10 TEACTS FOR THE TIMES.
5thly. When the Jews fell into wickedness and idolatry, priests as well as people, and God sent prophets to reprove them, yet none of tlese holy prophets did separate from communion with the wicked priests, and set up another priesthood in opposition to them. They did not think it lawful, how holy soever they were, to intrude themselves into the priesthood, as they had not been lawfully called and appointed.
These two cases go very strongly to prove that there is a duty to submit ourselves, for conscience sake, to the established order and manner in the Church, so long as the Church enjoins nothing which plainly contradicts the revealed will of God, and to perform which would therefore do violence to our sense of right.
6thly. Consider, further, the ground upon which our Saviour ordered the authority of the Scribes and Pharisees to be respected, viz. because they sat in Moses' seat, (Matt, xxiii. 2. ;) t. e. because they were the lawfully appointed and regularly ordained ministers of the established religion. Moreover, throughout the Acts of the Apostles, where we are to look for the use and gradual formation of a system of Church government, in proportion as the converts become more numerous, and more widely scattered in different countries, we may trace a principle of union and of subordination throughout the various Churches and Assemblies of believers. Care too was taken for the continuance of this union and this subordination, both in the manner of appointing teachers then^ and in providing for their similar appointment for the lime to come : and this manner of providing a due supply of fit persons for the ministry has been observed not only during the age of the Apostles, and their immediate successors, but it may be said through the first fifteen centuries after the establishment of Christianity.
7thly. Turn to the solemn prayers of our Saviour in the 17th chapter of St. John. ** Holy Father, keep through thine own name, those whom thou hast given to me, that they may be one '
- These words of our Saviour I take as more than an indirect argument They speak so clearly of all future believers in the Gospel, for whose unity He prays j the closeness of which proper unity, he illustrates by comparing it