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noticed the omission in time, we might have treated the point at some length. Now, we can only say that, according to the laws and constitution of the Church of England, the people have no more place or power in the appointment of ministers, than the laws and constitution of Russia assign to the serfs in the transference of an estate. We do not, of course, employ the comparison for the purpose of giving offence. Quite the reverse. We employ it merely in order to express the absolute ecclesiastical serfage of the English people. They have no more power to prevent the appointment of a minister over them than have the slaves on a West Indian estate to prevent the appointment of a slave-driver. In the whole transaction, from first to last, they are never consulted; they are never even thought of. They never heard the minister preach; they never heard of his appointment; they never even saw his person nor knew that he was their minister until, on the day of his induction, he drove into the village, and rang the church bell to give notice of an event on which their salvation may depend; and they could as legally prevent the lord of the manor from taking possession of the estate, as they could prevent the parson from taking possession of the parish. Such is the condition of our brethren in England.
Now, can such a state of matters be perpetuated? If the ministers and members of the Church of Scotland do their duty to their English brethren, it neither can nor shall be perpetuated. The English are a patient race. They are constitutionally conservative. But they are also a high-minded people. There never breathed a nobler race than the Anglo-Saxon. Where is there, or has there ever been a more ardent love of liberty, a more glowing patriotism, a sterner maintenance of constitutional rights, than among the countrymen of Russel, Sidney, and Hampden? They are slow of apprehension, or, perhaps, we should rather say of conviction; but let them once be but instructed in their rights, and you may safely leave themselves to assert them. Scotchmen! ye once before taught Englishmen their ecclesiastical rights. Will you not do it again? Send once more your ministers across the border. You need not this time back them with an army. Send your de putations throughout England to preach in favour of ecclesiastical freedom. Had you done so three years ago, your prospects at present would not be so gloomy. Trust nothing to the ministers of the Church of England. You may trust, however, with perfect confidence in the English people. Make common cause with them. It is not yet too late. Indeed, the revolution is only commencing. When your godly ministers have been ejected from their churches, you shall witness only the beginning of the end.' Had you appealed to the English people, when you appealed to their parsons, peers, and cabinet ministers, your controversy had by this time been settled. May you learn wisdom by experience.
ART. II.—The Antiquities of the Christian Church. Translated and Compiled from the Works of Augusti; with numerous additions from Rheinwald, Siegel, and others. By the Rev. LYMAN COLEMAN. Reprinted from the American edition of 1841. London: Ward and Co.
Our object in this article, is not to enter into any dissertation upon Christian antiquities; nor is it minutely to analyze the contents of this excellent volume in the spirit of the critic or the judge, but simply to bring before our readers the well-digested information contained in it, on several prominent points which either their own intrinsic importance, or the controversies of the day, call upon us to discuss and consider.
At a time when antiquity is so often and so loudly appealed to, it is right that we should know what its opinions and practices realWe concede to it no authority, yet we are not unwilling to hear its voice. We refuse to be led by it even when unanimous, save when in accordance with scripture, yet we feel no common interest in examining its records, and ascertaining its doctrines. We utterly reject its sentences when it speaks as a judge; we are not unwilling to give all due consideration to its testimony as a witness. No antiquity is authoritative with us, save that which is apostolic and inspired; yet even what is unapostolic and uninspired is not without its interest and use. As a co-ordinate standard with Scripture, either in matters of doctrine or practice, we utterly reject tradition of every form and name; nay, we reckon every attempt to set up any such standard of co-ordinate or even subordinate authority, as a blasphemous usurpation of divine prerogative; yet we would not set aside as unprofitable and vain any aid we may derive from antiquity, in illustrating the one divine and supreme standard of authority, the word of God. We do not indeed altogether accord with the author of the introduction to this volume, in holding that 'few studies have a more salutary influence in liberalizing the mind, than the philosophic study of the religious customs and usages of a Christian people.' (P. 14.) We should like at least to understand what he means by liberalizing,' and by philosophic,' as well as who are meant by a Christian people,' before we venture to approve of such a statement. Yet we do not doubt the beneficial tendency of Christian antiquities, even in the general sense of this term; still less do we doubt the spiritualizing and sanctifying influence accompanying the study of the records of the true church of Christ.
In studying such records of antiquity, we find much evil, as well as much good; much error as well as much truth; much to avoid
as well as much to imitate. When studying them in connexion with the controversies of the present day, especially those now raging in the Church of England, we get new discoveries of the diverse shapes which error has assumed from the beginning, as well as new glimpses of truth, maintaining its vitality, and refusing to be extinguished or borne down by centuries of accumulating darkThe student of the modern controversies of the church will not find his time wasted in surveying this complicated pile of antiquities, even were it for no other purpose than that of deepening his amazement at the early and wide departure of the professing church, from the simplicity of apostolic practice, and the purity of the apostolic gospel.
A modern poet somewhere speaks of what he calls the whole dark pile of human mockeries;' and truly, one in reading Bingham's Antiquities, or the work before us, is continually reminded of these expressive words. Leaving their first faith, as well as their first love, the early churches soon degenerated and became of the earth, earthy.' Like the post-diluvians, they too must have their Babel; and scarcely were the apostles laid to rest, than the foundations of the anti-christian fabric were laid. They were indeed preparing even in the days of Paul, but still the mighty structure had not yet been begun. Materials, however, were soon collected from every quarter for the construction of this pile. By multiplying ceremonies, feasts, services, days, vestments, officers of the church, and orders of the clergy, the huge fabric proceeded apace. Each age, we might rather say each year, added something to the structure, and the history of ecclesiastical antiquities is little more than the history of the progress of superstition.
In this pile of idolatry, this Babel of the church, the living spirit could find no dwelling-place. This labyrinth of forms, this fabric of externals, soon expelled the life. Truth fled, and errors of every shape and name, like evil demons, occupied its room. Purity soon followed, finding no kindred element within the walls and gates of a fabric, in whose dark recesses licentiousness was rioting. Faith also left, and was succeeded by doting credulity, again in its turn to be supplanted by that infidelity which is its nearest kin, or rather its direct offspring. Love was quenched, and instead of the blessed harmony of better days, a false show of unity veiled scenes of discord, malice, and hatred, only second to the pandemonium below. And all this, not in the midnight of medieval gloom, but in the days of Chrysostom and Ambrose, if perhaps not earlier;-fostered too, or at least not discountenanced by men to whom a blind posterity has given, as if in unconscious derision of their senility, the name of Fathers. Priests of superstition, caterers for idolatry, collectors of bones, devisers of impious frauds, advocates of corruption and
falsehood, would have been names more akin to the character and vocation of many of those whom Rome has canonized for their sanctity, and whom Protestants not a few appeal to for their judgment, or reverence for their worth.*
There is something, however, to be learned from antiquity. There is some instruction, some information, in spite of all the absurdities scattered over patristic folios. Let us learn a little. Let us endeavour to gather something as to the opinions and practices of these ancient times and churches. As historical facts we lay them before our readers. They may neither be uninteresting nor unprofitable. Take first the following extract as to the identity of presbyters and bishops, which perhaps may assist some of our readers in the Puseyite or prelatic controversy, which is already overtaking us;-though, indeed, it does not contain much that is altogether new.
"Jerome, one of the most learned of the Latin fathers, who had before him all the testimonies and arguments of earlier writers, has placed this matter in its true light with peculiar distinctness. In his annotation on the first chapter of the epistle to Titus, he gives the following account of the nature and origin of the episcopal office: A presbyter is the same as a bishop. And until, by the instigation of the devil, there arose divisions in religion, and it was said among the people, I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas,' churches were governed by a common council of the presbyters. But afterwards, when every one regarded those whom he baptised as belonging to himself rather than to Christ, it was everywhere decreed that one person, elected from the presbyters, should be placed over the others, to whom the care of the whole church might belong, and thus the seeds of division might be taken away. Should any one suppose that this opinion-that a bishop and presbyter is the same, and that one is the denomination of age, and the other of office -is not sanctioned by the Scriptures, but is only a private fancy of my own, let him read over again the apostle's words to the Philippians, Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ,' &c. Philippi is a single city of Macedonia; and certainly, of those who are now styled bishops there could not have been several at one time in the same city. But because at that time they called the same persons bishops whom they styled also presbyters, therefore the apostle spoke indifferently of bishops as of presbyters.' The writer then refers to the fact that St Paul having sent for the presbyters (in the plural) of the single city of Ephesus only, afterwards called the same persons bishops. (Acts xx.) To this fact he calls particular attention; and then observes, that in the epistle to the Hebrews also we find the care of the church divided equally amongst many: Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves; for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account; that they may do it with joy, and not with grief, for that is [un]profitable for you. And Peter,' continues Jerome, who received his name from the firmness of his faith, says, in his epistle, The presbyters who
In vindication of the above statement, see Taylor's Ancient Christianity,' a work to which we have in some of our past numbers referred, and which none who wish to know what the Fathers really were, should be without.
are among you I exhort, who am also a presbyter, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed; feed the flock of God which is among you, [he omits the words, taking the oversight thereof, iTvTS-i e., superintending it,] not by constraint, but willingly.' These things we have brought forward to show that with the ancients presbyters were the same as bishops. But in order that the roots of dissension might be plucked up, a usage gradually took place that the whole care should devolve upon one. Therefore, as the presbyters know that it is by the custom of the church that they are subject to him who is placed over them, so let the bishops know that they are above presbyters rather by custom than by the truth of our Lord's appointment, and that they ought to rule the church in common, herein imitating Moses,' &c.
"The same views are maintained by this Father in his epistle to Evagrius, with the additional mention of the fact, that from the first foundation of the church of Alexandria down to the days of Heraclas and Dionysius, the presbyters of that church made (or, as we should say, consecrated) their bishops. The passage, which is quoted at some length in the note, is very important. Having referred to several passages of the Acts and Epistles in proof of an assertion which he had made, to the effect that bishop and presbyter were at first the same, he proceeds to say, that afterwards, when one was elected, and set over the others, this was designed as a remedy against schism. ** For at Alexandria, from the evangelist Mark down to the bishops Heraclas and Diony. sius, the presbyters always gave the name of bishop to one whom they elected from themselves, and placed in a higher degree; in the same way as an army may create its general, or as deacons may elect one of their own body whom they know to be assiduous in the discharge of duty, and call him archdeacon. For what does a bishop perform, except ordination, which a presbyter may not do?' &c. The fact which Jerome here states respecting the appointment and ordination of bishops in the church of Alexandria by presbyters alone, for the space of more than two centuries, is attested also by Eutychius, patriarch of Alexandria. And the opinion of Jerome respecting the original equality, or rather identity, of presbyter and bishop, is in perfect accordance with the language of a still earlier writer, Tertullian.-De Bap. c. 17.'
"The identity of bishops and presbyters is further evident from the circumstance that they both received the same honorary titles, προεστῶτες, προστάται, gósdgo, prepositi antistes, equivalent to presidents, moderators, chairman, or presiding officers. Presbyters were also denominated rúvégovos and oi Tou Igóvou, partners of the throne. A distinction is sometimes made between those of the first and of the second throne; in which case the latter evidently designates presbyters. But it is still plain that, in such instances, the pre-eminence ascribed to the bishop is only that of primus inter pares-chief among equals. "Even the most zealous advocates of the episcopal system in the Greek, Roman, and English church, are constrained to recognise and admit the identity of the terms επίσκοπος and πρεσβύτερος, according to the usus loquendi of the ancient church. They are constrained to admit the distinction between the office of bishop and presbyter, which prevailed about the third and fourth centuries, and to a period still later, was unknown in the two first centuries." Pp. 45-47.
Or take again another passage concerning the mode of electing ministers, which may aid our readers in our own Church controversy. It seems plain that from the beginning the mode of election was by the members of the church. Neither patron, nor presbytery, nor bishop usurped that sacred right of Christ's people for many a century, till one corruption flowing in after another,