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cannot be supposed to intend to hunt a hare: neither can he be supposed to intend principally the ministry of souls, who comes to that office instructed only with a bag of money.
18. (3.) He may be supposed principally to intend the ministry of souls, and in it the glory of God, who so attends to the execution of his office, that it does really and sufficiently minister to the thing. For since the calling is by God really designed to that end, and if the ministers be not wanting to themselves, they are sufficiently enabled and assisted to that purpose; he that zealously and wisely ministers in the office, hath given a most real testimony of his fair intention, because he does that thing so as those intentions only can be effected. The thing itself is sufficient for the end if God blesses it; he therefore that does the thing, does actuate the intention of God, and sanctifies his own: but this is to be understood with the addition of the following caution.
19. (4.) He may be confident that his intentions for God's glory and the good of souls are right and principal, who so conjoins his other lesser ends with the conduct of the greater, that they shall always be made to give place to the greater. That is, who still pursues the interest of souls, and the work of his ministry, when the hopes of maintenance, or honour, or secular regards, do fail. For he that for carnal or secular regards will either quit or neglect his ministry, it is certain, his carnal or secular ends were his chief motive and incentive in the work. It was the case of Demas, who was St. Paul's minister and work-fellow in the service of the Gospel, but he left him, because "he loved the present world";" concerning which, it is to be considered, that this lapse and recession of Demas from the assistances of St. Paul, did not proceed from that love of the world which St. John speaks of, and is criminal, and forbidden to all Christians, which "whosoever hath, the love of the Father dwells not in him P," but is so to be understood of such a love, which to other Christians is not unlawful, but was, in those times especially, inconsistent with the duty of evangelists, in those great necessities of the church: Demas was a good man, but weak in his spirit, and too secular in his relations, but he returned to his station, and did the work of an evangelist,
2 Tim. iv. 10.
1 John, ii. 15.
awhile after, as appears in the Epistle to the Colossians and Philemon; but for the present he was to blame. For he would secure his relations and his interests with too great a caution and diligence, and leave the other, to attend this. Such as now-a-days is too great care of our estates, secular negotiations, merchandises, civil employments, not ministering directly unto religion, and the advantages of its ministration. For our great king the Lord Jesus, hath given to all Christians some employment, but to some more, to some less, and in their own proportion they must give a return: and in a minister of the Gospel, every inordination of carefulness, and every excess of attendance to secular affairs, and every unnecessary avocation from, or neglect of, his great work is criminal: and many things are excesses in them, which are not in others, because the ministerial office requires more attendance and conversation with spiritual things, than that of others.
20. (5.) If ever the minister of holy things, for hope or fear, for gain or interest, desert his station, when he is persecuted, or when he is not persecuted,—it is too much to be presumed, that he did not begin for God, who, for man, will quit God's service. They that wander till they find a rich seat, do all that they do for the riches of the place, not for the employment: "Si non ubi sedeas, locus est, est ubi ambules," said he in the comedy; the calling of these men is not fixed but ambulatory: and if that which fixes them, be temporal advantages, then that which moved them principally, is not spiritual employment.
21. For it is considerable, that if it be unlawful to undertake the holy calling, without a divine vocation to it, then to forsake it without a divine permission must be criminal. He that calls to come, calls to continue, where the need is lasting, and the office perpetual. But to leave the calling when the revenue is gone, to quit the altar when it hath no offering, to let the souls wander when they bring no gifts,→ is to despise the religion, and to love only the fat of the sacrifices for the altar indeed does sanctify the gift, but not the gift the altar; and he hath but a light opinion of an eternal crown of glory, or thinks God but an ill paymaster, that will not do him service upon the stock of his promises, and will not feed the flock, though he have no other reward
but to be feasted in the eternal supper of the lamb. Who are hirelings, but they who fly when the wolf comes? And woe be to that evangelist, who upon any secular regard neglects to preach the Gospel; woe be to him, to whom it shall be said at the day of judgment, I was hungry, and my flock was hungry, and ye fed neither it nor me.'
But this is to be understood with these liberties;
22. (1.) That it be no prejudice to these ecclesiastics, who in time of persecution, do so attend to their ministries, that no material part of it be omitted, or slightly performed, and yet take from it such portions of time as are necessary for their labour or support, by any just and honest employment. Thus St. Paul wrought in the trade of a tent-maker, because he would not be a burden to the church of Corinth; and when the church is stripped naked of her robes, and the bread of proposition is stolen from her table by soldiers, there is no peradventure but the ecclesiastical offices are so to be attended to, that the natural duty and necessity be not neglected.
23. (2.) That it be no prejudice to ecclesiastics in the days of peace or war, to change their station from bishop to bishoprick, from church to church, where God or the church, where charity or necessity, where prudence or obe. dience, calls. Indeed it hath been fiercely taught, that ecclesiastics ought never, and upon no pretence, to desert their church, and go to another, any more than a man may forsake his wife; and for this a decretal of Pope Evaristus is. pretended, and is recorded in the canon law. "Sicut vir non debet adulterare uxorem suam, ita nec episcopus ecclesiam suam, ut illam dimittat ad quam fuit sacratus :" and therefore when Eusebius the bishop of Cæsarea was called to be bishop of Antioch, he refused it pertinaciously, and for it was highly commended by the Emperor; and St. Jerome in his epistle to Oceanus tells, "In Nicenâ synodo à patribus decretum est, ne de alia in aliam ecclesiam episcopus transferatur, ne, virginalis pauperculæ societate contempta, ditioris adulteræ quærat amplexus." Something indeed like it was decreed by the fifteenth and sixteenth canons of the Nicene council; and it was a usual punishment amongst the holy primitives, "careat cathedra propria, qui ambit alienam." Cap. Sicut Vir. can. 7. q. 1.
But these things, though they be true and right, yet are not contradictory to the present case. For,
24. (1.) Evaristus, it is clear, forbade translations and removes from church to church, " ambitus causa," for ambition or covetousness, and therefore it is by him expressly permitted in their proper cases and limits; that is, " in inevitabili necessitate, aut apostolica, vel regulari mutatione," ' when there is inevitable necessity,' or the command and authority of a superior power: and yet upon perusal of the decree I find, that Evaristus's intent was, that a bishop should not thrust his church from him by way of divorce and excommunication, and take another: as appears not only by the corresponding part of the decree, viz. " that neither must the church take in another bishop or husband upon him to whom already she is espoused;" but by the expression used in the beginning of it, " Dimittere ecclesiam episcopus non debet ;" and it is compared to the adultery of a man that puts away his wife, and marries another; and also it appears more yet by the gloss, which seems to render the same sense of it, and wholly discourses of the unlawfulness to excommunicate a church or a city, lest the innocent should suffer with the criminal: for when a church is excommunicated, though all those persons die upon whom the sentence fell, yet the church is the same under other persons their, successors; and therefore all the way it does injustice, by involving the new-arising innocents, and at last is wholly un, just by including all and only innocent persons. But which way soever this decree be understood, it comes not home to a prohibition of our case.
25. (2.) As for Eusebius, it is a clear case he imposed upon the good Emperor, who knew not the secret cause of Eusebius's denial to remove from Cæsarea to Antioch. For he having engaged the Emperor beforetime to write in his behalf, that he might be permitted to enjoy that bishoprick, was not willing to seem guilty of levity and easiness of change. But that was not all, he was a secret favourer of the Arians, and therefore was unwilling to go to that church, where his predecessor Eustathius had been famous for opposing that pest.
(3.) To that of St. Jerome out of the Nicene council, I answer, That the prohibition is only of such, as without au
thority, upon their own head, for their own evil purposes, and with injury to their own churches, did it; and of covetousness it is, that St. Jerome notes and reproves the practice: to despise our charge because it is poor, is to love the money more than the souls, and therefore this is not to be done by any one of his own choice; but if it be done by the command or election of our superior, it is to be presumed it is for the advantage of the church in matter of direct reason, or collateral assistances, and therefore hath in it no cause of reproof.
26. And to this purpose the whole affair is very excellently stated by the fourteenth canon of the apostles; "A bishop must not leave his own parish or diocess, and invade that of another man, nisi forte quis cum rationabili causa compellatur, tanquam qui possit ibidem constitutus plus lucri conferre, et in causa religionis aliquid profectus prospicere.' If there be a reasonable cause, he may; and the cause is reasonable, if by going he may do more good or advantage to religion: but of this he is not to be judge himself, but must be judged by his superiors; "et hoc non à semetipso pertentet, sed multorum episcoporum judicio, et maxima supplicatione perficiat;" "he must not do it on his own head, but by the sentence and desire of the bishops."
27. There needs no more to be added to this, but that if a greater revenue be annexed to another charge, and that it be 'in rem ecclesiæ,' that the more worthy person should be advanced thither, to enable his better ministries by those secular assistances, which our infirmity needs, there is nothing to be said against it, but that if he be the man he is taken for, he knows how to use those advantages to God's glory, and the good of souls, and the services of the church; and if he does so, his intentions are to be presumed pure and holy, because the good of souls is the principal.
28. Upon the supposition of these causes, we find that the practice of the ancient bishops and clerks in their translations was approved. Origen did first serve God in the church of Alexandria, afterward he went to Cæsarea, to Antioch, to Tyre: and St. Gregory Nazianzen changed his episcopal see eight times. Nay, the apostles themselves did so : St. Peter was first bishop of Antioch, afterward of Rome: and the necessity and utility of the churches called St. Paul