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support his construction of meta by the proper authorities; and he shall have “the best lexicons of the language” into the bargain. But as we do not ask for credence to our bare assertion, we shall subject the Layman's distinc
tion between dia and meta to the test of fact. “It is to be recollected,” says he, “that the passages are in his” (Paul’s) “ epistles to Timothy, relating to the same subject; and of course, the terms,” (viz. dia and meta,) “must be regarded as contrasted with one another.”
Be it so. I open my New Testament and read, that “many signs and wonders were done by (dia) the apostles.” Proceeding in the narrative, I read afterwards that Paul and Barnabas rehearsed all things that God had done witH (meta) them.f Now, the Layman being judge, as “the passages relate to the same subject,” viz. the miraculous works which God enabled his servants to perform, and the success with which he crowned their ministry, “ the terms” dia and meta “must be regarded as contrasted with one another. The circumstance, then, of the historian using a word in relation to the apostles in general, which denotes the instrumental cause; and with respect to Paul and Barnabas, a word which, particularly as distinguished from dia, expresses agreement, shows clearly, that the authoritative power was vested in the former, and that the act, on the part of the latter, was an act of mere concurrence.” In fewer words, when Peter, James, &c. wrought miracles, they did it in virtue of an authoritative power; and when Paul and Barnabas wrought miracles, they had no authoritative or instrumental agency, but merely expressed their approbation of what God did without them; although the historian has positively assert ed that he did it with them. All this from the difference between dia and meta / Should the Layman by any means escape from this difficulty, it will be to fall into another still greater. Before he ventured upon the criticism now under review, he ought to have read, in the original, the verse which he has undertaken to criticise. There he would have found his dia and meta in the same proposition, and separated only by a single word. The gift, says Paul to Timothy, which was given thee by (dia) prophecy, witH (meta) the laying on of the hands of the Presbytery.* That the terms relate to the same subject, is indisputable; and of course, says the Layman, they are “contrasted with one another. The circumstance, then,” proceeds he, “ of the apostle using a word in relation to prophecy, 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 the prophecy; and that the act, on the part of the Presbytery, was an act of mere concurrence.” The result of the Layman's criticism is, that Timothy had two ordinations, by two authoritative powers, viz. the prophecy, and the apostle Paul; and two concurrences of the Presbytery, viz. one with prophecy, and one with the apostle. We cannot deny that he was well ordained' From words let us go to things, and see what the Episcopal argument will gain by the exchange. The imposition of hands on the part of the Presbytery, was an act, it is said, of “mere concurrence;” designed to express approbation, and not at all to convey the ministerial office.* This assertion is not only without proof, but is directly in the face of all the proof which the nature of the case admits. 1. By what rule of reasoning is the very same act, viz. imposition of hands, performed at the same time, in relation to the same subject, considered as expressing the communication of authority by one of the persons engaged, and only as expressing approbation by all the rest? When certain distinctions have taken place, it is easy to invent other distinctions to justify them. But is it credible? does it belong to the nature of significant rites, that arite signifying the conferring of powershould be employed by a number of persons in a concurrent act, and yet, with regard to all but one of them, not signify the conferring power at all P 2. The advocates of prelacy are challenged to produce from the scriptures, or other authentic records of the apostolic and preceding ages, proof that imposition of hands was used to signify mere assent or approbation. To say that it might so signify, is nothing to the purpose. The point to be determined is, not what it might, but what it did, signify. If, in every other case, imposition of hands expressed authoritative communication, it must have done so in the ordination of Timothy; and to maintain that it did not, is to beg the question. The Episcopal construction violates the plainest meaning both of words and of actions. The Presbyterian construction is in perfect coincidence with both. Paul says that the gift in Timothy was given to him by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the Presbytery. It is agreed that prophecy, or prophecies which went before on Timothy, designated him as a fit person for the ministry: but did not invest him with office—did not give him the gift. Had there been nothing else but the prophecy, he would have had no commission. It was necessary that the imposition of the hands of the Presbytery should concur with the prophetical designation, or Timothy had remained a layman. The Presbytery did thus concur; they did lay their hands on Timothy, and he received his office. Now as the prophecy made no part of his ordination; it follows, that he was ordained by the Presbytery. If the gift which was in him by the imposition of Paul's hands, was his ministerial commission, that apostle had no share in it which was not common to every member of the Presbytery; or else his declaration, that Timothy was ordained by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the Presbytery, would not be true. Nor is there any thing in his expression which might not be used by every one of his colleagues, and with peculiar propriety by himself, if, as it is not improbable, he presided at Timothy's ordination. To exhibit this subject in another light, we propose a few questions which some of the advocates for prelacy would do no disservice to their cause by answering in such a manner as to remove the scruples they must naturally occasion. 1. Did Paul alone ordain Timothy P or was his ordination the joint act of the Presbytery P. If the latter, we have a complete scriptural example of Presbyterial ordination. If the former, so that the Presbytery, by the imposition of their hands, merely testified their assent, then, 2. Were the persons who thus imposed hands on Timothy simple Presbyters, or were they apostles or prelates ? If the latter, then, 3. How came Paul to appropriate to himself a power which belonged to every one of them in as full right as it could possibly belong to him 2 How came they to surrender this their power into the
* Act i. 43. Toxxo, rs Tagora xia gougio. AIA row arodoro)\ov sysvero.
# 660, 60309 ground 3 MET' &urov Act. xv. 4.