if he could have warranted it) of a Supreme Bishop, amongst many other Apostolical Bishops in the same Church together. For without that, this great Catholick Test to try the true Faith by, would have proved no Test at all: For if more Bishops than one, of equal original Order and Apostolical Institution too, were ordinarily in the same particular Church together, (as our learned Author does affirm) then to prove the Orthodoxy of a Church's Faith, by the Succeslion of one particular Apostolical Bishop in a Church, had no Consequence in it at all; because some other of those Apostolically ordained Bishops might possibly be at the Head of an Heretical Congregation too, and then the Original Order and Succession of These might have been as warrantable an Argument for Them, as the like could be for the other ; and by that means, Heresy and the true Faith would have stood upon an equal Bottom with one another : This surely must have been the Case, according to our learned Author's modern Scheme, unless this cautious Epithet of Supreme' had been exprelly annext to that particular Bishop, upon whom this Rule of Orthodox Succeflion did depend. And how Tertullian and Irenæus could so indefinitely appeal to such an Episcopal Succession as this, and fix no Mark of Distinction at all upon the Bishops they peculiarly meant, is not other. wife to be accounted for, but that no such Di. Itinction of Supreme and Subordinate or Allifting Bishops was ever known in their Time, and so the Test in general Terms was evident and plain enough to all the Christian World then.
* Edant originem Ecclefiarum suarum, evolvant ordinem Episcoporum fuorum, ita per fuccelliones ab initio decurrentem, ut primus ille Episcopus aliquem ex Apostolis vel Apoftolicis vi. ris, qui tamen cum Apostolis perfeveraverit, habuerit autorem & antecesorem : koc enim modo Ecclefiæ Apoftolicæ cenfus fuos deferunt ; ficut Smyrnæorum Ecclesia babens Polycarpum ab Johanne conlocatum refert, sicut Romanorum Clementem à Petro ordinatum; proinde åtique cæteræ exhibent, quos ab Apostolis in Epifcopatum conftitutos, Apostolici femi. ñis traduces babeant. De Præscripc. advers. Hæret. p. 78. (or p. 243. Edit. Rig alt. Lutet. 1641.)
Ad eam traditionem quæ est ab Apostolis, quæ per successiones Presbyterorum [or successiones Episcoporum, as it is in the next Chapter] in Ecclefiis custoditur, provocamus eos. Iren, Lib. 3. 6. 2.
This Chapter closes with one Remark more, which seems of fo indifferent a Nature, that one would be apt to pass it over ; but because (like all the rest before ) it is calculated for some greater Uses which will be made of it after, wards, it must not be overlook'd. The Remark is only this, (p. 14.) The Titles ( says he) of this Supreme Church-officer are most of them reckon'd up in one place by Cyprian, mhich are, * Bishop, Pastor, President, Governor, Superintendent, [ lo he translates Antistes ] and Priest ; and farther, ( says he ) This is he which in the Revelations is called the Angel of his Church, as
* Epifcopus, Præpofitus, Pastor, Gubernator, Antistes, Sacerdos. Cyp: Ep. 09. § S. [ or Ep. 66. p. 167. bedit. Oxon]
Origen thinks, which Appellations denote both his Authority and Office, his power and Duty, &c. Now would not any common Reader be apt to think, that these are the appropriated Titles of his Supreme Church-Officer? and that whenever he met with them in S. Cyprian's Writings, or any other of such Primitive Antiquity as his, he must always understand that Supreme Church-Officer by them ? else why so carefully noted here? But no such thing, 'tis quite the contrary; for in his 4th Chapter, from p. 64 to p. 68, he labours with much Reading and great Zeal to prove, that most of all these Supreme Titles were equally given, and did of Right belong, to any Presbyter whatsoever in the Christian Church. . And what's the Meaning, would one think, of this extraordinary Way of arguing? why the Case is plain ; All the Presbyters in any Church whatsoever are in that place to be owned for Primitive Bishops, without any farther Authority or Ordination for it than they had before ; and amongst other great Reasons for that extraordinary Asertion, this is to be a considerable one, that the same Name is very familiarly used by the Ancients to ex. press them both by : So that having first pofsess’d his Reader here, that these fore-mentioned Titles are peculiarly Bishops Titles, and then shewing him there, that many of them are often attributed to Presbyters, the Inference will go smoothly down, that they are unquestionable Bishops too ; and I will only add, that by this Argument they must every one of them be Supreme Bishops also. For his Chief or Su. preme Bishop was first set apart by bim to
preside preside over the whole Church he had alligned for him, before he attributed these several Titles to him ; and then if they are common to others afterwards, those others must be chief too, so far as those Titles can make them Bishops at all. And this is more (I think) than our Enquirer's own Scheme can allow them to be ; and consequently, this Remark will not conclude the Thing for which it was designed.
By what has been said, I hope it may ap. pear with what Caution this first Chapter of the learned Enquiry should be read : If I have been thought long in it, 'tis because I found it true, that the whole Discourse would very much depend upon it. A right Notion of a Primitive Church is the very Groundwork that all is to be built upon; this was undertaken to be settled here; how well it is performed, I leave now to others to determine.
THE great Point to be cleared in the 2d
Chapter is this, that as there was but one Bishop in a Church, (says he ) so there was but one Church to a Bishop. This is Primitive Language indeed, and would be Primitive Truth too, if the singular Notion of a particular Church before, had not turned a Catholick Maxim into an Equivocal Proposition ; for by his Bishop's Church, we know he means a single Congregation. And from one Observation of his, which he here remarks to us, he would have us assured,
that the Primitive Fathers meant fo too. His Observation is this, That the ancient Dioceses are never said to contain Churches in the Plural, but only a Church in the Singular; now what they contained in them (whether one or more of such Churches as his) his * Quotations say nothing of; but they shew indeed, that a Bishop's Church was usually express'd and named then in the Singular Number; and I will only add this Observation to it, That they were just so express’d and named too in after Ages of the Church, as well as in the first and earliest of them all. In the 4th Century, under Constantine the Great, 'tis notorious how the Churches multiply'd in the Number of their People and their Oratories too, yet the celebrated Diocese of Antioch is called no more than of the single Church of Antioch still; for so that Emperor himself styles it in his Letter to Eusebins, where he applauds his Humility for not exchanging his lesser Diocese of Cæsarea for it. Eusebius || calls the Mother-Diocese of Jerusalem no otherwise than fo, in the same Century, and about the same Time. In later Ages you'll find the Language of the Church holds the same still; for the Council of Care thage under Theodofius and Honorius, in the sth Century, calls the extensive Diocese of S. An
* See his Quotations in pag. 15 of the Enquiry. + Της κατα η 'Αντιοχίαν Εκκλησίας. Εueb. in vit. Constant. l. 3. c. 61.
η Το η Εκκλησίας και εν Ιεροσολύμοις 'Επισκόπων. Ibid. cap. 29.