In the infancy of the nation of Israel, when God had given them a Law, and made a covenant with them to be their God if they would keep his commandments, he sent Prophets to them to reclaim them, as often as they revolted to the worship of other Gods: and upon their returning to him, they sometimes renewed the covenant which they had broken. These Prophets he continued to send till the days of Ezra: but after their Prophecies were read in the Synagogues, those Prophecies were thought sufficient. For if the people would not hear Moses and the old Prophets, they would hear no new ones, no not tho they should rise from the dead.
At length when a new truth was to be preached to the Gentiles, namely, that Jesus was the Christ, God sent new Prophets and Teachers: but after their writings were also received and read in the Synagogues of the Christians, Prophecy ceased a second time. We have Moses, the Prophets, and Apostles, and the words of Christ himself; and if we will not hear them, we shall be more inexcusable than the Jews. For the Prophets and Apostles have foretold, that as Israel often revolted and brake the covenant, and upon repentance renewed it; so there should be a falling away among the Christians, soon after the days of the Apostles; and that in the latter days God would destroy the impenitent revolters, and make a new covenant with his people. And the giving ear to the Prophets is a fundamental character of the true Church. For God has so ordered the Prophecies that in the latter days the wise may understand, but the wicked shall do wickedly, and none of the wicked shall understand, Daniel 12:9, 10.
The authority of Emperors, Kings, and Princes, is human. The authority of Councils, Synods, Bishops, and Presbyters, is human. The authority of the Prophets is divine, and comprehends the sum of religion, reckoning Moses and the Apostles among the Prophets; and if an Angel from Heaven preach any other gospel, than what they have delivered, let him be accursed.