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T. C. 2. 2.
WHIT- to have been done by the prince's authority. And therefore, in
empeIbid. p. 156. ror's but the bishop's decrees. Princes may be assistant in Ibid. p. 161. councils, and ought to defend the same assembled: if any be
have themselves there tumultuously, or otherwise disorderly, T.C. 1.2. the prince may punish him. The prince ought to confirin the T.C. 2. 2. decrees of such councils : to see the decrees executed, and to Bancrofi's punish the contemners of them.”
Here Bancroft observes, that the doctrine of the Puritans is cha. 23.
much the same as that of the Papists upon this head : and this he urges as a disadvantage to their cause. But, with due regard to his memory, this objection has little weight: for the agreement between the Papists and Puritans in any point of religion, does not prove the thing either true or false. For neither of these communions are always right, or always wrong. And this may serve for a short view of the argument touching the regale. And here again I desire the reader to take me but as a reporter of part of the controversy: not that I pretend to determine the question, or fix the barriers between the Church
and the State 1. 617.
But then, in the next place, whatever independent authority The Puri- may belong to the Church, the Puritans can make out no claim for church to this privilege. The Dissenters mistake the seat of ecclesipower in
astical jurisdiction, and lodge it in wrong hands. Churches sufficient.
consisting of presbyters without a bishop at the head of them, were altogether unprecedented in the primitive times, and what the ancients by no means allowed of. To make good this assertion, I shall briefly prove these two things.
First. That the order of bishops, from the beginning of Christianity, was distinct from that of presbyters, and superior to it.
Secondly. That orders conferred by presbyters were reckoned null and insignificant by the ancient Church.
To prove the first point, it may be observed, that our Saviour, who founded the Christian Church, was the first and sole bishop, or chief governor. For while our blessed Saviour continued upon earth, the Apostles did not execute the episcopal function; they neither ordained, nor acted in the exercise of ecclesiastical jurisdiction; they only baptized and preached
| This elaborate disquisition on the regale may refute the error of those who consider kings merely as laical and civil officers. By this popular delusion, monarchies are changed into democracies.
the Gospel, which is the proper business of presbyters or ELIZApriests. But our Saviour, at his ascension, transferred his power for governing the Church upon his Apostles, and vested them with the episcopal authority. The form of consecrating them to this office is set down in these words, “ Peace be unto John xx. you; as my Father hath sent me, so send I you.
And having said this, he breathed upon them, and said unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost." It is granted our Saviour had ordained his Apostles before this time; but then it was only to preach the Gospel, and work miracles. But it was not till Mark iii. 13, after his resurrection that he gave them their commission in these solemn words, my Father hath sent me, so send I Three
orders with you.
It was now he conveyed a fuller communication of the different Divine Spirit, by the circumstance of breathing upon them, degrees or and saying, “ Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” From whence it in the is plain, that by this last and more solemn ordination, the our Surivur Apostles were raised to a greater dignity, and had new powers
apostles. given them; that is, they had a power to ordain others, and exercise ecclesiastical discipline. By the suggestion of the Holy Spirit, three other Apostles were added to the eleven; that is, Matthias, Paul, and Barnabas. These fourteen being Acts i. 26. clothed with a full authority for governing and perpetuating the Church, ordained presbyters and deacons to a share in the administration. Now, since those who were commissionated Acts xiv. 23. to govern in chief, and constitute these subordinate officers, Acts vi. 6. were afterwards called bishops ; for this reason the Apostles are likewise styled bishops, by several of the Fathers. And Cyprian. thus even the apostolate is called ÉTLOKOTT, or a bishopric, as Rogatian. it is translated. This episcopal authority was for some time Ambros. the privilege of the Apostles, and managed only by them; but cap. 4. p. 2. Christianity spreading upon the progress, and the death of the Hæres
, 27. Apostles beginning to draw near, they communicated their par. 6. governing character to others, and fixed them in distinct churches, and thus the first powers were derived from one age to another, and this spiritual society made immortal. For instance, Evodius was vested with this extent of authority, and fixed in the see of Antioch; Linus and Clemens were made bishops of Rome; and, to mention no others, Titus had the same episcopal post in Crete, and Timothy at Ephesus. That Titus exercised the function of a bishop in Crete, is affirmed not only by Eusebius, Theodoret, St. Ambrose, St. Jerome, Tit. i. 5.
xii. 2. Gal. i. 1.
Acts i. 20.
1 Tim. v. 19. 22.
and others, but likewise by St. Paul himself. That Timothy Abp. Cant. managed with the same advantage and superiority, appears by
St. Paul's instructions to him. The Apostle cautions him against ordaining any persons without a previous inquiry, and that "he should not receive an accusation against an elder, unless supported by two or three witnesses. Now, to what purpose were these directions sent to Timothy, unless he had a commission to ordain and try causes, an authority to constitute
and govern presbyters? Thus St. Paul, in his Epistle to the Philip. i. 1. Philippians, mentions Timothy as a colleague, and joint com
missioner with himself; and the Epistle is directed to the Philippians in the name of both. The text is, “ Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ," &c. These two are mentioned together with marks of distinction, as persons of the first class in the Church. The two inferior orders are set forth in the latter part of the verse in these words,
66 with the bishops and deacons." That these were of a different rank from St. Paul and Timothy, may be collected from the order of the text, and the manner in which they are mentioned; and that by the denomination of bishops, we are only to understand presbyters in this place, is affirmed by St. Chrysostom, Theodoret, and St. Jerome, in their homilies and comment upon the text. Particularly Theodoret reports, that “in these early times, those who were the chief governors in the Church,
and had the power of ordination, were scarcely as yet styled Apocalyps. i. bishops, but angels and Apostles." And here this Father
observes, that, "not only the twelve disciples chosen by our Saviour, but likewise the seventy, Paul and Barnabas, and a
great many others, were called Apostles. Those (says he) Id. in 1 Tim. who are now called bishops were then styled Apostles.” Upon
this ground, he affirms Epaphroditus, who carried this Epistle
to the Philippians, had an episcopal character, because St. Phil. ii
. 25. Paul calls him their Apostle. Farther, it is generally agreed Epist. ad
by the Fathers, that in this age of the Apostles, presbyters Philip. i. 1, 2.
were called bishops. And for this reason the Syriac translation, as the learned Beveridge observes, renders these words, συν επισκόποις και διακύνοις, “with the presbyters and deacons. And, which is very remarkable, in almost all places of the New
Testament where the word ŠTÍOKOTOS, or bishop, occurs, it is 1 Tim. iii. 2. translated by presbyter' in the Syriac version. And thus I Tim. iii. 1. ĚTLOKOTÌ, or the office of a bishop, is translated the office of a
Phil. i. 1.
Tit. i. 7.
presbyter.' Now, it is difficult to conjecture what can be the ELIZAreason of translating in this manner, excepting this, that when this version was made, bishop and presbyter were equivalent terms, and used to mark persons in the same office. However, it is plain, by the records of antiquity, that either towards the end of the Apostles' times, or very soon after, the terms bishop and priest were distinguished, and carried a different idea ; and that those to whom the Apostles conveyed their authority, and left for their successors, took the distinction of bishops, as most suitable to their office, and quitted the title of presbyter, Iren. lib. 3. or priest, to those of the second order'.
But here it may not be improper to take notice, that the The PresbyPresbyterians endeavour to wrest the first verse of the first gument from
the 1st of chapter to the Philippians from the exposition above-men
Philip. v. 1. tioned. And from St. Paul's mentioning the bishops and dea- considered. cons, they conclude there were but two orders of ecclesiastics in the Apostles' days; and that these two distinctions were only presbyters and deacons. Their reason for this last asser- 618. tion is, because the text does not throw in any third order between bishops and deacons ; but how slenderly they are founded, and how ill their inference is drawn from the Apostles' words, may be easily shown.
For first, Epaphroditus, who is supposed to have been constituted bishop of Philippi, by the Apostles, was at Rome when St. Paul wrote this Epistle, and was afterwards sent with it unto Phil. ii. 25. Macedonia. Now, since Epaphroditus carried this Epistle, what reason is there for saluting him with the bishops, as they are called, fixed at Philippi ? Farther : granting Epaphroditus was not promoted to the see of Philippi at the writing of this Epistle, yet the highest order of the clergy, that is, a bishop, strictly taken, may be comprehended under this form of salutation, no less than presbyters of the second class. And therefore, supposing Epaphroditus were not bishop of Philippi, they might have another single and distinguished governor in that station. But to make a farther concession: Supposing the Philippians had no single governor paramount to the presbyters when St. Paul wrote to them, it will by no means follow that there were only two orders of ecclesiastics in that city; for can it be imagined there was no Apostle presiding over the
1 Collier here seems to identify priests with presbyters : as if “new presbyter were but old priest writ large.” Many critics, however, have taken important distinctions between thein.
adversus Heret. c. 36.
WHIT- bishops and deacons ? It is not to be supposed that the Abp. Cant. Apostles should forbear taking care of the Churches as soon as
they were founded, and quit the helm before they had furnished every
Church with a distinguished and peculiar governor ; and that some Apostle sat in the chair of Philippi, and not only presided over the Church, but left a successor in the same station, is expressly affirmed by Tertullian. Now, this Father, living so near the Apostles' age, must be allowed an unexceptionable evidence. His words are these :-“You (says he) that are disposed to make an exact inquiry into the history of your salvation, take a view of the apostolical Churches, where the chairs they presided in are to be seen; where their Epistles are read in their own hand. By which remains, the very voice and portrait of them are, as it were, sounding in the ears of the audience, and preserved to the present age. For instance : Do you dwell near Achaia, you have Corinth for this purpose ; if you do not live remote from Macedonia, Philippi and Thessalonica will give you the same satisfaction ; if you travel into
Asia, you have Ephesus for another apostolic see; if you Tertull. de border upon Italy, Rome has the same honourable privilege." Prescript.
Here the reader may see Philippi is reckoned among the rest of the cities where the Apostles had the chair, and presided in person ;
and that a succession of bishops was continued upon these sees with particular marks of honour. That this succession was continued till Tertullian's time, is evident by this sentence, above-mentioned, “ Apud quas ipsæ adhuc cathedræ apostolorum præsidentur.” Now, considering the Philippians had so generously furnished St. Paul with conveniences; since he treats them with such particular regard, as to send them this canonical Epistle; and especially since the Church of Philippi was founded by this Apostle ;for these reasons it is likely St. Paul might keep the charge of this see in his own hand till, upon the prospect of his martyrdom, he settled a successor. But there is no need of insisting farther upon this. That neither St. Paul nor Timothy were plain presbyters nor deacons, but an order superior to both, is confessed by the Presbyterians themselves. They affirm, like
wise, that by bishops, in the place above-mentioned, we are to Philip. i. 1. understand presbyters. From this concession it evidently fol
lows, that there were at least three orders in the Church when the Apostles were alive ; and it is certain the first order of these three was, at their decease, everywhere settled. Now,