图书图片
PDF
ePub

to lodge the whole power of government and discipline in a bishop, to the exclusion of presbyters. We do not feel conscious of any arrogance in supposing, that after the reader, who is solicitous to know the truth, shall carefully have examined and compared the reasonings now submitted to him; and allowed them their due force on his mind, he will coincide with us in opinion, that the “angels” and “stars” in the context before us, do NOT signify single persons, but a number of men; that is, are emblems of a collective ministry, and not of diocesan bishops. “Thus endeth the second lesson,” which is concerning Cyprian’s “absolute demonstration” that the angels of the seven churches of Asia were Episcopal prelates. We now come to the third and great fact of the Hierarchy, the prelatical character of Timothy and Titus. The inquiry consists of two parts; the first, concerning their ordination, and the second, their powers. Although the Episcopal writers argue less confidently from the first of these topics than from the second; yet it is not unimportant to their cause. For if they can prove that ordination to the ministry in the days of the Apostles was Episcopal, in their sense of the term; that is, that an officer whom they call the bishop, had the sole power of ordination, presbyters being permitted merely to express their consent—if they can prove Vol. III. 20

this, it will be hard to escape from the conclusion, that the whole government of the church was prelatical. If they decline much reliance upon it, as Dr. Hobart and the Layman say they do,” their shyness must be imputed to some other cause than its insignificance ; for they are not in the habit of declining very humble aid ; and our former remarks will show that, though well supplied with assertions, they have no evidence to spare.

The following texts have been quoted under the present head.

For TIMOTHY.

JNeglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the LAYING ON of the HANDs of THE PREsby TERY. 1 Tim. iv. 14.

Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God which is in thee, by THE PUTTING oN of MY HANDs. 2 Tim. i. 6.

For TITUs.

For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting; and ordain elders in every city, As I HAD APPoinTED THEE. Titus i. 5.

From these texts one thing is clear, viz. that both Paul and the Presbytery imposed hands on Timothy. But several questions have been started about the rest. Who constituted the Presbytery P Why were hands imposed on Timothy P Was this his consecration to the evangelical ministry P If so, what share had the apostle in the transaction, and what the presbytery P. The high church construction is, that “ St. Paul ordained Timothy with the concurrence of the Presbytery. By the Presbytery may be understood a number of Apostles who laid their hands on Timothy, since the Apostles, though certainly superiour to Presbyters, style themselves “Elders,” or Presbyters. The Greek expositors understood the passage in this sense as well as the Greek church, both ancient and modern—since in the ordinations of this church, the Presbyters do not lay on their hands with the Bishop. Nor was it the custom in the Western church until the fourth century. But allowing that by the Presbytery is meant a number of Presbyters, it is evident, from a comparison of the two texts, that the Presbyters imposed hands, not to convey authority, but merely to express approbation. “By the putting on of my hands,” with the laying on of the hands of the Presbytery.” In the church of England, the Presbyters lay on their hands with the Bishops in ordination, to denote their consent.” As our business, at present, is not with ecclesiastical history, but with the interpretation of scripture, we pass over the allusion to the Greek and Western churches. “The evidence” that “ the Presbyters imposed hands not to convey authority, but merely to express approbation,” is extorted from the two prepositions “by” and “ with.” “By my hands,” says Paul: therefore he alone ordained Timothy. “With the laying on of the hands of the Presbytery,” says he again: therefore, the Presbytery merely “expressed their approbation.” In support of this “evident” difference between the agency of Paul and that of the Presbytery in the ordination, the Layman has entertained us with some rare criticism which we shall not be so unjust as to withhold from our readers. “It is known to every Greek scholar, that dia signifies,

* Collec. p. 59, note. LAYMAN, No. V. p. 51.

* HobART's Festivals and Fasts. p. 25. The Greek expositors to whom he refers in the margin, are Chrysostom and Theophylact. Theophylact has copied Chrysostom, whose words are,

•v rept rpto:3vropov ongw tyrav0a' ax\a rept srickorov, ov ya" &n rpto:3vropol row emphatically, the cause of a thing ; while meta denotes emphatically, nearness of situation, relation, connexion, triakotov exeiporovovv. Chrys. ad loc. “He, the apostle, is not speaking here of PREsby TERs, but of Bishops: for Presbyters did not ordain a Bishop.” The eloquent Patriarch flounders sadly. He takes for granted, that Timothy was a bishop : to allow that a bishop could be ordained by Presbyters, would demolish the whole fabrick of the hierarchy. Paul had used an ugly word for their spiritual mightinesses; and so, to make short work with him, the golden-mouthed preacher flatly contradicts him. It was a “presbytery,” said the apostle. It was a council of bishops, replies Chrysostom. Yet, after all, neither he nor Theophylact, have interpreted the term of Apostles. When a writer quotes authorities without consulting them, he should be wary, and be extremely cautious in mentioning names. Dr. H. was probably in haste. Had he stuck closer to Potter, he would have been less inaccurate.

agreement. It need not be observed that words are used sometimes more loosely, and sometimes more strictly. A term is often introduced in a sense different from its original and primary meaning. The two words dia and meta are opposed in the Epistles of Timothy. Well, then, the two words being opposed, and the first, as every Greek scholar knows, denoting, emphatically, the cause of a thing ; the latter conveying, particularly, the idea of relation, connexion, agreement, it follows, obviously, that they are to be taken in these their appropriate senses. Our author will not venture to say that the Greek word meta is as appropriate an one as dia to express the cause of a thing. He will not so far hazard his reputation as a scholar. I assert, then, that dia signifies, particularly, the cause of a thing, and that meta is the preposition of concurrence. Nor is this invalidated by the circumstance of meta being sometimes used as dia with the genitive case. The emphatical distinction between the two words lies in the first denoting a cause, the other concurrence. Why does St. Paul carefully use the word dia in the one case, and meta in the other ? Why does he not use meta in both cases : It is to be recollected too, that the passages are, in his Epistles to Timothy, relating to the same subject ; and of course, the terms must be regarded as contrasted with one another. Surely the words dia and meta, as opposed, signify, the first, the cause of a thing ; the last, nearness, concurrence, agreement. This is familiar to every Greek scholar, and I assert it on the authority of the best lexicons of the language. The circumstance, then, of the Apostle using a word in relation to himself, which denotes the instrumental cause, and with respect to the Presbytery, a word which, particularly as distinguished from dia, expresses agreement, shows, clearly, that the authoritative power was vested in him, and that the act, on the part of the Presbytery, was an act of mere concurrence.”

* Layman, No. V. Coll. p. 53, 54.

« 上一页继续 »