Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Or is't not rather both their shame and sin,
That change her robe into a clout,

Too narrow, and

Too thin, to stand
Her need in any stead, much less to be
An ornament fit for her high degree?

Take pity on her, Lord, and heal her breaches ;

Clothe all her enemies with shame : All the despite that's done unto her reaches To the dishonour of thy name.

Make all her sons

Rich precious stones,
To shine each of them in his proper place,
Receiving of thy fulness grace for grace.

THE DEACON.

THE Deacon! That's the Minister.

True, taken generally;
And without any sinister

Intent, used specially,
He's purposely ordain'd to minister,
In sacred things, to another officer.

At whose appointment, in whose stead,

He doth what he should do,
In some things, not in all : is led

By Law, and custom too.
Where that doth neither bid, nor forbid, he
Thinks this sufficient authority :

Loves not to vary, when he sees

No great necessity;
To what's commanded he agrees,

With all humility;
Knowing how highly God submission prizes,
Pleased with obedience more than sacrifices.

Lord, thou didst of thyself profess

Thou wast as one that served,
And freely choosest to go less,

Though none so much deserved.
With what face can we then refuse to be
Enter'd thy servants in a low degree?

Thy way to exaltation

Was by humility;
But we, proud generation,

No difference of degree
In holy orders will allow, nay, more,
All holy orders would turn out of door.

But, if thy precept cannot do't,

To make us humbly serve,
Nor thy example added to’t,

If still from both we swerve,
Let none of us proceed, till he can tell,
How to use the office of a Deacon well.

Which by the blessing of thy Spirit,

Whom thou hast left to be
Thy Vicar here, we may inherit,

And minister to thee,
Though not so well as thou may'st well expect,
Yet so, as thou wilt pleased be to accept.

THE PRIEST.

The Priest, 1 say, the Presbyter, I mean,

As now-a-days he's call’d By many men : but I choose to retain

The name wherewith install’d He was at first in our own mother tongue : And doing so, I hope, I do no wrong.

The Priest, I say, 's a middle Officer,

I

Between the Bishop and The Deacon; as a middle offerer,

Which in the Church doth stand Between God and the people, ready press’d In the behalf of both to do his best.

From him to them offers the promises

Of mercy which he makes ; For them to him doth all their faults confess,

Their

prayers and praises takes ; And offers for them, at the throne of

grace, Contentedly attending his own place.

The Word and Sacraments, the means of grace,

He duly doth dispense,
The flourishes of falsehood to deface,

With truth's clear evidence ;
And sin's usurped tyranny suppress,
By advancing righteousness, and holiness.

The public censures of the Church he sees

To execution brought : But nothing rashly of himself decrees,

Nor covets to be thought Wiser than his superiors; whom always He actively, or passively, obeys.

Lord Jesus, thou the Mediator art

Of the new Testament,
And fully didst perform thy double part

Of God and man, when sent
To reconcile the world, and to atone
"Twixt it and heaven, of two making one.

a

Yea, after the order of Melchisedeck,

Thou art a Priest for ever.
With perfect righteousness thyself dost deck,

Such as decayeth never.
Like to thyself make all thy Priests on earth,
Bless'd fathers to thy sons of the second birth.

Thou camest to do the will of him that sent thee,

And didst his honour seek
More than thine own: well may it then repent thee,

Being thyself so meek,
To have admitted them into the place
Of sons, that seek their fathers to disgrace.

Lord, grant that the abuse may be reform’d,

Before it ruin bring
Upon thy poor despised Church, transform'd

As if 'twere no such thing :
Thou that the God of order art, and peace, ,
Make cursed confusion and contention cease.

THE BISHOP.

The Bishop? Yes, why not? What doth that name
Import that is unlawful, or unfit?
To say the Overseer is the same
In substance, and no hurt, I hope, in it:

But sure if men did not despise the thing,
Such scorn upon the name they would not fling.

Some Priests, some Presbyters, I mean, would be

I
Each Overseer of his several cure;
But one Superior, to oversee
Them altogether, they will not endure :

This the main difference is, that I can see,
Bishops they would not have, but they would be.

But who can show of old that ever any
Presbyteries without their Bishops were :
Though Bishops without Presbyteries many,
At first must needs be, almost every where ?

That Presbyters from Bishops first arose, ,
To assist them, 's probable, not these from those.

However, a true Bishop I esteem
The highest Officer the Church on earth
Can have, as proper to itself, and deem
A Church without one an imperfect birth,

If constituted so at first, and maim'd,
If whom it had, it afterwards disclaim'd.

All order first from unity ariseth,
And th' essence of it is subordination :
Whoever this contemns, and that despiseth,

May talk of, but intends not, reformation.

« AnteriorContinuar »