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tution. Here's an Election and Ordination in one certain Place, in a general Assembly of the Church, Consultation with, and Applause of all the People in it; and yet, our learn, ed Enquirer is very well assurd, (I doubt not ) that there were many Congregations in the Church of Rome at that Time ; and therefore what Proof such Arguments can be, that there were no more than one in S. Cyprian's Time, I shall leave to himself to judge.
But can a Bishop write a publick Gratulatory Letter in his own Name, and in the Name of all bis Fraternity, as our * Enquirer observes S. Cyprian did to Lucius, Bishop of Rome, and not have all the Fraternity, i.e. all the People of his Diocese present with him ? Yes surely, in the Sense S. Cyprian meant, he may; for if all the People of his own Diocese were met together at the sending that Letter, then all the People of many other Dioceses, and probably of his whole Province, were assembled together for it too: For his words are, f I and my Collegues, and all the Fraternity, send this Letter to you.
Now Collegues, in S. Cyprian's Language, I think is unquestionably understood of Fellow-Bishops, and given by him to no other Order of Ecclesiasticks whatsoever ; so that all the Fraternity, subjoin'd to them, does most properly mean, that they and their Churches (as the Occasion did require ) fent unanimous Congratulations to the blessed Con
* Enquiry. p.-25. Fraternitas ompis. Cypr. Ep.58
. Ñ 2. or Ep. 61. Edit. Oxon.
+ Ego & college, & fraternitas omnis, has ad vos literas mittimus. Cypr. ib.
fessor Lucius, fo lately return'd from Banishment.
If this be thought no clear Construction of the Place, let us compare it with the Synodical Epistle of the Council of Antioch, (from whence our Enquirer himself here quotes another Authority to the like Purpose: ) The Bishops in that Council writing to Dionysius, Bishop of Rome, and Maximus, Bishop of Alexandria, first prefix'd their * own Names to the Epistle, and then join with them, the Churches of God also; that is, unquestionably, the Churches they presided over, who jointly with them feat Greeting, and concurr'd in the Account they there give of Paulus Samosatenus's Cafe ; and do we think the whole Dioceses of those several Bishops were personally present with them in that Council ? That wou'd make it such a Synod as is surely without Example, and I think beyond Imagination. Certainly Bishops, or the chief Magistrates of any Society or Corporation, may in Consistory or Council, write Letters of a publick Importance in the Name of the Society or Body they relate to, without convening or polling all the individual Members of it: And their Reading of Letters of such publick Concern to their numerous People, (which is another Argument our learned || Enquirer insists upon) is better accounted for in such an obvious Sense as this is, than he will ever account for King 1
Josiah's * "Enero, Trabucu , z cópino - Kai so λοιποι πάνες οι σωω ημίν παροικίνες τας εγγυς πόλεις και έθνη Επίσκοποι και Πρεσβύτεροι και Διάκονοι, κι αι Εκκλησίαι Θεξ αγαπηλοίς, &c.χαίρν.
|| Enq. p. 24. Sanctiilimæ atque amplitimæ plebi legere. Cypr. Ep. 55. or in Oxf. Edit. 59.
+ 2 Kings xxiii. 2.
Fosiah's reading the Book of the Covenant in the Ears of all the Men of Judah, and all the In. habitants of Jerusalem, in his own literal and strain'd Sense of such Expressions. So that the Triumph, in the Close of this Head, might as well have been in softer Words, at least ; for 'tis pretty much to say, ( for no better Reasons than these that a Primitive Diocese could not possibly be more than one single Congregation.
There are some few Quotations amongst the rest in this Place, which urge the Necesity of all the People's Presence indeed, upon ACcount of the Part and Right they All had to judge of any Offence that was brought before the Consistory of the Church; but those will be more properly consider'd in the following Chapters, where they are repeated to us again, and offer'd as undeniable Proofs of such a Right and Practice in the Primitive Church. In the mean time, I can't but fay, ’tis surprizing to fee, how often the same Quotations are brought over and over again in this short Enquiry, to serve the different Ends of it, and make it appear a Work of great Variety of Reading; and strongly supported by Primitive Authority for it.
We have a pregnant Instance of this, in the four next Pages before us, which are from Pag. 27. to Pag. 31. Our Author had gleaned (as we have seen already) all the short Phrases in S. Ignatius's Epistles, that he thought gave any Countenance to his Hypothesis, and offer'd them at once to prove his general Proposition:(These we had at Pag. 17. to Pag. 21.) And now he
gives us them all again by Retail, and applies the self-fame Quotations by Piece-meals, to prove, that each of those Churches S. Ignatius wrote to, were meer. Congregational Churches, and no more. This makes the Bulk of Authority look great indeed, but adds not one Grain of Weight to it; and therefore the Reader will excuse me, (I know) if I take no more Notice of his repeated Arguments here about one Altar, one Eucharist, one Prayer for the whole Church; that the Bishop took one common Care of them all; that nothing must be done without the Bishop; that all must assemble together in one Place, and the like. By which Repetitions he here labours separately to prove, that the Dioceses of Smyrna, Ephesus, Magnesia, Philadelphia, and. Trallium, were such sort of Churches as he contends for.
The Strength of all those Arguments, I conceive, I have fairly try'd already; and 'tis much there should scarcely be one new one found to make any of those five eminent Churches bear a clear Testimony for him, when he took the Pains to consider each of them singly, and one by one.
'Tis true, to make the Diocese of Smyrna appear such, he adds a short Clause or two; (omitted before) i, * That the Bishop of that Church conld know his whole Flock perfonally by their Names. So he translates the place, tho' S. Ignatius's Words have no such Affirmation in
* Eng. p. 27. Έξ ονόμαG πάνlας ζήτει. Εp. ad Polycarp. p. 13.
them, but are only a plain Advice to S. Polycarp to do what the Primitive Bishops always did, that is, to keep the Names of every Member of his Church enroll'd in what the Ancients call’d the Matricula of their Church ; the Occasion of the Words imply it to be so: He just before besought S. Polycarp of not to neglect the Widows of the Church and immediately after, desires him S not to overlook so much as the MenServants and Maid-Servants in it; and in the midst of this (as a Means so to know the Quality, Number, and Condition of his Diocese) advises him to enquire out all by Name, that is, to get such a Register of their Names, that upon Occasion of any Object of Charity propos’d to him, of any Complaint or Application made to him about any within his Cure or Jurisdiction, or in case of Apostacy, or Perseverance in Time of Persecution, or the like; by means of this general Matricula, he (as the other Bishops did) might more directly know how the Case stood with them. And which was more than all this, the Names thus entred. in this facred Record were personally entitled Then to all the publick Intercesions and Spiritual Bleslings obtain's by the Eucharistical Prayers, Oblations, and Sacraments of the whole Church; and to have their Names blotted out of this, was a constant Effect of Excommunication, and was dreaded by all that
+ Xópa len cuencia drav. Ep.ad Polyc. p. 12.
9 'Εξ ονόματα πάνlας ζήτει. Δίλες και σέλας μή umepnçareIb. P: 13.