yet a duty is a duty, though he be alone. It is one of the great sins of our times to look to consequences in matters of plain duty. Is not this such a case? If not, prove that it is not; but do not argue from consequences.
In the mean while I offer the following texts in evidence of the duty.
THE PRINCIPLE OF UNITY.
The Apostles knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, that strife would arise for the Episcopate. Wherefore having received an accurate foreknowledge, they appointed the men I before mentioned, and have given an orderly succession, that on their death other approved men might receive in turn their office. Ep. i. 44.
Testimony of Ignatius, the friend of St. Peter, to Episcopacy.
Your celebrated Presbytery, worthy of God, is as closely knit to the Bishop, as the strings to a harp, and so by means of your unanimity and concordant love Jesus Christ is sung. Eph. 4.
There are who profess to acknowledge a Bishop, but do every thing without him. Such men appear to lack a clear conscience. Magn. 4.
He for whom I am bound is my witness that I have not learned this doctrine from mortal man. The Spirit proclaimed to me these words: "Without the Bishop do nothing." Phil. 7.
With these and other such strong passages in the Apostolical Fathers, how can we permit ourselves in our present practical disregard of the Episcopal Authority? Are not we apt to obey only so far as the law obliges us? do we support the Bishop, and strive to move all together with him as our bond of union and head? or is not our every-day conduct as if, except with respect to certain periodical forms and customs, we were each independent in his own parish?
Any one is at liberty to reprint these Tracts, with such alterations as approve themselves to his judgment.
W. KING, PRINTER, ST. CLEMENT'S, OXFORD.