Thomas Hooker on ruling elders clipping the wings of prelacy

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Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
I mentioned this extract in the Timothy Dwight thread yesterday. HT to Samuel Miller for bringing many of these references to my attention:

That there is such an Office and Officer appointed by Christ, as the Scriptures are plain to him, whose spirit and apprehension is not possessed and forestalled with prejudice: So this cause hath been maintained by mand of Christ’s Worthies of former, and now of latter times; and now at last, by those two famous and eminent Champions, Mr. Rutterfort [Samuel Rutherford], and Mr. Gilespy [George Gillespie]. ...

A third argument is taken from the famous place, 1 Tim. 5.17. which is full to our purpose in hand, and intended by the Holy Spirit of the Lord, to make evident the station and office of Ruling Elders, unto the end of the world; and it is admirable to observe, how the factors and followers of the Pope and Prelates, who labour to prop up their place and pre-eminency, have used all the wiliness of their wits, and unwearable wrestlings of their carnal reason, to darken the evidence of the truth, and to defeat the power of the proof in this place, as fearing, it should seem, lest by this means their way to promote and maintain the pride of Prelacy, would be utterly prejudiced and overthrown; whereas, do but suffer the Deacon to lay aside the care of the poor, make him but half a Priest, give him the allowance that he may baptize, and not give the Sacrament of the Supper; raise the Ruling-Elder one stair higher, that he may be a Teaching-Presbyter:

By this time, the Bishop is beyond the bound of an ordinary Elder, and with a little help, he will be handed up into a Diocesan Palace, and one lift more will make him a Primate; and if the Kings of the earth favour him, he will make himself a Pope presently; for they differ but in degrees, not in kind. So that you must not wonder to see the contention grow so hot touching a Ruling Elder, because if he be confined with his compass, the wings of Pope and Prelate will be exceedingly clipped, and their power impeached. ...

For more, see Thomas Hooker on ruling elders clipping the wings of prelacy.
 
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