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suppose an opponent to urge that “ judge” is an official term appropriated to known officers; and us to reply, your argument is “ literally good for nothing,” “the miserable sophistry of names ;" judge is a generic term; and by this same mode of reasoning you might prove that every justice of the peace is on a level with the chief justice of the United States, or with God himself, because “ judge” is a name given to them all!! Would not this pass for most sage ratiocination, and persuade the public, that whoever should not bow to it, must be either a “ miserable” sophist, or an incorrigible dunce? And wherein it would yield the praise of acuteness, closeness, or strength, to the Episcopal objection to the argument drawn by the advocates of parity from the use of official terms in the New Testament, we are unable to discern. The mistake in both cases is the same, viz. the confounding the absolute and relative, or as we have explained it, the official and unofficial use of the same term. Make this plain distinction, and the reply of the Hierarchy is ruined. The Lord Jesus is emphatically the seat of God; and therefore he is called, the apostle of OUR PROFESSION.* He is also called the minister (diaconos) of THE CIRCUMCISION :t but never, ábsolutely, “ an apostle," 6 a deacon.” Paul and his fellow apostles are often called diaconoi, ministers; in such form as this, ministers of GOD, ministers of THE NEW TESTA
f Rom. xv. 8.
* Heb. iii. 1.
MENT :* but never, absolutely, “ deacons.” They are also called elders, or presbyters ; and for this very good reason, that possessing ordinary as well as extraordinary powers, they frequently participated in the councils, and exercised only the authority, of presbyters.t
Reverse the order : begin with the lowest and go up to the highest officer in the church, and you will not find an instance in which the official name of the superiour is applied to the inferiour. Deacons are no where called presbyters, nor presbyters, apostles. Cyprian does, indeed, assert, that “ the apostolic authority was manifestly communicated to Epaphroditus.” Where is the proof?
“ St. Paul,” says he, " in his epistle to the Philippians, ii. 25, calls him the apostle to the Philippians.” “But I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and companion in labour and fellow-soldier, but your apostle," (in our version, your messenger.) Accordingly St. Jerome observes, “ by degrees, in process of time, others were ordained apostles by those whom our Lord had chosen”-as that passage to the Philippians shows. “ I supposed it necessary to send unto you“ Epaphroditus, your apostle." And Theodoret, upon this place, gives this reason why Epaphroditus is called the apostle to the Philippians. “He was intrusted with the Episcopal government, as being their bishop.” But these are parts of scripture on which the advocates of Episcopacy place the least reliance."
In this paragraph, as in many others, the asser
2 Cor. vi. 4. † This matter shall be more fully explained hereafter. I CYPRIAN, No. iii. Collec. p. 72.
tions of Cyprian, applauded and adopted by Mr. H. display more haste than inquiry, and more ardour than discretion. To force a testimony in favour of Episcopacy, he has contrived, by a false translation of two words, to put into the mouth of the apostle Paul a speech which he never uttered. “St. Paul,” says he, “ calls Epaphroditus, the apostle to the Philippians.” Paul does no such thing; he would not have spoken truth, if he had. No person, as shall be proved in its place, could be vested with apostolic authority, but by the immediate appointment of Christ himself. Such an appointment Epaphroditus had not; and, therefore, Paul did not, could not, call him 6 an'apostle," in the official sense of that term ; much less - the apostle to the Philippians;" because a permanent connexion with any particular church, like that which subsists between a presbyter and his congregation, or between a prelate and his diocese, was essentially incompatible with the apostolic character. We wonder that Cyprian, while his hand was in, did not fix down Paul himself as the diocesan of Corinth and its dependencies. For his own words to the Christians of that city are, If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am TO YOU : for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.* Here occurs, in a fair and honest translation, the very phrase of “ an apostle to a people,” which Cyprian fabricated by a gross mis
* 1 Cor. ix. 2.
rendering of a passage in the epistle to the Philippians. And considering the anxiety with which the New Testament has been searched for prelates, there can be no doubt that if stubborn, most stubborn facts did not stand in the way, Paul would have been made up into a diocesan long ago: and introduced to our acquaintance, with the mitre on his brow, as the bishop of Corinth. But if the declaration, “ I am an apostle unto you,” is no proof whatever, that Paul filled an Episcopal see among the Corinthians ; how can the expression, “ an apostle to you,” even admitting it to be correct, prove that Epaphroditus was bishop of Philippi? But the words, mangled by Cyprian into an “ apostle to you,"* signify just what our common version represents them to signify, “ your messenger.” The Philippians had sent him with a contribution to the relief of the apostle's wants ; as he himself tells us in the fourth chapter. I have all and abound : I am full; having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you—v. 18. This is the reason why he is called their messenger. The coupling of the term apostolos with 6 your,” takes it out of the predicament of official names, and requires that it be understood in its general sense, which is, “ a messenger.” It has nothing to do with Episcopal relations, or clerical functions of any sort; say Theodoret what he pleases. It was hardly just to found the title of a
* υμων αποςολος.
bishop in the murder of a text. But whatever sentence be pronounced on Theodoret, we entirely acquit Cyprian from the charge of sinning against knowledge.
Cyprian seems also to labour under the inconvenience of a bad memory. For after agreeing with his friend the Layman to reprobate all reasoning from words to things; he lays the whole stress of an argument for the prelatical dignity of Epaphroditus upon a single word. And so mighty is the force of this word in his eyes, that on the strength thereof, he says that the “ Apostolic authority was manifestly communicated to Epaphroditus.” When the fact turns out to be, that even the word which is to manifest this “ coinmunication,” has nothing to do with the subject! And then, to finish neatly, he informs us in the close of the paragraph, that “ these are parts of scripture on which the advocates of Episcopacy place the least reliance." They are wise to let the thistle alone after feeling its prickles—But it is rather incongruous to place only the least reliance" upon “parts of scripture” which “ manifestly” prove the very point they would be at.
And no less so, to build their 6 manifest" proof upon an argument which they themselves have pronounced to be 6 miserable sophistry,” and “ literally good for
* These gentlemen are hardly civil to their favourite Theodoret, from whom, through Whitby and Potter, they borrowed this Vol. III.