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SECTION XXV.

The primitive state of the church having been sought from credible

witnesses of the facts, without regard to their opinions, or hear-

says; and the changes marked from the commencement of the

second to the termination of the fifth century, and having seen

the successive introduction of parochial and diocesan episco-

pacy, the canonical ordination and human authority of the latter,

and the creation of quasi presbyters by Calvin, we are prepared

better to understand the New Testament by the rejection of these

novelties. But bishops are by some supposed to be the succes-

SECTION XXVII.

THE FIXED STATE, AND ORDINARY OFFICERS OF THE PRIMI-

TIVE CHURCHES.

Under the spiritual dispensation of the gospel, the extraordinary

officers were the apostles, to confer gifts and teach by means of

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