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his own times, renders his evidence of little weight. This historian introduces his quotation by ev do dnaõuf in which he discovers ; and then, proceeding in his own words, he says, “going to Rome he,” Hegesippus, "feli in company with many bishops"_" and found them to hold the same doctrine.” That the church of Corinth remained orthodox, εν τω ορθω λογω, until the time of Primus' acting as bishop, ErcoXORouvros, in Corinth.”—“ Being in Rome I abode until the succession of Anicetus, whose deacon Eleutherus was; Soter succeeded Anicetus, and Eleutherus, Soter.”
“After James, the just, died, as his Lord had done, for the same word, Simon the son of Cleopas, his uncle, was chosen bishop, whom all preferred, because he was the Lord's next kinsman.'
The denominating presbyters, bishops, is unexceptionable, for such they were. That one of them presided in every church from the apostles' days is equally certain. To reckon up the succession by these, was in no wise improper. But all these things fall far short of proving a diversity of office among presbyters, or a difference of order.
An apostle, as such, possessed powers and had duties to accomplish beyond those of a presiding presbyter. We ought not therefore to conclude, that, because the Scriptures have not mentioned the travels of James, all his labours were confined to Jerusalem. The numbers sometimes mentioned to be there, probably include visitants coming up to the feasts. There is no evidence of an extension of his authority over Judea, though the thing is possible; or that there were then different places of worship of Christians in Jerusalem. And if there had been, and he had exercised a general authority, it was that of an apostle. That the apostles should have successors in their ordinary powers, to teach, baptize, ordain, censure, &c., may be fairly inferred from the promise of Christ's presence, which could only be divine, annexed to their commission. That these duties were to be performed by the presbyters, or bishops of every particular church, is capable of positive proof. That in every presbytery there came to be a president, is undeniable. But it remains to be proved that such officer received a second ordination, either by scriptural authority, or in the apostles' days; } or that the presbyters of a church were so ordained, as that one species of them was authorized to preach, and another restrained from the exercise of such power.
f Euseb. Eccl. Hist. lib. iv, ch. 22. & Ibid, and Nicephor. Cal. lib. iv. c, 7,
Having now passed the middle of the second century and found one kind only of elders, and these the only ministers of the word, we may infer that such is the fair construction of the New Testament, on the ordinary officers of the church. The innovations which we are soon to witness in their gradual progress, were unauthorized and consequently mere nullities. Though every denomination has on some point erred, and the original names of the officers have been often changed the providence of God has in every age preserved the two orders, and a legitimate administration. But if the outward forms had all perished, being only means to an end, and consequently of minor importance, the characteristics of his true church have remained, " righteousness and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”
h The Apostolical constitutions need no refutation. The Apos. tolical tradisions, referred to by Hippolitus, we design to consider, when he arrives, in the first part of the third century.
Christianity was taught as philosophy by Tatian and his preceptor Justin, both
laymen.-The letter of Vienne and Lyons, differently represented; Pothinus a presbyter, #80807ws, and Irenæus the same.—Melito and Athenagoras professed the new philosophy, and Hermias wrote “The Discordance of Philosophers.”—Theophilus of Antioch speaks of no officer in the church.Irenæus was a presbyter, at Lyons, hitherto there is no other higher ordination, or office. The evidence given by Irenæus makes presbyter and bishop the same office, and that the succession from the apostles was by presbyters.
That "destructive superstition" which Tacitus had pronounced almost repressed by the Neronian persecution, surviving also the edicts of his successors, obtained some respite in the last thirty years of the second century, the period assigned to this section. The philosophic Pliny had expressed a sentiment, too prevalent in the second century, that Christianity was a crime fit to be expiated by death. Entitled to no legal toleration, though sometimes screened by the ignorance or caprice of a Galleo, the profession could be avowed only at the hazard of life. The only possible motive to accept or exercise an office in the church, under such circumstances, must have been duty, not dignity; conscience, not interest. Paul had saved his life, by claiming to teach the Athenians the knowledge of their own God. Many, with more success than Socrates, taught, bearing no office among Christians, a philosophy deemed to have originated among barbarians. An appetite for saving knowledge values offices, as means subordinate to a higher end, the acquisition of truth. Every Christian applauds Justin, receiving, in the habit of a philosopher, the crown of martyrdom.
Tatian was his disciple, axponins hearer, says Irenæus, who charges him with apostacy after the death of his patron.
“An oration to the Greeks,” is the only surviving production of Tatian. Written with elegance and point, and not far distant from orthodoxy, it pleases, but contains nothing that bears upon the present inquiry. He calls himself, in a philosophic sense, a preacher of the truth, unguza ons aanbelas (p. 64.) certainly neither as Noah nor Paul, of whom the same expression is used. After representing himself born among the Assyrians, and educated among the Greeks, he again says, that he preached xmpu77ew, professing to know God and his works. The good sense of the “Oration” is justly commended by Clement of Alexandria, and by Origen. Justin was a philosopher, not a presbyter; yet he taught : and Tatian, a hearer of Justin, preached, but as a layman. If laymen did, at this period, preach without censure, it is not probable that there were presbyters restricted from a privilege so
Large fragments of a letter, purporting to have been written by the churches of Vienne, and Lyons, in Gaul, have been preserved by Eusebius and Nicephorus. It describes some most affecting scenes of sufferings, in the persecution which took place, it is said, in the 17th year of Mark Antonine, A. D. 177. There has been nothing found in the letter concerning our subject, except the mention of the offices of two of the martyrs. The first is of Sanctus, who is styled a deacon from Vienne, διακονος απο Βιεννης: the other of the venerable Pothinus, who died in his ninetieth year, in prison, from the abuse he received at his trial. He is said in the letter, according to Eusebius, to have been “ intrusted with the ministry of the episcopate in Lyons," é anu draxovian της επισκοπης εν λυγδυνω πεπιςτευμενος. Nicephorus has given the same portion of the letter, with more simplicity in these words: “ Pothinus, a minister of the church at Lyons,”-Ποθεινος δε και διακονος της λυγδυνων εκκλησιas.” If Nicephorus wrote from the letter itself, the last is the truth; or if he compiled from Eusebius, his was probably still the original reading both of Eusebius and the letter; and the term diaxovos may have been subsequently changed into διακονιαν, and επισκοπης inserted. We have shown, in a former section, that Eusebius was unfaithful in his quotations of ancient writings. That Pothinus was the agos57w5, or presiding presbyter, and consequently a bishop of the church at Lyons, is very possible. The church appears to have been small, and the cause of truth an object of hatred and contempt, in that region; it is, therefore, improbable that a diversity in orders, which, as yet, existed nowhere else, should have originated there. Also, Irenæus, who was a presbyter in the same place, will presently be found to have known no difference between presbyter and bishop. As there appears in this letter no order above that of presbyter, which hitherto always had the oversight, so we find no lay presbyters.
a Iren. lib. i. Ch. 30. 31.-
-αποςτας της εκκλησίας.
Melito of Sardis wrote, about A. D. 182, several works, the titles of which Eusebius has preserved, with a fragment of his Apology for what he calls the new philosophy, and an important catalogue of the books of the Old Testament. But there remains nothing from him on our subject.
Athenagoras is a writer who also falls within our present period. The proofs in support of his Apology for Christians, and of his Discourse on the Resurrection are few and modern; yet no one can read the book, and doubt its genuineness. The Apology, being directed to Marcus Aurelius and Commodus, sufficiently determines its own date. Written to idolaters, its arguments
e Mons. Blondel (Apol. p. 23–32) has proved, that it was nine years after Irenæus had been placed in the chair, 72070xcc @edgiet, of Pothinus, a bishop and martyr, at Lyons, when he was represented in a letter written by that church to Eleutherius, as their brother and a presbyter of the church, cos argeo Bulegov extangleso Euseb. Lib. v. c. 4.