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“ not to blaspheme.t” He charged Titus also to “ reject an heretic after the first “ and second admonition.u” So plain was the Apostle's authority over faith, and in repressing private judgment and public opinion. In restraining religious worship, he gave to the Corinthians * rules for their personal conduct and appearance in the congregation; he prescribed the method of celebrating the Supper of the Lord, and the order of their public ministrations, and proposed to set other things in order, when he should come himself; and required that all things should be done “ decently and in “ order.” The same authority was exerted by St. John, when he required of the elect lady not to receive any into her house who brought not the doctrine of Christ, and when he threatened to remember the conduct of Diotrephes, who had not received him?
5. In opposition to this authority it is common to allege the sentence of our Lord, “ The princes of the Gentiles exer
x Cor. xi. xiv,
+ 1 Tim. i. 20. u Titus iii. 10. y 2 John 10. 2 3 John 10.
“cise dominion over them, and they that 66 are great exercise authority upon them. “ But it shall not be so among you: but - whosoever will be great among you, “ let him be your minister; and whoso“s ever will be chief among you, let him “ be your servant: even as the Son of " man came not to be ministered unto, « but to minister, and to give his life a “ ransom for manya.” It is not necessary to refer to the external evidence of apostolical practice to prove the misapplication of this text. Our Lord was speaking to his Apostles, and with allusion to the singular ambition which two of their number had betrayed; and the object of his discourse was to teach them, that they should not presume one over another in the exercise of the equal authority which they had received. He addresses them as Apostles, and as Apostles only, nor does he make any mention, either direct or indirect, of the people to whom they were appointed to minister. It is not possible, that the sentence should be designed to exclude the
a Matth. xx. 25—28.
degrees of ministerial order; for our Lord, at the very time that he proposed his own example to their imitation, unquestionably possessed higher authority than they did; and in executing their important commission, they would follow his steps, not by receding from their appropriate dignity, but by exercising its duties in unity among themselves, and with condescension to the weakness of other men.
6. There are some who are unwilling to pay any “regard to the long disputed sub“ject of apostolical succession,” under a persuasion, “ that the postulatum is a mere “ fiction, and that the ground on which “ the Protestant writers have proceeded “ in contending for it is altogether un“ tenableb.” The same sentiment is more coarsely expressed, and an attempt is made to excite derision at “the zeal, with which " some clergymen trace their divine right “ very accurately up to the great — of “ Babylon.". If this was our only lineage and descent, it would not be worthy of defence, even though it is in the same line that we have received the Sacraments and the Scriptures, which are not therefore the less venerable or authentic. The succession of the Christian ministry after the time of the Apostles, must be and has been most ably vindicated upon other authorities, than those to which we profess to appeal, and which are not capable of determining the question beyond the third or the fourth generation. We know that Jesus was appointed by Godd: we know that he sent the Apostles as the Father sent hime; and we know also that they ordained the seven deaconsf. Again: we know that Jesus, after his ascension, appointed the Apostle of the Gentiles8 ; that he appointed Timothy and Titus, and conferred on them severally authority to ordain elders in every placeh. Thus the succession is complete, as far as the sacred records extend, and there is no intimation that it should ever be broken. The prescription, that it should not be broken, was the less necessary to the Jews, who had been always accustomed to a successive priesthood.
b Jones, vol. i. p. 11. c Williams, p. 68. nov.
d Matth. iii. 17. xvii. 5. Heb. v.-5. e John xx. 21. f Acts vi. 6. & Acts xxii. 21. xxvi. 17. i Tim. i. 12. hi Tim. iv. 14. 2 Tim. i, 6. 14. ii. 2. Titus i. 5.
7. It is admitted, that.“ the distinction “ between Bishop and Presbyter, or elder, “ seems to have prevailed early in the Chris“ tian Church, yet it is demonstrably with66 out any solid foundation in the New Tes" tamenti.” The observation is just, if it be confined to the mere name and designation; for Bishop and Presbyter are, in scriptural language, convertible termsk. The office, however, of the Bishop as he is now called, or of the Apostle as was the more ancient title, is demonstrably distinct from that of the Presbyter.
- Protestant Nonconformists hold, that os there are two distinct orders of ecclesi• astical officers, and only two, specified “ in the New Testament, as having the " ordinary superintendence of Christian “ societies, Bishops and Deacons. By “ Bishops they understand the pastors, or “ ruling elders, of the congregation ; by
i Jones, vol. i. p. 279, k Acts xx. 17. 28. Titus i. 5.7.