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presbyters. To a man who has no turn to serve ; no interest in perverting the obvious meaning of words; one would think that a mathematical demonstration could not carry more satisfactory evidence. But conclusive as it would be in every other case, it is in this case, the advocate of the Hierarchy tells us, “good for nothing,” because Paul is called an “elder,” and Christ a “ deacon” as well as a “bishop,” and, therefore, if the argument proves any thing, it proves that neither the apostles nor their Lord, were any higher in authority than our elders and deacons. May we ask whether “bishop,” “presbyter,” “deacon,” signify any thing at all as terms of of. fice, or not? If they do not, then the scripture has used a parcel of words and names relative to church government, which are absolutely without meaning. This will not be said. Something, therefore, and something official too, they must mean. We ask again, whether or not they designate precisely any particular officers, as mayor, alderman, recorder, do in the commonwealth P Or whether, like the term magistrate, they merely express authority in general; so that no judgment can be formed from them as to the grade, or functions of the offices to which they are annexed 2 If the former, the assailant of the Hierarchy, its own friends being judges, is invincible, and their citadel is laid in the dust. Of course, they prefer the latter; and insist that the official title occurring in the

New Testament, can afford no aid in ascertaining what offices Christ hath instituted in his church. If this is their hope, we much fear that it is a forlorn hope indeed. If our question be not troublesome, we would ask, what is the use of names 2 Is it not to distinguish objects from each other ? To prevent the confusion which must pervade conversation about nameless things 2 And to facilitate the intercourse of speech, by compressing into a single term, ideas which, without that expedient, would be protracted through descriptions of intolerable length 2 Now if there are not in the New Testament appropriate titles of office which distinguish the several officers from each other, there could have been no such titles in use at the time when that book was written? For it would surpass the credulity of infidels themselves, to imagine that the writers, by purposely omitting the particular, and employing only the general, terms of office, would throw both their history and their readers into utter confusion. There can be no possible reason for omitting terms characteristic of the several offices, but the fact that no such terms existed. A marvellous phenomenon this ' That an immense society as the Christian church is, should be organized under its proper officers; should ramify itself through all the nations of the earth; should have every one of its branches regularly of ficered; and yet be destitute of names by which the officers might be correctly known; so that when an official term was mentioned, no ingenuity could guess whether an officer inspired or uninspired, ordinary or extraordinary, highest or lowest in the church, was intended !!! Did any thing like this ever happen in the affairs of men, from father Adam, down to this present A. D. 1807? Is such a fact consistent with the nature and use of human language P. Is it consistent with the operations or the being of any society whatever ? If the state of the primitive church with respect to terms of office, were such as the Episcopal argument represents it, she would indeed, have been

Mostrum horrendum, informe, ingens, cui LUMEN ademptum ;

a perfectly unnatural and monstrous production; dark and confused as “Chaos and old Night.” This demonstration that the representation on the part of the Hierarchy cannot be true, accords precisely with scriptural facts. From these, therefore, we shall prove that it is not true. A controversy of moment was referred by the church at Antioch, to the apostles and elders of Jerusalem. Now, if apostle and elder are not specific terms of office, where is the propriety of the distinction ? And to whom was the reference made P Would the description have answered as well if the assembly had been composed entirely of apostles; entirely of elders; or cntirely of deacons? Paul and

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Barnabas ordained elders (presbyters) in every city. Cannot an Episcopalian tell, even from the name, whether they ordained bishops, priests, or deacons? Titus was commissioned by Paul to ordain elders in every city: and Timothy received his instructions pointing out the qualifications of men who were to be made bishops and deacons. Pray, if the officer was not precisely designated by the name, what sense was there in giving particular instructions relative to each P How were Titus and Timothy to find out what sort of officers the apostle meant? Would any Episcopalian affirm, that under cover of the indefinite terms elder, bishop, and deacon, the good evangelists might have settled down a dozen diocesans in every city? or created a score of new apostles 2 Why not? if apostle, bishop, presbyter, deacon, are only general terms of office, but are not appropriated to any particular orders of officers. Nay, if the Episcopal assertion on this subject is correct, a broad line of absurdity runs through the apostolic writings, and through the whole transactions of the apostolic church. The simple truth is, that all these terms, apostle, bishop, and presbyter, and deacon, were as distinctive, and were annexed to certain officers with as much regularity and exactness, as any official terms can be at this hour. The first was given by our Lord Jesus Christ, to officers commissioned immediately by himself, for the purpose of carrying his name and establishing his church the nations. The last, viz. deacon, was given to officers ordained by the apostles to look after the poor. The other, viz. elder, or presbyter, had long been in use as a specific term of office. It signified a ruler; but a ruler whose power was well defined, and was perfectly familiar to the Jews. Presbyters were to be found in every synagogue; and every man in the nation was acquainted with their functions. If ever there was a term which conveyed precise ideas of a particular office, and was too notorious to be mistaken, presbyter was that term. By transferring it to rulers in the Christian church, the greatest caution was taken both to prevent misconception of their authority, and to facilitate the organization of Christian societies. As there were Jews every where, and converts every where gathered from among them, there were every where a number prepared to fall, without difficulty, into a regular church connexion, and to train the Gentile believers, to whom the whole system was perfectly new. But they would have talked of elders to the day of their death, without the most distant notion of such a ruler as a diocesan bishop. These Christian presbyters were also bishops (srokoro.) The former word denoting their authority; the latter, the functions growing out of it. They were, according to the form in which the master had distributed their duties, to execute the office of presbyters, by taking

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