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We agree with them, who think that the experiment introduced more evil than it banished.” 5. JERoME states as historical facts, that the elevation of one Presbyter over the others, was a human contrivance;—was not imposed by authority,
was there for such a distinction afterwards? The church might have gone on, as she began, to this very hour; and what would have been the harm 2 Nay, there was a necessity for the distinction; and Jerome has blown the secret. When one of the Presbyters was set over the heads of the others, there was a new officer, and he wanted a name. So they appropriated the term Bishop to him; and thus avoided the odium of inventing a title unknown to the scripture. The people, no doubt, were told that there was no material alteration in the scriptural order; and hearing nothing but a name to which they had always been accustomed, they were the less startled. The Trojan horse over again!
* One thing is obvious. Had there never been, in the persons of the prelates, a sort of spiritual noblesse; there could never have been, in the person of the Pope, a spiritual monarch. For the very same reason that a Bishop was appointed to preserve unity among the Presbyters, it was necessary, in process of time, to appoint an Archbishop for preserving unity among the bishops; for we never yet heard, that increase of power makes its possessors less aspiring. In the same manner a patriarch became necessary to keep their graces the Archbishops in order: and finally, our sovereign lord the Pope, to look after the patriarchs . The analogy is perfect; the reasoning one ; and the progression regular. What a beautiful pile! How correct its proportions ! how elegant its workmanship! how compact and firm its structure the Christian people at the bottom; rising above them, the preaching deacons: next in order, the Presbyters ; above them, the Bishops ; these support the Archbishops, over whom tower the patriarchs ; and one universal Bishop terminates the whole. Thus this glorious Babylonish edifice, having for its base the Christian world, tapers off, by exquisite
gradations, into “ his holiness" at Rome.
Vol. III. 30
but crept in by custom;-and that the Presbyters of his day, knew this very well. As, therefore, says he, the Presbyters KNow that they are subjected to their superiour by custom; so let the bishops know that they are above the Presbyters, rather by the custom of THE CHURCH, than by the Lord's appointment. 6. JEROME states it as a historical fact, that the first bishops were made by the Presbyters themselves; and consequently they could neither have, nor communicate any authority above that of Presbyters. “..Afterwards,” says he, “to prevent schism, one was elected to preside over the rest.” Elected and commissioned by whom? By the Presbyters: for he immediately gives you a broad fact which it is impossible to explain away. “At Alexandria,” he tells you, “from the evangelist Mark to the Bishops Heraclas and Dionysius,” i. e. till about the middle of the third century, “the Presbyters always chose one of their number, placed him in a superiour station, and gave him the title of Bishop.” We have not forgotten the gloss put upon this passage, by Detector, in the collection under review. “The truth is,” says he, “that Jerome affords no authority for this assertion. In his Epistle to Evag. he says, “Nam et Alexandriae, a Marco Evangelista usque ad Heraclam et Dionysium Episcopos, Presbyterisemper unum ex se electum, excelsiori gradu collocatum, Episcopum mominabant, quomodo
si exercitus imperatorem faciat, aut diaconi eligant de se quem industrium noverint, et archidiacomum vocent.” “At Alex
andria, from Mark down to Heraclas and Dionysius the Bishops, the Presbyters always named one, who being chosen from among themselves, they called their Bishop, he being placed in a higher station, in the same manner as if an army should make their general, &c.” Does St. Jerome here declare, as the fictitious “Clemens” asserts, that “the Presbyters ordained their Bishop 7" No ; Jerome merely asserts, that the Presbyters named, chose one to be their Bishop. Does it hence follow, that they gave him his commission ; that they ordained him? Does it always follow, that because an army choose their general, he does not receive his commission from the supreme authority of the state?” With all deference to this learned critic, we cannot help our opinion, that the appointment, or, if you please, ordination, of the first bishops by Presbyters, not only follows from the words of Jerome, but is plainly asserted by them. Dr. Hobart, overlooking the Roman idiom, has thrown into his English, an ambiguity which does not exist in the Latin of Jerome. According to the well known genius of that language, especially in writers who condense their thoughts, a verb governing one or more participles, in the construction before us, expresses the same meaning, though with greater elegance, as would be expressed by verbs instead of participles.f. It is * DETECToR, No. 1. Collec. p. 84. # Ex. gr. In Caesar's description of the bridge which he constructed over the Rhine, the first sentence is exactly analogous to the sentence of Jerome: “Tigna bina sesquipedalia, paullum ab imo praeacuta, dimensa ad altitudinem fluminis, intervallo pedum
duorum inter se jungebat.” De Bello Gallico. Lib. IV. c. 17. p. 187. ed. OUDEN or PII. 4to. 1737.
very possible that the Detector might not use this construction; but then the Detector does not write Latin like old Jerome. We should display the sentence at length, converting the participles into verbs, were it not for fear of affronting a scholar who insists that he has “sufficient learning to defend the Episcopal church.” “The truth is,” that this “famous” testimony of Jerome, points out, in the process of bishopmaking, but one agency, and that is the agency of Presbyters. Dr. H. himself has unwittingly confirmed our interpretation in the very paragraph where he questions it. His words are these: “Jerome merely asserts that the Presbyters named, chose one to be their bishop.” Not merely this; for the words which Dr. H. renders “being placed in a higher station,” are under the very same connection and government with the words which he renders, “being chosen from among themselves;” and if, as he has admitted, the latter declare a bishop to have been elected by the Presbyters, then, himself being judge, the former must declare him to have been commissioned by them. This is an awkward instance of felo de se ; yet a proof, how properly the Reverend critic has assumed the appellation of Detector; for he has completely detected himself, and no one else ! That we rightly construe Jerome's assertion, is clear, from the scope of his argument, and from his phraseology toward the close of the paragraph. His position is, that a Bishop and a Presbyter were, at first, the same officer. And so notorious was the fact, that he appeals to the history of the church in Alexandria, as an instance which lasted a century and a half, that when Bishops were made, they were made by Presbyters. But had Dr. H.'s construction been right, had Prelates alone ordained other prelates, the fact, instead of being for Jerome, would have been directly against him: and surely he was not so dull as to have overlooked this circumstance; although it seems to have escaped the notice of some of his sagacious commentators. JEROME says, moreover, that Presbyters originally became Bishops, much in the same way as if an army should “MAKE an Emperor; or the deacons should elect one of themselves, and call him JArch-deacon.” The Detector has given the passage a twist, in the hope of twisting Jerome out, and twisting the hierarchy in. “Does it always follow,” he demands, “that because an army choose their general, he does not receive his commission from the supreme authority of the state P” Certainly not : Although he would have gratified some of his
We humbly apprehend that Caesar had as much to do in sharpening and measuring the beams, as he had in joining them; and did not mean to say that the last operation was performed by his own hands, and the former by his workmen.
* HobART's Apology, p. 20.