OF POWER ECCLESIASTICALL
For the understanding of power Ecclesiasticall, what, and in whom it is, we are to distinguish the time from the Ascension of our Saviour, into two parts; one before the Conversion of Kings, and men endued with Soveraign Civill Power; the other after their Conversion. For it was long after the Ascension, before any King, or Civill Soveraign embraced, and publiquely allowed the teaching of Christian Religion.
Of The Holy Spirit That Fel On The Apostles And for the time between, it is manifest, that the Power Ecclesiasticall, was in the Apostles; and after them in such as were by them ordained to Preach the Gospell, and to convert men to Christianity, and to direct them that were converted in the way of Salvation; and after these the Power was delivered again to others by these ordained, and this was done by Imposition of hands upon such as were ordained; by which was signified the giving of the Holy Spirit, or Spirit of God, to those whom they ordained Ministers of God, to advance his Kingdome. So that Imposition of hands, was nothing else but the Seal of their Commission to Preach Christ, and teach his Doctrine; and the giving of the Holy Ghost by that ceremony of Imposition of hands, was an imitation of that which Moses did. For Moses used the same ceremony to his Minister Joshua, as wee read Deuteronomy 34. ver. 9. “And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the Spirit of Wisdome; for Moses had laid his hands upon him.” Our Saviour therefore between his Resurrection, and Ascension, gave his Spirit to the Apostles; first, by “Breathing on them, and saying, (John 20.22.) “Receive yee the Holy Spirit;” and after his Ascension (Acts 2.2, 3.) by sending down upon them, a “mighty wind, and Cloven tongues of fire;” and not by Imposition of hands; as neither did God lay his hands on Moses; and his Apostles afterward, transmitted the same Spirit by Imposition of hands, as Moses did to Joshua. So that it is manifest hereby, in whom the Power Ecclesiasticall continually remained, in those first times, where there was not any Christian Common-wealth; namely, in them that received the same from the Apostles, by successive laying on of hands.
Of The Trinity Here wee have the Person of God born now the third time. For as Moses, and the High Priests, were Gods Representative in the Old Testament; and our Saviour himselfe as Man, during his abode on earth: So the Holy Ghost, that is to say, the Apostles, and their successors, in the Office of Preaching, and Teaching, that had received the Holy Spirit, have Represented him ever since. But a Person, (as I have shewn before, [chapt. 16.].) is he that is Represented, as often as hee is Represented; and therefore God, who has been Represented (that is, Personated) thrice, may properly enough be said to be three Persons; though neither the word Person, nor Trinity be ascribed to