图书图片
PDF
ePub

has his choice, whether he will side with the hierarchy at the expense of the apostle, or with the apostle at the expense of the hierarchy! Whether he will look for the substance of the Levitical priesthood in the Son of God and his mediatorial work, or in the administration of the Episcopal clergy | Whether—But we check ourselves. A stranger instance of infatuated zeal has rarely occurred. The genius of the Old Testament types shall be perverted; their beautiful correspondence with their objects shall be marred; the principle of a whole book of the New Testament, (the Epistle to the Hebrews,) shall be set aside; but an argument, though merely a presumptive one, for the hierarchy, shall not be given up ! The only escape from this dilemma appears to be through a distinction between the particular character of the Old Testament priests as such, and their general character as ministers of religion. It may be yielded, that in the former they were types of Christ; and maintained that in the latter they were types of the Christian ministry. The distinction is of no avail; and its best effect is to protract the death of the Episcopal plea for a minute longer. If both their particular character as priests, and their general character as ministers of religion were typical, they were nothing but types. The worship which they offered up was typical worship; their prayers were typical prayers; their instructions to the people, typical

instructions. The church in which they ministered was a typical church. All was type. There was no reality. But this is absurd. God had as real a church, and dispensed as real blessings, by real ministers before, as since, the evangelical dispensation. Whatever typical ordinances might be set up, the church itself never was a type. It is a whole, and one part of a whole cannot be a type of another part. And as there were real ministers in a real church under the law, if you will have them to be types in their general character, you make the ministry of the church at one period and in one form, the type of her ministry at another period under another form. This is a contradiction. For the same persons could not be, at the same time, and in the exercise of the same functions, under the same relations, both shadow and substance. It destroys also the nature of the church of God; giving us all type before the new dispensation, and all substance after it. So that in fact, according to the scheme we are considering, there was no such thing as a church at all under the law, but only the shadow of a church. We have one step further in this typical climax. The sinners under the law were only typical sinners; the saints only typical saints; the salvation of the soul only a typical salvation; and for aught we can see, the God of salvation only a typical God! View it in any light you choose: The doctrine of the Layman, Cyprian, &c. concerning the Old Testament types, is inconsistent with itself; with the doctrine of the apostle Paul, and with all the known relations of type and antitype. Yet while they are spreading this confusion ; while they are displaying the most absolute want of acquaintance with both the Old Testament and the New, they have the assurance to tell us that if we “ have proved that the Jewish priesthood was not typical of the Christian, we have proved equally that the law was not a shadow of the gospel: thus destroying effectually, all connexion between the Old Testament and the New.” It seems, then, that although we have Christ the true priest and true sacrifice; and the effects of his mediation in pardoning sin, in purging the conscience, and in presenting an efficacious intercession before God in the highest heavens—we have nothing to the purpose; we are “destroying the whole Christian dispensation;” we are doing “much more to the support of infidelity, than of any other cause;”f we are tearing up the very foundations of the Christian faith”—Why?—because we will not admit the episcopal clergy to be the substance of which the Levitical priesthood was only the shadow ! It is amazing, it is humiliating, that men who have need that one teach them which be the first principles of the oracles of God, should talk so confidently. Nay, in the very act of sanctioning * LAYMAN, No. viii. p. 110. # P. 110.

all this misconception, misconstruction, and wresting of the scriptures, Mr. H. has permitted himself to ask Dr. Linn, whether he is “really ignorant of the nature of the types of scripture,” or whether he is “guilty of wilful misrepresentation ?” Such questions as these ought not to have been put by Mr. Hobart. So much for the first fact to which the disputants for the hierarchy have appealed. Their second fact, is the triple order of the “priesthood” during our Lord's personal converse with men. “Whilst our Saviour remained on earth,” (says Cyprian,) “he, of course, held supreme authority in his church. The twelve were appointed by him as his subordinate officers. The seventy disciples constituted a still lower order... There existed, then, in the church of Christ, at this time, three distinct grades of ministers. When our Lord ascended into heaven, when he breathed upon the twelve, and said, “As my father hath sent me, so send I you,” he transmitted to them the same authority which he himself had retained during his continuance amongst them : the twelve commissioned their presbyters and deacons to aid them in the administration of ecclesiastical government. Before their death they constituted an order of ministers to whom they conveyed that supreme authority in the church which was lodged in their hands during their lives.”f Thus, also, the Layman : “Jesus Christ commissioned twelve, and the seventy; but he gave them no authority to commission others. The high power of ordination was exercised by himself alone. Here,

* Note to Collec. p. 37. # CypriaN, No. II. Collec. p. 62.

then, were three orders; our Saviour, the great head of the church ; the twelve apostles; and the seventy disciples.”

We should be much entertained, and possibly edified, by the history of the three orders and their succession, as compiled by the Layman and his learned colleague, were we not disturbed by some difficulties which we cannot well remove.

Our first difficulty, as to this second stage of the triple order, relates to John the Baptist. He was certainly the Redeemer's messenger, and exercised a contemporary ministry. Why is he left out of the list? His extraordinary functions cannot be the reason; for those of his master were more extraordinary than his own. But he was neither the Christ, nor one of the twelve, nor one of the seventy. If you take him into the catalogue, you have four orders; if you leave him out, you must leave out his master likewise; and then you will have but two. In either way the history of the hierarchy sticks.

Our next difficulty relates to the co-existence of the Jewish and Christian priesthoods. The church of God was either organized under the Christian form, during our Lord's continuance upon earth, or not. If not, there was no Christian priesthood, and consequently no orders of priesthood. If she was, then did she actually subsist under two forms at the same time. For it is certain that the legal form remained, till the offering up of the “word

* * LAYMAN, No. IX, Collec. p. 153.

« 上一页继续 »