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of his general Proposition, but barely the Repetition of fustin Martyr's Sundays Assemblies again, where all in Cities and Countries ( he says ) met in one Place, which I conceive I have shewn already, to contain an irreconcilable Inconsistency in it, and that it proves no such thing.
But to make all sure, he * tells us, The Chri. stians, in Tertullian's Time and Country, receiv’d the Sacrament of the Lord's-Supper from the Hands of the Bishop alone ll. But how do we know that Tertullian's Presidents in this place (for that's his Word, as you see in the Margin ) were the Bishops only? Now, as far as our Enquirer can assure us of it, you may find in pag. 67. of this Tract of his; where we read, that President was one discretive Appellation of a Bishop ; and yet S. Cyprian ( says he ) calls his Presbyters Presidents too : Mayn't we be very well assurd then ( do you think ) that Tertullian ( whom S. Cyprian familiarly call’d his Master) cou'd mean nothing else by his Presidents, but Bishops of a Diocese alone, since his Great Disciple, S. Cyprian, thought no such thing of it? At least, wou'd not one think, that our ingenious Author shou'd satisfy his Reader a little with some certain Note here, that in this Passage of Tertullian, it cou'd be meant no otherwise, fince he himself had made that Observation for us? But to be short, and to give a fair Account of the Scope of that Passage in Tertullian; it was
* Enquiry, p. 19.
|| Nec de aliorum manu quàm Presidentium fumi. mus. Tert. de Coron. Mil. 'p. 121. Edit. Rigalt. Lun tetiæ, 1641.
thus : Tertullian was contending for the Authority of Tradition for many common Rites then us'd in the Christian Church, without a Scripture Warrant for them. * Amongst these Customs, he instances a general Practice in the Church then, to Communicate in the Morning, different from the Time of the Institution itself; and together with that, this which we are now speaking of, That they receiv’d the Communion from the President's Hands alone ; both equally common in his Days in the Christian Church; which, to make as clear an Interpretation of it as we can, I think implies neither more nor less than this, that as the Sacrament was then generally Administer'd in the Morning, so wherever it was Administer'd, the Confecrated Elements were usually deliver'd to the Communicants (as it is indeed most in ure now) by the Hands of them only, who presided in the several Assemblies where those holy Exercises were perform'd ; that is, I humbly conceive, by the Officiating Ministers of themselves. And what Appearance of Proof there is in all this for a Bishop's Personally distributing the Blessed Elements to every Communicant in his whole Diocese, at one Time and in one place; I desire the Words and Context may be fifted, and I shou'd willingly set down by the Reader's Judgment of it.
* Euchariftiæ Sacramentum, & in tempore vietas, & omnibus mandatum à Domino, etiam antelucanis cætibus, nec de aliorum manu, quam Præfidentium su. mimus. Tertul. Ib.
of Where is in many Places (as Juftin Martyr tells us ) the Deacons used to do it.
Well ! But the Bishop alone (generally,* says he) baptized all in bis Diocese. How much the Word generally implys, I need not overnicely enquire : He himself, again, gives me an easier Solution of it ; for (Page 55:) he tells us from the same Tertullian, That the BiShop hath the Right of Baptism, and then the Prefbyters and Deacons ; but for the Honour of the Church, not without the Bishop's Authority.
I shall observe no more at present from this Quotation, than this; that the Presbyters and Deacons might Baptize in the Diocese, if the Bishop allow'd them to do it; as S. Ignatius (we know before ) admitted that Baptism to be acceptable to God, which the Bishop shou'd approve; so that the Whole of the Matter (it seems ) is this, That the Bishop, with bis Presbyters and Deacons, must Baptize all in the Diocese ; and this is offer'd as a Reason, that a Diocese must be no more than a Congregational Church, because the Bishop cou'd not otherwise do all; for as for his generally doing it, that is our Enquirer's own ; neither Quotation has a tittle of it.
I confess, that Contestation mention'd here, which was the Repunciation-Form, which all Adult Catechumens usd in their own Persons, to testify their forsaking the Devil, the Pomp, &c. before they actually were baptiz'd ; 'tis probable (and pollible enough too) it might be in the Presence of the Bishop himself, and
* Enquiry, p. 21. Sub Antistite contestamur nos re. nunciare Diabolo & pompæ. Tertul. de Coron. Mil. 6. 3. P. 121. ut suprá,
the Diocese have a sufficient Plurality of Congregations in it too; || since it was a very large Space of Time, (as Terinllian expresses it) which was set apart for this very Ordering of Baptism every Year, even the fifty Days, from Easter to Whitsontide, including the Festivals, as you'll see, his Account of it, in the Margin, fhews. . It is a hard Task to attend such Minute Particulars, when I have produc'd before, fuch general Rules, as might answer all at once : But I am willing to please. He tells us farther then, that Justin Martyr assures us, * The Bishop was common Curator, and Overseer, of all the Orphans, Widows, Diseased; in a word, of all that were Needy and Indigent; and thence in
; fers, That the Diocese cou'd not be very large, mhere the Bishop Personally reliev'd them all. Now, the seeming Force of this Argument does not Jie in Justin Martyr's Words, but in the difcreet Manner of wording the Inference from them, with a little Help in the Translation: The Holy Martyr said just before, that the Collection of the People's Alms was deposited in their President's Hands, and immediately Subjoins, that he took care to relieve all kind
|| Diem baptismo folennem pascha præftat exinde Pentecofte, ordinandis lavacris latissimum spatium eft, quo & domini Resurrectio inter Discipulos frequentata eft. Tertul. de Bapt. c. 19. Edit. Rigal. Lutet. 1641.
* Το συλλεγόμενον ωρα τω Προεσώτι υπήίθε), και αυτός όπι κερά ορφάνοις τε και χήρgις, και τους δια νόσον ή δι' άλλην αγίαν λειπομεύοις, και τοις αν δεσμούς &σι, και τους παρεπιδήμοις έσι ξενοις, και απλώς τους αν Xpeide col und Elwy giveg. Juft. Mart. Apol. 2. p. 99. Edit. Colon. 1686.
of distress’d Persons (there mention’d) and out of the Offerings, to be sure, that were so entrusted with him. Our Enquirer infers, that he Personally did this; by which he wou'd have us understand, that all whom the Churches Charity reliev'd, the Bishop personally visited, inspected every individual Cafe from first to last, himself alone, and distributed Relief to the poor Sufferers with his own Hand; for here the Stress of all lies, which must necessarily prove them to be so few; and to give a better Colour to this Interpretation, he finds out a noted Parish-Term for this Episcopal Almoner, and translates him an Overseer. Now let the common Sense of all Mankind judge for us, if any publick Trust of this Nature was ever understood to be necessarily executed so in any fort of Society whatsoever. I believe Justin Martyr himself (or any other Christian Wri. ter besides bim) would have ventur’d to say as much, or more (than all we have here ) of S. Paul's Care in treasuring up and distributing the Alms of many Christian Congregations, for the Relief of all his Churches: And yet in the Sense we here contend for, he had succour'd but a poor Number of the Whole, and been but a small Şub-Almoner in the Matter, if what he obtain'd of the several Churches to collect, what the Presbyters and Elders did by his Order in it, and the Mesengers of their own too, which he allow'd to distribute it for him, had not been imputed to his own Person, as coinmon Governor and Guardian for them all. And why shou'd it then be so impracticable a Thing, as is here pretended, for any single Person to