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TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE AND RIGHT REVEREND FATHER IN GOD,
JONATHAN, LORD BISHOP OF WINCHESTER,
AND PRELATE OF THE MOST NOBLE ORDER OF THE GARTER.
(PUBLISHED WITH VOL. II. OF THE ORIGINAL EDITION.)
MY LORD, As the kind entertainment which your Lordship and the world have been pleased to give to the first part of this work, has encouraged me to go on in hopes of doing public service to the church; so the nature of the subject contained in this second volume, being but a continuation of the former account of the primitive clergy, obliges me again with all submission to present this second part to your Lordship, in hopes of no less kind acceptance and approbation. The matters here treated of are many of them things of the greatest importance, which when plainly set in order and presented to public view, may perhaps excite the zeal of many in the present age, to copy out those necessary duties, by the practice of which the primitive church attained to great perfection and glory; and, as I may say, still provokes and calls us to the same attainments by so many excellent rules and noble examples. In the fourth and sixth of these Books I have endeavoured to draw up something of the general character of the primitive clergy, by showing what qualifications were required in them before their ordination, and what sort of laws they were to be governed by afterwards, respecting both their lives and labours, in the continual exercise of the duties of their function. Many of them, I must own, have been very affecting to myself in the consideration of them; and I was willing to hope they might prove so to such others as would be at the pains to read them. For here are both directions and provocations of the best sort, to excite our industry, and inflame our zeal, and to make us eager and restless in copying out the pattern set before us. If any shall think I have collected these things together to reflect upon any persons in the present age, I shall only say, with one of the ancients in a like case,* they mistake my design; which was not to reproach any man's person, who bears the sacred character of a priest, but to write what might be for the public benefit of the church. For as when orators and philosophers describe the qualities, which are required to make a complete orator or philosopher, they do no injury to Demosthenes or Plato, but only describe things nakedly in themselves without any personal applications ; so in the description of a bishop or priest, and explication of ancient rules, nothing more is intended but to propose a mirror of the priesthood, in which it will be in every man's power and conscience to take a view of himself, so as either to grieve at the sight of his own deformity, or rejoice when he beholds his own beauty in the glass.
Nothing is here proposed but rules and examples of the noblest virtues ; probity and integrity of life; studies and labours becoming the clerical function; piety and devotion in our constant addresses to God; fidelity, diligence, and prudence in preaching his word to men ; carefulness and exactness, joined with discretion and charity, in the administration of public and private discipline; candour and ingenuity in composing needless disputes, aong goud men; antt zeal in opposing and confronting the powerful and wily designs of heretics and wicked. pierë; togetter.wädi resolution and patience in suffering persecutions, calumnies, and reproaches, both from proßensed enemies and pretended friends ; with many other instances of the like commendable virtues, which shined in the lives and adorned the profession of the primitive clergy; whose rules and actions, I.almost promisg myself, your Lordship and all good men will read with pleasure, because they will but see their ow is beauty: represented in the glass ; and they that fall short
Hieron. Ep. 83. ad Ocean. t. 2. p. 323. Ne quis me in sugillationem istius temporis sacerdotum scripsisse, quæ scripsi, existimet, sed in ecclesiæ utilitatem. Ut enim oratores et philosophi, describentes qualem velint esse perfectum oratorem et philosophum, non faciunt injuriam Demostheni et Platoni, sed res ipsas absque personis definiunt. Sic in descriptione episcopi, et in eorum expositione quæ scripta sunt, quasi speculum sacerdotii proponitur. Jam in potestate et conscientia singulorum est, quales se ibi aspiciant: ut vel dolere ad deformitatem, vel gaudere ad pulchritudinen possint.
of the character here given, will find it a gentle admonition and spur to set in order the things that are wanting in their conduct, and to labour with more zeal to bring themselves a little nearer to the primitive standard.
Your Lordship is enabled, by your high station and calling, to revive the exercise of ancient discipline among your clergy in a more powerful way; and you have given us already some convincing proofs, that it is your settled resolution and intention so to do: as the thoughts of this is a real pleasure to the diligent and virtuous, so it is to be hoped it will prove a just terror to those of the contrary character; and, by introducing a strict discipline among the clergy, make way for the easier introduction of it among the laity also; the revival of which has long been desired, though but slow steps are made toward the restoration of it. In the mean time it becomes every man, according to his ability, though in a lower station, to contribute his endeavours toward the promoting these good ends: to which purpose I have collected and digested these observations upon the laws and discipline of the ancient clergy, that such as are willing to be influenced by their practice, may have great and good examples set before them; whilst they whom examples cannot move, may be influenced another way, by the authority which your Lordship, and others in the same station, are invested with, for the benefit and edification of the church: the promoting of which is, and ever will be, the hearty endeavour of him, who is,
TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE AND RIGHT REVEREND FATHER IN GOD,
JONATHAN, LORD BISHOP OF WINCHESTER,
AND PRELATE OF THE MOST NOBLE ORDER OF THE GARTER,
THIS THIRD VOLUME OF
THE ANTIQUITIES OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH,
Is humbly submitted and inscribed by the Author,
Most dutiful and obedient Servant,
(PUBLISHED WITH VOL. III. OF THE ORIGINAL EDITION.)
HIS MOST SACRED MAJESTY, GEORGE,
BY THE GRACE OF GOD KING OF GREAT BRITAIN, FRANCE, AND IRELAND, DEFENDER
OF THE FAITH, &c.
(PUBLISHED WITH VOLS. IV. V. VI. VII. VIIL OF THE ORIGINAL EDITION.)
Most Gracious SOVEREIGN, I HUMBLY beg leave to lay at your Majesty's feet a part of a larger work, which was at first designed to promote those great and worthy ends, which your Majesty, in your princely wisdom, by your royal deciarations has lately thought fit to recommend to your universities and clergy: that is, the promotion of Christian piety and knowledge, and such useful learning as may instil good principles into the minds of younger students ; upon which the prosperity of church and state will in this, and all succeeding ages, so much depend. The practice of the primitive ages of the church, when reduced into one view, seems to be one of the most proper means to effect these honourable designs; and with that consideration I have hitherto proceeded in this laborious work, not without the countenance and approbation of many worthy men, and now hope to finish it under your Majesty's favour and protection : humbly beseeching Almighty God to bless your Majesty's great designs for the good of this church and nation, and the protestant interest abroad: which is, and ever shall be, the hearty prayer of
TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE AND RIGHT REVEREND FATHER IN GOD.
CHARLES, LORD BISHOP OF WINCHESTER,
AND PRELATE OF THE MOST NOBLE ORDER OF THE GARTER.
(PUBLISHED WITH THE CONCLUDING TWO VOLUMES.1
My LORD, It was one of those ancient rules, many of which I have had occasion to speak of in this work, That presbyters should do nothing dvev yvóuns ToŰ ÉTLOKÓTou, or sine conscientia episcopi, without the consent or knowledge of the bishop: which though it extend not to all private, domestical, and secular affairs, yet doubtless it was intended to keep a good harmony and subordination between them, in all matters of a public nature relating to the affairs and welfare of the church. And therefore, with a view to this rule, as I first presented the beginning of this work to your predecessor, my then diocesan, so now I lay this last and finishing part of it at your Lordship’s feet; not doubting but that your Lordship, who is an encourager of good literature and ancient learning, will give it your favourable acceptance and approbation. I have the more reason to hope for this, because, out of your great good nature and condescension, your Lordship has always been an encourager of the undertaking, as I have been made sensible by happy experiment, in many years' distant correspondence with you. The work, I hope, is of general use, and will meet with a general acceptance among all those who are, without prejudice, true lovers of ancient learning. A noble lord was once pleased to tell me, he had sent it into Scotland by the hands of a great man of the assembly: though what appprobation it meets with there, I cannot say. But I can speak it with more satisfaction, that our worthy primate was once pleased to acquaint me in private conversation, that he himself had sent it to the professors of Geneva, who returned him their thanks together with their approbation. And if it be well accepted there, there is some reason to hope it may be accepted in most other protestant churches, and be a little means to bring them to a nearer union to the church of England in some points, for which some parts of the work are particularly designed. A late author has thought fit to epitomise some part of it, for the service (as he says) of his poor brethren of the clergy: though I fear, for the reasons I have been forced to give against his undertaking, it will prove of no service, but rather hurtful to them. But if he, or any other person of ability, would undertake to translate the whole into Latin, now that it is finished and completed, that might perhaps be of more general use to all the protestant churches. And in the mean time our poor brethren, if it please God to bless me with health, shall not want such an epitome, it it be needful, as is proper for their information.
And now, my Lord, that I have made mention of my own health, I cannot but with hearty prayers to God most sincerely wish yours, for the good things you have already done to this diocese, and more that may be expected, if it shall please God to confirm your health in such a state, as may enable you to go through the great work you want no will to perform. The reducing the exorbitant fees of this diocese
to a proper standard, is a thing that will never be forgotten by your poor brethren, who will always feel the sweet effect of it. Your encouragement given to the meanest clergymen to write to yourself in person, and not to any officers, upon business relating to the church, is a singular instance of your good nature and condescension ; and also a sure method to prevent corruption. Your care to inform yourself of the character and worth of your clergy, with a view to the promotion of such as have long laboured diligently in great cures, or small livings, is a method that cannot fail of giving a new life and spirit to all such, as may reasonably hope that their merits and labours will not always be overlooked and despised; but that they may in due time find their reward, both in ease and advancement, from so kind an inspector.
That you may have health and long life to proceed in such good acts, and all other offices of your function, I believe is the wish of all your clergy: I am sure it is the hearty prayer of him who is,
Τ THE PREFACE.
[PUBLISHED WITH VOL, L OF THE ORIGINAL EDITION)
This volume, which is now published, being only a part of a larger work, the reader, I presume, will expect I should give him some little account of the whole design, and the reasons which engaged me upon this undertaking. The design which I have formed to myself, is to give such a methodical account of the Antiquities of the Christian Church, as others have done of the Greek, and Roman, and Jewish antiquities; not by writing an historical or continued chronological account of all transactions as they happened in the church, (of which kind of books there is no great want,) but by reducing the ancient customs, usages, and practices of the church under certain proper heads, whereby the reader may take a view at once of any particular usage or custom of Christians, for four or five of the first centuries, to which I have generally confined my inquiries in this discourse. I cannot but own, I was moved with a sort of emulation (not an unholy one, I hope) to see so many learned men with so much zeal employed in collecting and publishing the antiquities of Greece and Rome; whilst in the mean time we had nothing (so far as I was able to learn) that could be called a complete collection of the antiquities of the church, in the method that is now proposed. The compilers of church history indeed have taken notice of many things of this kind, as they pass along in the course of their history, as Baronius, and the Centuriators, and several others : but then the things lie scattered in so many places in large volumes, that there are few readers of those few that enter upon reading those books, that will be at the pains to collect their accounts of things into one view, or digest and methodise their scattered observations. There are a great many other authors, who have written several excellent discourses upon particular subjects of church antiquity, out of which, perhaps, a Gronovius or a Grævius might make a more noble collection of antiquities than any yet extant in the world: but as no one has yet attempted such a work, so neither, when it was effected, would it be for the purchase or perusal of every ordinary reader, for whose use chiefly my own collections are intended. There are a third sort of writers, who have also done very good service, in explaining and illustrating several parts of church antiquity in their occasional notes and observations upon many of the ancient writers; of which kind are the curious observations of Albaspiny, Justellus, Petavius, Valesius, Cotelerius, Baluzius, Sirmondus, Gothofred, Fabrotus, Bishop Beveridge, and many others, who have published the works of the ancient fathers and canons of the councils, with very excellent and judicious remarks upon them. But these, again, lie scattered in so many and so large volumes, without any other order, than as the authors on whom they commented would admit of, that they are not to be reckoned upon, or used as any methodised or digested collection of church antiquities, even by those who have ability to purchase, or opportunity to read them. Besides these, there are another sort of writers, who have purposely undertaken to give an account of the ancient usages of the church, in treatises written particularly upon that subject, such as Gavantus, Casalius, Durantus, and several others of the Roman communion ; but these writers do by no means satisfy a judicious and inquisitive reader, for several reasons: 1. Because their accounts are very imperfect, being confined chiefly to the liturgical part of church antiquity, beside which, there are a great many other things necessary to be explained, which they do not so much as touch upon, or once mention. 2. Because, in treating of that part, they build much upon the collections of Gratian, and such modern writers, and use the authority of the spurious epistles of the ancient popes, which have been exploded long ago, as having no pretence to antiquity in the judgment of all candid and judicious writers. But chiefly their accounts are unsatisfactory, because, 3. Their whole design is to