« ElőzőTovább »
conduct, those honours and emoluments, which were intended by them, not to be the instruments of promoting monastic idleness and brutal sensuality, but the just rewards of distinguished excellence in discipline, learning, virtue, and piety.
Vol. IV. D SER
Rom. x. 15.
How shall they preach, except they be sent f
TT was long the darling project of the friends of the Romish communion to subvert the foundations of our established church in this nation, by endeavouring to call in question the mission .and regular appointment of her clergy. But this project, like many others, not only proved abortive, but redounded to the eternal disgrace and infamy of its contrivers. The arrows of falsehood and chicanery, though dipped in poison, and lanced by the arm of pretended infalli... D 2 bility„ bility, were unable to pierce the impenetrable shield of our holy faith. And, what must have been still more mortifying to the church of Rome, she found an unanswerable opponent in one of her own sons, whom the mere force of conviction compel led, in opposition to every worldly view, to stand forth as the champion of truth and protestantism.
But long we had not enjoyed the fruits of this victory over one set of enemies, •before the peace of our Zion was again disturbed by the attacks of another; who ^io not indeed eall in question the regular mission and appointment of her clergy, but deny the necessity of any appointment at all; and who therefore, self-taught -and self-commissioned, take upon them to preach,—I will not say, the pure word of God; for that they seldom preach;— but rather their own crude fancies and distempered notions; "who, as St. Cy** prian says of the Methodists and im4 % "posters
4< postors of his time, of their own ac"cord, without God's appointment, set "themselves up amid their temerarious "assemblers; who constitute themselves "rulers without any law of ordination; ** who assume the name of teachers and *' bishops, when no man gives them the "power;" and thus, creeping into houses and conventicles, lead captive silly men, and silly women; too often, it is well known, literally laden with their sins. "
When, therefore, our pastoral office is thus openly invaded; when we are publicly arraigned as incapable of Instructing the flock of Christ committed to our charge; I hope I shall not employ your time either uselessly, or in .a, rnanner foreign to the present occasion, by endeavouring to shew, in opposition to these false teachers, that thercalways has been, from the first planting of Christianity,:a regular designation and appointment of a particular set, of men, to whom, and to
D 3 whom.