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Neglect not the gift that is in thee;' fore it is to refer to this case, in order which is said to have been given Ti- to prove what is done now by those mothy' by prophecy, with the laying who ordain. Until they bestow some on of the hands of the Presbytery” miraculous gift, this case can be of no (1 Tim. iv. 14). This ‘gift was no
avail. other than the trust that had been “ The dexterous mode in which our committed to him, that is, the minis- modern successionists mingle portions tration of the Gospel ; and not any of Scripture with their own notions, is office, as that of a bishop. St Paul quite extraordinary; and in this way speaks of this same thing as a grace they make up a great deal of what or a gift. It was, as he says, a 'grace appears, on first reading, to be quite given' to him ; and that grace or fa- scriptural: but a little examination vour, was, that he should preach will soon discover that it is all a deamong the Gentiles the unsearchable ception. The sending to preach is the riches of Christ' (Eph. iii. 8). Ti- work of God, and is ascribed in Scripmothy was separated for the work ture to the Father, to the Son, and to of the ministry as Paul was, and that the Holy Spirit; but never, as far as by laying on of hands. To this the I recollect, to men in any situations, reference is no doubt made. Paul or under any circumstances. Christ was separated by the laying on of told his disciples to pray “the Lord of the hands of certain prophets and the harvest to send forth labourers teachers ; and the same thing is pro- into his harvest' (Matt.ix. 38). Christ bably meant by the Presbytery' in himself sent his apostles. The Holy this place: but if it be maintained to Spirit sent Paul and Barnabas. What be different, then we have another Christ did in this respect while on instance of the various modes of ap- earth, the Holy Spirit is doing still. pointment that prevailed in the early The sending of ministers is now espeChurch. There is another text on cially his work. Now, this "explawhich our successionists build • hay nation,' though wholly scriptural, will and stubble.' It occurs in 2 Tim. i. not suit our author (Mr. Irons), be6, where Paul exhorts Timothy to cause it takes away from his fine sustir
up the gift of God, which,' he perstructure the only foundation on says, is in thee by the putting on of
which it stands. When explanations my hands.'
This gift is evidently and criticisms' are denounced, it is different from the other. The expres- time for people to look about them, sion, “stir up,' cannot refer to any for the object can be no other than to trust or work in which he was engaged; defraud them of some truth. it cannot be applied to any office, pri
“ It is not with any degree of comvilege, honour, or official power. To placency that our author regards the stir up anything of this kind is not plea for “the inward call.' That it what can be said to be done with any has often been pleaded falsely, is what propriety. It must therefore refer to none can deny: but a false pretence some inward grace or qualification is no evidence against the thing itself. with which he was endued : and what This inward call is distinctly recogcould this be but some miraculous gift nised in our own Church; and it is on which was thus conferred on him ? the ground of there being an inward We read of nothing else of this kind, call, that the bishop ordains. The which was bestowed by laying on of Spirit's work in sending ministers is the hands of the apostles; and it is what our Church most expressly acsupposed by most, that this was alone knowledges. Every candidate for bestowed by their hands, there being orders is distinctly asked, “Do you no instance of its being conferred by trust that you are inwardly moved by any one else. How improper there- the Holy Ghost to take upon you this
office and administration ? What can thing hidden, and undefined, somebe a plainer and a fuller recognition thing that we cannot even know or of the inward call ? And is not this understand. Mr. Irons speaks of the main and principal thing in the some official and authoritative intenbusiness? To send ministers to the tion of the founders of the church,' vineyard is alone the province of the which is said to have descended to Holy Spirit; and the true work of the bishops. and is not now a mutable the bishop is mainly to distinguish thing. We are told of some 'transbetween false pretences and true pro- cendent mysteries,' as connected with fessions : not properly to send or call baptism and the Eucharist. Such ministers, but to authorise such as he ideas and such a language are quite finds, after examination scripturally foreign to the Scriptures. The purconducted, to be called and sent by pose of this magnifying and mystifythe Spirit, to do publicly in the church ing the Episcopal office, and the plain the work to which the Holy Ghost and simple ordinances of the gospel, has called them. This is doubtless cannot but be obvious to every intellithe main design of the office with re- gent reader. It was a practice that spect to ordination ; and whether this crept early into the church, and had office be performed by one individual its origin in heathenism, and not in or by several, is, as I think, of no Scripture; and its evident design is to material consequence, though it ap- exalt the priest and to invest him with pears to me that Episcopacy is more a sacredness similar to that of the countenanced by the scriptural ex- grand Lama of Thibet, whose overamples than Presbytery. At the same grown nails are too sacred to be cut, time I admit, and even dare to assert, or to that of the Pope, whose toe only that there is nothing in Scripture that is to be kissed. If these men can perproves either mode to be indispensably suade people to believe these hidden, necessary, so as to justify any one in undefined, and indescribable things, saying, that withont them there can to which Scripture gives not the least be no church or no valid sacraments. countenance, they will soon prepare Such assertions can only be made by them for that slavish, puerile, and such as are blinded by ignorance, or superstitious subjection and idolatrous foolish enough to believe Popish tales reverence, to which Pagan as well as and heathenish superstitions. A true Popish priests have reduced their adchurch is an assembly or congrega
herents. tion of faithful men,' however formed “ Necessarily connected with the as to agency; for the manner of its foregoing is an attempt to identify reformation is not in Scripture decided ligion with forms, and rites, and cereto be in one way or in another: and monies, and to represent the blessings the validity of the sacraments is not of salvation, not as possessed by inmade to depend on their administra- dividuals, but as granted, in some tion, but on their reception. To
way, it is not said how, to the church. attach great importance to the way Having been baptismally born of God' and manner of those things, with (1 John iii. 9), says Mr. Irons, each respect to which Scripture is silent, had a sacred character, yet not as an and to overlook the importance of individual, but as a member of a such things in themselves, is to make sacred body':-P. 132. And he utters more of the shadow than of the sub- this singular prayer,-- May he help stance, to prefer the shell to the kernel. his people to see what treasures of
" It is the practice of our present unknown grace lie hidden in his holy successionists to mystify almost every church among us.'—P. 141. The thing, and to invest the ministerial treasures of grace, as it seems, are in office and all ordinances with some- the church, and not in Christ, as the
Scriptures declare! And they are hid- destitute of the principle of living faith deu there! Is it wrong to call such in Christ! They who are ordained sayings delirious ? They are so most by a bishop are necessarily called and certainly, as well as many others in sent by Christ, though they manifest these Lectures : and it is but right to no evidence of being so sent ! And designate things as they are. How what reconciles all these unscriptural does this author and his associates and strange things to sobriety and propose to revive religion in the land ? truth? The idea that there are trea
-for this is their professed objeet. sures hidden in the church ! Well It is evidently by making use of these and justly we may say with Irenæus, treasures of unknown grace hidden in lib. ii. c. 2. • What sort of thing would the church !! And what are these it be for us, to leave the words of the treasures ? They are, from what ap- prophets and of the Lord and of the pears from their writings, the three apostles, and to attend to these herefollowing :- Apostolical succession tics, who say nothing that is sane.' baptismal regeneration--and the Eu- AN EPISCOPALIAN PRESBYTER. charist-if not wholly, yet as nearly Popish as it can well be! These are All this is soundly argued, but it the treasures of grace hidden in the must nevertheless be confessed, that, church! And to preach these is to “ The Episcopalian Presbyter,” in preach the gospel! This is surely a drawing all his arguments from Scripnew gospel, or rather the revived ture, has forgotten the Prayer Book, gospel of the Papists. It is not most the Ordination Services, and the Cancertainly the gospel preached by our ons, which contradict his reasoning, Saviour or his apostles. May this and favour the “ successionists ;" for land be delivered from such Popish the Scriptures and the Prayer Book and heathenish teachers !
do not agree. We find, accordingly, “ The whole system is functional that his brethren in the Establishment and mechanical. The church is an have not failed to remind him of these incorporation, endued with extraordi- things; for in the Record of December nary powers and unknown treasures, 10th, another Episcopal Presbyter" formed by a rite to which grace is accuses him of “propounding opinions necessarily attached, sustained by which, if thoroughly carried out, would another rite which conveys still higher prove subversive of the whole Chris. grace, and administered by a func- tian ministry, and would land us all tionary who alone can with any cer- scarcely three paces distant from the tainty transmit those graces. And levelling form-rejecting system of the lest people should judge from apparent Society of Friends;" and urges that and palpable effects, that all this is a we may hold to belief in “ apostolical mere theory, a wild Popish and sanction to the orders adopted by the heathenish fancy, unsustained by Scrip- Establishment, on the same ground as ture or by facts, the figurative lan- that for infant baptism, and the keepguage of Scripture is used, as by the ing of the Lord's day.” heretics of the first ages, in a literal Again, “a friend to the Record," sense, wholly inconsistent with its in that paper of the 13th December, plain declarations; and the strange
says very truly, “ The conclusions to notion is avowed of there being trea- which we must arrive on the perusal sures of unknown grace hidden in the of the letters of an Episcopal Preschurch !' They are hidden indeed! byter,” amount to these :People are regenerated, aud yet they “ 1. That there is no power vested are the servants of sin! They who any where (not even was such a power partake of the communion, necessarily vested in the Apostles), to delegate partake of the hidden manna, though the authority or confer the office of
minister to any man. (Of course, this superstitious and unwarranted by holy is to be understood,“ to any man not writ; and when espoused by any propreviously called to that office by the fessed member of the Church of EngHoly Ghost,” otherwise it is an incor- land, it is also as suicidal as it is unrect representation of the sentiments scriptural." It would be as curious here given in the previous letters).
to see the “ Episcopalian Presbyter" “ 2. That ordination to the ministry and the editor of the Christian Obis not essential to the exercise of the
server attempting to reconcile their office of minister.
opinions, as it would be to hear the “3. That therefore any individual, editor of the Christian Observer exso that he sincerely preach the truth, plaining his idea of “apostolical limay execute the office, God having neage,” without tracing it through the blessed the ministrations of many such. Church of Rome. But, in the next
“ 4. That the presence of a duly or- page, the editor goes on to deny the dained minister is not even necessary apostolical lineage, which he had comto the administration of the Sacra- menced with asserting. “ The Oxford ments, the early Christians having often tract divines,” says he, "just gave to administered the same without such aid. Rome all that she asks as a basis for
6. These several points your corres- the establishment of her pretensions ; pondent endeavours to establish by while they undermine those principles texts derived from Scripture, and from upon which the Protestant Reformathe usage of the early church. Now, tion was grounded. They say that Sir, if these things be true, the office men's minds have been distracted by which I for one hold, is, as an office, a multiplicities of opinion : that some non-entity, a mere nullity.”
infallible way ought to be pointed out Alarming conclusions, indeed, these for distinguishing the true Church of to the clergy of the Establishment; Christ from all false appearances : that but such as appear to us inevitably to there is one way, and but one: that follow the consistent recognition of the the question whether a church holds so much lauded axiom,—“ The Bible, pure doctrine is wholly beside the and the Bible alone, is the religion of mark ; that the simple and sole quesProtestants !"
tion is, Are those who call themselves In a similar dilemma, the editor of ministers really qualified to impart the Christian Observer (whose diffi- the Trinity' in baptism, and so to conculties between these two sections of secrate the bread and wine in the the clergy are, as we happen to know, Eucharist ; that by a divine gift,' imextremely perplexing), has, in his last puted to every priest at ordination, month's publication (pp. 819—827), they convey the actual body and blood endeavoured, if possible, to find some of Christ, in such a manner that even happy medium on the tormenting ques- an insensible person,' having them tion of apostolical succession. It is placed in his mouth, eats and drinks really pitiable to see the straits to which Christ's body and blood, though he he is reduced in answering a question does not discern them.....No. 4 of proposed by “ Clericus Dunelmensis.” the Oxford tracts, on adherence to
But, in reprehending,” says the edi- apostolical succession,' sustains the tor, “ the Popish abuse of the doctrine same lofty tone. It says that 'we, of apostolical succession, we would the ministers of God,' instead of occuever keep in mind its sober and scrip. pying the comparatively low ground' tural interpretation; for never can we on which Protestant pastors are usually question that our divine Lord has al- contented to rest the validity of their ways had a church, and that our por- commission, ought to appeal to that tion of it is of apostolical lineage. But warrant which marks us, exclusively, the Romanist view of the doctrine is for God's ambassadors,--that warrant which proves that our hands convey
the a statement relating to the three sacrifice;' which is as plain Popery orders of bishop, priest, and deacon, as any thing in the articles of Trent. not in accordance with the high church
Now, if the divines of the Oxford notions. The question between the tracts were to demand of the Editor parties seems to be, whether bishops of the Christian Observer, how he are only different classes or ranks of could hold that the Church of England presbyters, or whether presbyters and is “of apostolical lineage" (a gentle bishops are two distinct orders. Mr. word for succession), without admitting Faber contends for “ the rank,” the the Oxford interpretation of this British Review for “ the order," and
lineage,” he would find it difficult states, “that this notion of bishops to answer; and if, in addition to this, being a class or rank, and not a dishe were pressed with the ordination tinct order, is in direct contradiction services, the commission given by the to the doctrine of the Church of bishop to the priest to remit sins, or England, and the maintenance of this to retain them, the absolution of the opinion is an offence against the Act of sick in the Prayer Book, and the Uniformity, and punishable accordthree great Popish divisions of the ingly (P. 636).” “No one in the least English clergy into bishop, priest, and degree acquainted with the opinions deacon, he would find it more easy to
of Bingham, Potter, Hooker, Taylor, attack the Oxford School, than to Hall, Hammond, Beveridge, Durell, defend his own.
Bilson, or Pearson, can by possibility In the meantime, the Oxford por- be ignorant, that the foundation of all tion of the clergy having no evange- their arguments is this, that Scripture lical scruples to contend with, are daily and antiquity concur in proving that waxing bolder in their Roman Catho- the apostolic order (i. e. bishops), was lic views. The last number of the instituted by Christ; that it is utterly British Magazine is exciting the distinct from the order of presbyters; reverential feelings of its disciples in that the bishops are successors of the honour of the "Blessed Virgin Mary, apostles in this distinction of order the Mother of God," and informs us, from the order of presbyters; and “ that if the words, • Mother of God,' that the distinction consists not only be the exact English equivalent of the in jurisdiction which may be deleterm £orokos, then à rejection of gated, but chiefly in the power of these words is justly branded with ordaining, which, at no period of the heresy ; θεοτοκος being the term church, was ever permitted to presemployed by the Ephesine fathers byters." technically to convey their doctrine, The Council of Carthage, and the and their doctrine being universally Canon of the Council of Hispalis, acknowledged as true by the Catholic A.D. 657, are invoked to settle the church.” A grave discussion then dispute, and the question is argued by ensues about the meaning of “ Dei- tradition, the Bible of the clergy. para," “ Dei genitrix," " Dei mater, Another paper,
in the British and the proper terms to be used in Magazine, “ On Tradition,” is in speaking of the Virgin ; and it is at reply to the Warden of New College, last decided, that the title, “Mother Oxford, and is avowedly a Puseyite of God,” is to be used in the sense article. It is needless to say that it “Deipara," and not “ Dei genetrix;" is entirely popish. It acknowledges or, at any rate, to use it in that sense, that “the persons against whom the "ought not to be stigmatised as Warden writes contend for the tradiheresy !!!"
tion of the church, the tradition of St. In the same number, Mr. Faber is Irenæus, St. Justin Martyr, St. Polysmartly chastised for having put forth
carp, St. Clement, and others."