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elders of Philippi under the same ters, and that dissenting presbyters, name.
should bear the name of bishops. This introduces us to ACTS The two terms a peopur epos, el. xx. 17. 28., where Paul expressly der, and ETLOKOTOS, bishop, mean, gives to elders the name of bishops. in the Scriptures, uniformly the This is a stubborn passage, and a same office : and not a single paspassage that never can be made sage has yet been produced, from to bend to diocesan episcopacy. the writings of the apostles, in The translators of King James's which it appears, from the context, Version saw with what tremen- that they mean two distinct offices. dous weight and edge this text This question is limited to the would fall on prelacy; therefore, New Testament history of the to break its force, and prevent church. As to the fathers, their the effects, they introduced a ambidextrousness in religious conSaxon compound, which has ren. troversies is well known; and their dered its fall so easy, that the sentiments, like Delphian blades, mere English reader never ima- have been made to cut either way; gines this text to have any bear but the law and the testimony is ing on the question of episcopacy. sure and immoveable. Here, however, it is not "all By pleading for the adoption of the same in Greek.” The word the name bishop, it is not intended ET LOKOTOL, which they have in Ti- to ape the pomp and grandeur of mothy, Titus, and elsewhere, trans. prelates. To constitute New Teslated bishops, is here made to mean tament bishops, we seek no clerioverseers: why the word overseer cal frocks, no lawn sleeves, no was introduced here, instead of the mitres, no ecclesiastical courts, no word bishops, cannot be easily princely revenues, in a word, no accounted for, except that it was LORD bishops; but faithful and to favour episcopacy. Neverthe- affectionate pastors, who will feed less, here we have every necessary the flock of God, be ensamples to evidence, that in the church of their flocks, and take the oversight Ephesus there were several elders, thereof.
that these elders were etioKOTOI, The assumption of this name by bishops-that every one of these pastors or presbyters, is the only elders was a bishop- that all these way of handing down to posterity elders were constituted bishops by the true interpretation of the name, “the Holy Ghost”-that the Åpos- and a just idea of the lawful extle Paul, with the spirit of inspira- tent of the office of a bishop. It tion, recognizes them as legitimate would also greatly strengthen our bishops, and in the most absolute, arguments to vulgar apprehension. direct, and solemn manner gives The common people generally to them the name of bishops. The argue thus : the primitive apostoargument of this text might be lical church had bishops, the carried farther, to show that there Church of England has bishops, was no one bishop, who was by ergo, the Church of England is higher power, or superior dignity, an apostolical church. Or thus, distinguished from the other bi- there were bishops among apostoshops; and that Timothy could lic churches--dissenting churches not be, as has often been asserted, have no bishops, therefore, disthe diocesan of Ephesus. All that senting churches are not apostolic; this essay pleads for, is, that as to which every old woman puts this illustrious presbyter recog- her Quod erat demonstrandum. All nized the presbyters of Ephesus this proceeds from the use of the as divinely constituted bishops, it name bishop, for, we believe, even is lawful and proper that presby. his Lordship of Winchester does not contend that the bishops and the church, why discard the name deacons of England are at present of bishop for another? Persons precisely the same that bishops who do the work of deacons, hesiand deacons were in Asia Minor tate not to assume the name of seventeen centuries ago. It would their office; why then should not only meet the prejudices of the those who do the work of bishops vulgar, but also check the arro- shrink from assuming their approgancy of high church episcopa- priate name? To the objection lians. Were dissenting ministers that dissenting ministers would not to assume the name, and exem be recognized nor owned in this plify the simplicity and the legiti- country as bishops, it is enough mate extent of primitive bishops, to reply, that this would not make lordly prelates could not, before the assumption of the name less an enlightened public, so shame- congruous. English and Lutheran lessly lay claim either to their bishops are not owned as such high superiority over presbyters, by papists; do they, therefore, the or their uninterrupted succession, less regard themselves bishops? jure divino, from the apostles. Some perhaps will plead, that Successors of the APOSTLES! In such an assumption would be what? Have they seen the Sa- greatly ridiculed by the ecclesiviour personally? Have they re- astics of the country. Notwithceived their commission immedi- standing such ridicule, we call our ately from Christ, without human other officers, deacons ; our acaordination ? Can they confer any demies, colleges ; and some of our spiritual gifts by imposition of ministers, doctors in divinity ; why hands? Is it the object of their then tremble to introduce the word commission to promulgate the Gos- bishop? The methodist conferpel throughout the world, to the ence, (if report be correct,) is not exclusion of particular flocks ? afraid to contemplate the creation Such were the apostles, and such of Wesleyan bishops, which will diocesan bishops are not. If there certainly not be of the primitive were to be authorized successors kind. Then let congregational of the apostles, how then, when dissenters give specimens of primi. the college of apostles became tive episcopacy. On the dismisextinct, the title became extinct sion of members, let the letters with it? The successors of what testimonial be yet more conformed arch-apostles are archbishops ? In to the apostolic model by the use whose arch-deaconry were Ste- of this scriptural term. Let it be phen, Philip, and other deacons freely interchanged in the solemn of the acts of the apostles? Let services of ordination with those not, then, the fancy of an unin- more generally in use; and let not terrupted succession, secretly lead the Editors of our magazines dissenters to regard the name of shrink from recording that a bishop bishop as of some peculiarly has been ordained over a particueminent sacredness, so that it lar congregational church. By would be the very height of sa- these means the word will be crilege to assume it: let them read brought into circulation amongst their classical authors, or rather us, and though the high-church their septuagint, where they will episcopalians may laugh, yet evenfind the word not to be confined tually its restrictive use shall be to privileged ecclesiastics.
abolished, and the magic influence Since dissenters preserve the which it now possesses shall pass name of deacon for one officer in away.
T. W.J. W.. N. S. No. 26.
SECOND LETTER FROM AN EX. a second letter to you, though my
ILED SWISS MINISTER TO DR. illness renders me scarcely able to J. P. SMITH.
- do so. (To the Editors.)
“ Dear Sir; have you not al· GENTLEMEN–From my truly lowed yourself too easily to be excellent and beloved friend I have
have drawn to point us out to the Chrisreceived the following letter, which tian world, and to all besides, as will, I am sure, give delight to
the propagators of principles among every reader who has his spiritual
the most dangerous of all that the senses exercised in the things of
artifice of Satan has ever brought God. The writer is aware that,
forwards to poison the church of from his want of familiarity with
Christ; principles most likely to the English language, he may not, draw the souls of men into present in all cases, have accurately under delusion and eternal perdition : stood the passages on which he
principles wbich are the very gananimadverts. It also appears to
grene of true religion, and wbich me, that what he so justly and
make us shudder, (these are your pathetically describes, as the ex
own expressions ;)—to point us out, perience of the soul relying on the
I say, under these odious represenSaviour, is entirely in harmony
tations, both to Christians and to with what I had endeavoured to
ea to the enemies of Christ, -us who, establish. The operations of faith,
though unworthy, have nevertheless as by him described, are effects of
received grace to suffer for the tesits holy nature, and constitute that
timony of Jesus, and to be the characteristic or qualification, not
instruments of the first movements meritorious, but evidential, from
in a work of reviving religion, which the peace and assurance
which is at this time among the flows. Some important distinctions
most glorious that his power has and explications would require to
wrought upon the continent of be made, in order to examine to
Euro the bottom the use of reason in
“As an exposition of our prinmatters of religion, and the nature
ciples, and even, you say, the of the blindness or insensibility of
most favourable exposition that the natural man to the evidence of
could be made of them, you take divine truths, which, I am per
passages of two English authors, suaded, can be shown to be no
whom we have never quoted, nor defect of intellectual powers, but
read, nor even known. Thus you a most unreasonable and criminal
assail the doctrines of others, as if submission to wrong affections of
they were ours; and you lay to the soul.
our charge arguments which we I have just received a third
have never so much as read; I letter, written after my corre.
speak of us ministers of the Canspondent had seen your Number
ton of Vaud; for the letter of a for February. I hope to com
young person in one of our municate it for your next. It gives
churches was the occasion of your me the peculiar pleasure of finding
taking up the pen. that the publication of his letters
“If Hervey says, in a general is not disagreeable to my amiable
lable way, that we must not look into friend. I think it will appear, at inherent qualities to find out our last, that our differences are little interest in Christ. the expression more than vei bal.
may be liable to wrong interpretaFeb. 19, 1827.
J. P. S.
tions. To judge of the proposition, “Sir, and dear brother-I have just read your third article against This passage is put in italics, oot by us. I cannot refrain from writing the writer, but by the translator.
we should know its occasion, and “You lay upon us the charge the place whicb it occupies in his of applying the terms, a legal diswork. I will therefore give no position, a spirit of bondage, to a opinion upon it. It is a very nice strict attachment to the great points subject, and it requires several im- of practical obedience. God preportant distinctions referring to the serve us from it, and that for ever! different conditions or frames of a -How could such an idea enter believer's mind. I do not know your mind, my brother - Let any whether he makes those distinc- one examine our new churches in tions; but it is no business of mine the Vaud, formed upon the printo defend Hervey.
ciples of gospel-order; and see “ With respect to the passage what would be the answer ! -Let from Marshall, it is a tissue of any person, who has a sacred sensubtilties, and is very far indeed sibility to perceive the sweet frafrom our sentiments. It is false, grance of the knowledge of Christ absolutely false, to say that faith and the life of his spirit, make a rests upon no evidence. The pro- visit to my little flock; and let position is absurd, and at the same him make his report, whether they time very censurable and dangerous. are not true Christians, Christians But never, no never, has any one blessed by God in the full strength of us entertained such an idea. of the expression. Come and see. Whether it has been uttered any “ Permit me, in passing, to where else than in our Canton, I make an observation on Rom. am totally ignorant. If it has iv. 17-20. The connexion fixed been so, would it not have been by the inspired Author himself, better for you to have named the (ver. 23, 34.) obliges us to apply persons, or have quoted their works to the christian faith what he so or letters; instead of applying it emphatically declares concerning to them under the general descrip- the faith of our father. Abraham, tion of certain Swiss ministers, a which is strongly confirmed by description which, in the eyes of Gal. iii, 6, 7. 11. the public, cannot but include us, “I shall not recur to what I us who are innocent, us who have wrote briefly in my first letter, never advanced any such princi- upon the nature of faith. Only ples! I say that the description let me advert to an expression or includes us, because it is a Letter two in your last paper, which befrom the Canton of Vaud which long to this part of the subject. you have taken for the text of your " You seem to disapprove the remonstrance. And yet, let it be sentiments of those who think that observed that this same letter does faith assures for ever the salvation not contain the smallest mention of of the believer, from the very mosuch an opinion.
ment of his believing. It also ap“You say that the ablest ad- pears to me, if I apprehend corvocates of the kind of faith which rectly your meaning, that you you attack, acknowledge that it is allow a believer only to hope that not a belief of the truth, and that he will be sayed; and that you it has no promise or declaration of regard as “ bold” the confidence scripture for its foundation. I which a believer may have that protest this is the first time in my he is actually and already saved. life that I have heard such an in- Let us, then, open the good word conceivable opinion uttered! No- of God, our ground of safety and thing in the least like it have I our only strength. I will take, ever met with in the Canton of for instance, John vi. 37. 39. My Vand, or in any other part of conscience bears me testimony beSwitzerland.
fore God that I come to Christ,
and to Christ alone, for the salva- condemnation, but am passed from tion and sanctification of my soul. death unto life. For pledge of this He declares that he will not cast I have my Lord himself, who hath out the soul that cometh to him: spoken, and will not go back. then my poor soul will not be cast 'He hath said it, and shall he not out; it is impossible, for Christ do it? He hath spoken, and shall cannot lie. Since I come to he not make it good ? Christ, the Father has given me “You know, my dear brother, to the Son; and since it is the you know the innumerable mulFather's will that of all which he titude of passages of this kind, hath given to him he should lose upon which the soul which flees for nothing, I, a poor sioner, shall not refuge to its Saviour may found be lost. Can all the powers of the same full assurance of bope. heaven, earth, and hell, outweigh «Remark well, that it is said of these declarations of my Lord and the believer that he hath at the my God? Can it turn out, at the present moment eternal life, that Jast day, that his words have been he is already passed from death deceptive?
unto life. This style of speaking, “Again, if you please, let us which holds forth the salvation of take Heb. vi. 16-20. In my in- the believer as an actual thing, a most soul I know that I fee for thing done and made sure of, is refuge to the hope set before me. found in an infinite number of pasWell, then : the immutability of sages : for instance, · by grace ye God's counsel, his promise and his are saved ;-by whose grace ye are oath, two immutable things in saved ;-he hath translated us from which it is impossible that God the power of darkness into the should deceive, are the assurances kingdom of his beloved Son ;-ye of my salvation. Reposing upon are no more strangers and foreignthe very oath of the God of truth, ers; ye have now obtained mercy:' can I be deluded in my hope ? and so likewise believers are reIt would be an act of impiety to presented as already raised tosay so.
gether, and sat down together in “Once more: John v. 24. I do the heavenly places with Christ,' believe on Him who hath sent his &c. &c. &c. Son, that " whosoever believeth on “You say that no truth of Scriphim may not perish, but may have ture can be contrary to the just everlasting life. I do believe the dictates of reason. But Scripture testimony which God himself has declares, that the things of the given me, namely, that • be bath Spirit of God are foolishness to given to me eternal life, and that man in his natural condition. It this life is in his Son.' (1 John most expressly declares, that before v. 10, 11.) I believe this, even our conversion, we are void of unI an unworthy creature, because derstanding with respect to spiriGod has said it to me, and has tual things: how then can we even declared that, if I believe esteem them to be wise ? To say not this testimony which he has that the truths of Scripture are in given me concerning his Son, I accordance with the reason of the give him the lie !
natural man, is it not the same “ Thus, according to the clear, thing as maintaining that man is formal, and irrefragable declara- wise, that he has not lost his origition of the Son, who is ONE with nal uprightness? By our nature, the Father, I have eternal life. says the Bible, we are under the I shall not come into condemna- influence of the prince of darkness, tion ; yes, I, a creature mean but the foe of our salvation : is it poshappy, even I shall not come into sible that he should produce in us