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evident that the peculiar form of imposition of hands by which the ministerial grace and commission were conferred, was instituted to continue it when the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit should have ceased. The very form of laying upon the head of the person who is to receive the holy office the hands of the Apostle denotes a personal commission,-a transmission of authority and office; and the institution of this form of ordination in an age when the Church was filleul with miraculous gifts and inspired teachers, affords the strongest presumption of the necessity of transmitting the Apostolic commission to the ministry by continuing the chain of successive ordinationi.

77.—THE CASE OF ST. PAUL. It has been seen that the Deacons had not the

of laying on of hands,-that the Apostles imparted graces and ordained Elders in every city by laying on of hands,-and that St. Paul directed Titus and Timothy, whom he had himself ordained by imposition of hands, to ordain Priests and Deacons in a similar manner. It is therefore certain that imposition of hands by the Apostles, or by those ordained by them, and endowed with power to ordain others, was the established practice of the Apostles. Unless their ordination was a useless ceremony, it must be supposed to be the means of conferring authority to minister in the congregation. If the commission from the Apostles was necessary for the exercise of the sacred office when the gifts of the Holy Spirit were dispensed in the Church, on what ground can it be supposed to have since become unnecessary? If at that period not even the gifts of the Holy Ghost authorised their possessors “ to take that honour upon themselves,” can it be lawful in any succeeding age to do so without Apostolic ordination ? 'The Kingdom and ministry appointed to his Apostles by our Lord were transmitted by them to their personal successors; and while the Lord's presence continues with them they will not cease to rule and minister in the Church, by those to whom they have transmitted their commission and office, through the ordained succession instituted and begun by themselves. Stephen and his companions—men full of faith and of the Holy Ghostdared not to assume the humblest office of the ministry till ordained by imposition of hands; and St. Paul himself, called to be an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, commissioned by the Lord from Heaven to declare his name among the Gentiles, and afterwards“ separated by the Holy

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Ghost for the work whereunto he had been called,” (Acts xiii. 3), undertook not his ministry until he had been solemnly ordained by imposition of hands, by the chief of those who ministered to the Lord at Antioch. The spirit which now prevails would ask in such a case as this, What have the hands of men to do, to confirm the call and appointment of the Lord? But the answer is—The Lord will not invalidate his own institutions ; He himself fulfilled every ordinance of the Jewish Church, and will not weaken the sanction of his own institutions by a single exception to their strict observance, even when their object has been miraculously fulfilled, and they might seem to interfere with or limit the supreme authority of His divine will. There is therefore the strongest evidence that the appointment to the holy office in the Church was designed to be invariably continued by ordination, with laying on of hands : that this form of ordination constitutes the channel for transmitting the authority and commission of the Apostles, and is therefore the divinely instituted means of continuing the succession of the Apostolic ministry in the Church,

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78.- APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION

RABLE FROM, AND ESSENTIAL TO, THE CHURCH. The nature of the Christian Ministry must be conformable to that of the Church and its institutions. The office of the Priesthood is to “ stand between God and the congregation.” As the representative minister of the congregation, the Priest addresses prayer, praise, confession, and sacramental worship to God : he is the voice of the people whose common adoration is offered through him. As the representative minister of God, the Priest teaches, exhorts, warns, and pronounces absolution in the name of the Lord, admits into the Church the baptized and the penitent, and rejects the heretical and impenitent by excommunication. The nature and constitution of the Church will determine that of the ministry. If it be a community with prescribed doctrines and ordinances, possessing privileges by reception of the faith, and obedience to the institutions of the Lord,-if it be constituted with the design of perpetuity in the faith, and in the preservation of the institutions of religion,-and if these ends are intended to be attained by uniformity of teaching and of ministration, it will afford a strong presumption of the Apostolical appointment and prescribed succession of the Ministry, as con formable to the general character of religion, if not necessary to the preservation of the Church.

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79.---CHRISTIAN CHURCH AS ORIGINALLY BUILT UPON st:

PETER, AND CONTINUING IN THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE APOSTLES.

The word Church means congregation or assembly. It occurs about one hundred times in the New Testament, and, with the exception of seven* instances, it signifies an EXISTING VISIBLE COMMUNITY. The word is applied to civil assemblies as well as to religious; as, “ But if ye enquire anything concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a lawful assembly" (Gr. Church). (Acts, xix. 39, and xix. 32.) In the great majority of cases it means a particular congregation of Christians, as the Church at Antioch, (Acts xiii. 1); Church of Laodicea, (Col. iv, 16); the Church at Babylon, (1 Pet. v. 13); the Church at Ephesus and the other seven cities of Asia, (Rev. ii. 8, &c.); the Church of Galatia, &c. (1 Cor. xvi. 1.) The first passage of the New Testament in which the word Church occurs is, (Matt. xvi. 18), " And I say unto thee that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Churcht, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." St. Paul explains this promise when he says, “ Ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God, and are built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone." (Eph. ii. 20.) And again, “ We are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation.. ....Know ye not that ye are the temple of God ?" (1 Cor.

* The exceptions are in the following passages. And gave Him to be head over all to the Church,” (Eph. i. 23.);.“ Might be known unto the Church the manifold wisdom of God,” (Eph. iii. 10): “Unto Hiin be glory in the Church by Jesus Christ,” (Eph. iii. 21.); “Christ is the Head of the Church,” &c. (Eph. v. 23–32); “He is the Head of the body of the Church," (Col. i. 18); “ To the general assembly and Church, of the first-born.” (Heb. xii. 23.) Of all these passages, but two (Heb. xii. 23, and Eph. v. 23) seem to refer exclusively to the mystical Church, visible and invisible, in heaven and in earth; the others may signify the visible and Apostolic Church - See Tracts for the 'Times, No. 11.

+ " There is one God, and one Christ, and one Church, and one See (Cathedra), founded upon Peter by the word of the Lord : besides the one Altar, and the one Priesthood, another Altar cannot be erected, nor a new Priesthood ordained." ~Cyprian, Ep. 40, (plebi Sila )

iii. 10, &c.) So also we learn that the new Jerusalem, the representation of the Church, had “twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb." (Rev. xxi. 14.) Thus it is proved that the Church was built upon St. Peter and the other Apostles. To express its unity our Lord promises to build his Church upon St. Peter. He, as St. Paul' says, with James and John " seemed to be a pillar,” (Gal. ii. 9), and had obtained from our Lord the priority in the gift of the keys, (Matt. xvi. 19, and xviii. 18), as in the erection of the Church. It is to be observed that it is our Lord who builds His Church upon the Apostlesit is they who "water, but it is He who gives the increase. ” They are the instruments He employs, but Himself is the chief corner stone ; the only true foundation. (1 Cor. ii. 11; Isai. xxviii. 16.) The promise of the Lord to Peter was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost, when he laid the foundation of the Church by the conversion of three thousand souls, (Acts ii.); and subsequently, by the conversion of Cornelius, (Acts x.), he laid the foundation of the Gentile Church, “God having made choice that by his mouth the Gentiles also should hear the word of the Gospel, and believe.” (Acts xv. 7.) The conversion of the three thousand on the day of Pentecost was the erection of the Church built

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St. Peter; for they with the Apostles obtained the name of the Church,-it being said of those who were received into it, ** The Lord added to the Church daily such as should be saved.” (Acts ïi. 47.) The constitution of this original Church is thus described : “ They that gladly received his word were baptized, and the same day were added unto them three thousand souls, and they continued stedfastly in the Apostles'doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers." The first Church, then, consisted of those who had been baptized, received the faith of the Apostles, continued in their fellowship or communion, received the Eucharist, and joined in prayers.* The “continuance in the

* It has been supposed that the word Church as used by St. Paul signifies the true believers in any city, as that the Church of Corinth signifies those who in that city are united to Christ by a saving faith, without reference to their outward profession or observances. But this notion has no foundation in Scripture or in antiquity, and is invented only to favour the modern habit of spiritualizing all external and practical institutions, so as to excuse the sin of violating duties und conformity to ordinunces, and affording to those, whose lives show that they are not obedient members of the visible Church, the delusive hope that by their faith or opinions they are members of that which is invisible. St. Paul always gives the term to the fellowship of the Apostles can only mean, that the converts submissively obeyed their instructions, believed their doc

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whole body of professing Christians in any city, including the un. worthy as well as the sincere and devout members: “they are not all of Israel which are of Israel.” (Rom. ix. 6.). Thus, for example, in the 1st Epistle to the Church of Corinth, St. Paul says,

is As I teach in every Church.(1 Cor. iv. 17, and vii. 17.) " The Churches have no such custom.” (xi. 16.) “Keep silence in the Churches.” (xiv. 34.) “He that prophesieth edifieth the Church.(xiv: 4.) “If the Church be come together into one place.” (xiv. 23.)

Aquila and Priscilla salute you, with the Church, that is in their house.” (xvi. 19. Col. iv. 15. Philem. ii. Rom. xvi. 23.) St. Paul addresses “ the Church of God which is at Corinth, them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ.It is evident therefore that he addresses as members of this Church the whole body of professing Christians in the city, including even those who had acted unworthily of the Gospel by participating in idol feasts, and by so perverting the Eucharist as to bring down judgments upon themselves. (Ch. x. and ch. xi.) He says that there were “ fornicators among them or in the Church, whose leaven would leaven the whole lump, or corrupt the whole Church ;” and so the Apostle excommunicates one guilty person. (ch. v.) “In a great house (i. e. the Church) there are vessels some to honour and some to dishonour.” (2 Tim. ii. 20.) “The Kingdom of Heaven, or Church, is like a net cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind, and they gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away." So of the good seed and of the tares. “The Son of Man shall send forth his Angels, and they shall gather out of his Kingdom, or Church, all things that offend, and them which do iniquity." (Matt. xiii. 41, 48.). Among the servants to whom the Lord of the Kingdom committed his talents, some

“ wicked and slothful.” (Matt. xxv. 26.) The guests at the marriage of the Lord “are gathered together both good and bad." (Matt. xxii. 10.) The Kingdom of Heaven or Church is likened unto ten virgins, five wise and five foolish. (Matt. xxv. 2. Luke xiv, 21.) “Grievous wolves shall enter into the flock, of their own selves shall men arise speaking perverse things to draw away disciples." The Church is compared to the visible Church of Israel baptized into Moses, eating the same spiritual meat, and drinking the same spiritual drink from the rock, that is Christ; but with many of them God was not well pleased, for there were idolaters, fornicators, inurmurers, &c. among them. (1 Cor. x. l-12.) The Apostle feared lest when he came to Corinth he should find it " such as he would not, but that they would be given up to many sins, and that he should bewail many among them who had sinned and not repented of the uncleanness and lasciviousness they had been guilty of.” (2 Cor. xii. 20, 21.) The seven Churches of the Revelation are spoken of as visible assemblies, some of whose members were cor-, rupt. (Rev. ii. 14, 15, 24; iii. 4, 15, 16.) It is therefore evident that' our Lord's designation of his Kingdom represents it as being a visible community, consisting of good and bad, of the devout and ungodly, of those who call Lord, Lord, but whom he knows not, and

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