"ought to usurp the honour of the ecclesiastical ministry, that is "to say, greedily to pluck it to him by bribes, or any evil shifts, “ or of his own accord. But let the ministers of the church be "called and chosen by a lawful and ecclesiastical election and "vocation.-And' those which are chosen, let them be ordained "of the elders, with public prayer, and laying on of hands. We "do condemn all those which run of their own accord, being nei"ther chosen, sent, nor ordained."*

The Confession of Bohemia, drawn up about 1573, in chapter 9th, contains the following passage-" Ministers ought not of their "own accord to press forward in that calling; but ought, accord"ing to the example of the Lord and the apostles, to be lawfully "appointed and ordained thereunto. And again, these ought to "be proved and tried by examination, and so afterwards, prayers "and fastings being made, they may be confirmed or approved of "the elders by laying on of hands."-Chapter 14. "The power "of the keys is committed to the church of Christ, and to the minis"ters thereof unto the end of the world; that they should not "only, by preaching, publish the holy Gospel, although they "should do this especially, that is, should show forth that word of "true comfort, and the joyful message of peace, and new tidings "of that favour which God offereth; but also that, to the believing "and unbelieving, they should publicly or privately denounce or "make known, to them his favour, to these his wrath, and that to "all in general, or to every one in particular, that they may wisely "receive some into the house of God, to the communion of saints, "and drive some out from thence, and may so, through the per"formance of their ministry, hold in their hand the sceptre of "Christ his kingdom, and use the same to the government of "Christ his sheep. And all these things are done by the faith"ful shepherds of souls in the Lord's stead, not doing this of themselves, but upon Christ his commandment; not by their own "and proper virtue, but by Christ's, and by the efficacy of his "word and sacraments, as those that are stewards and dispensers "of the mysteries of God, and ministers only. In the administra"tion of which things they may use some seemly and indifferent "ceremonies, that is, which are no way necessary, such as laying

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* Harmony of Confessions, Sect. 11.

"on hands, or reaching out the right hand; on else they may omit "them. This power of his sceptre and spirit hath the Lord "granted and delivered to the holy apostles, and in them to all "ministers of churches lawfully ordained, that they might exercise "in his stead: and he granted it to them by these words, As the "Father hath sent me, so do I send you also. By this we may "understand that these keys, or this divine function of the Lord's, " is committed and granted to those that have the charge of souls, "and to each several ecclesiastical society,* whether small or great. "Moreover, every Christian so often as he needeth these keys of "the Lord, ought to require them particularly for himself of the pastors of souls of that church or fellowship, of which himself is a part, and to which he belongeth; and that he use them with full "confidence, no otherwise than if he had received them of Christ "himself, seeing that Christ hath delivered them unto the pastors. "This is also taught and handled, that the priests ought not to use "these keys of the Lord, otherwise than according to the meaning " and will of Christ expressed in his word."+

From public Confessions, drawn up by the reformers, let us descend to individual opinions expressed by those illustrious witnesses for the truth, in different countries. Of these the following specimen will be sufficient.

Ursinus, a learned German divine, contemporary with Luther and Melancthon, speaks the same language. "Ministers," say's he," are either immediately called of God or mediately through "the instrumentality of the church. Of the former class, were "prophets and apostles. Of the latter class there are five kinds, "viz. Evangelists, bishops or pastors, teachers, ruling elders, and "deacons. Evangelists are ministers appointed to go forth and "preach the Gospel to a number of churches. Bishops are minis"ters ordained to preach the word of God, and administer the "sacraments, in particular churches. Teachers are ministers ap"pointed merely to fulfil the function of teaching in particular "churches. Ruling elders are ministers elected by the voice of

* This is explained by a note on the article in the following words"That is to Presbyteries or Consistories, which stand of pastors and "elders; and unto whom properly the dispensing and ordering of the "keys and ecclesiastical censures do belong."

+ Harmony of Confessions, Sect. 11.

"the church, to assist in conducting discipline, and to order a variety of necessary matters in the church. Deacons are minis"ters elected by the church, to take care of the poor, and to dis"tribute alms *

The very learned Musculus, also of Germany, a reformer contemporary with Luther, and who embraced his principles, having proved from Acts xx. Philip. 1. 1. Titus 1. 5. and 1 Peter v. 1. that, in the apostles' times a bishop and presbyter were all one, adds as follows: "But after the apostles' times, when, amongst "the elders of the church, (as Jerome saith,) schisms arose, and, "as I verily think, they began to strive for the pre-eminence by "little and little, they began to choose one out of the number of the "elders, who was placed above the rest, in a higher degree, and "called bishop. But whether that device of man profited the "church or no, those who lived in succeeding times could better "judge, than when it first began. If Jerome had seen as much as "those who came after him, he would, no doubt, have concluded "that this was never brought in to take away schism, but was a "project of the devil to waste and destroy the primitive ministry, "appointed for feeding the Lord's flock." Again, he declares, "Whence it evidently appears that, in the times of the apostles, "elders, pastors, and bishops were one and the same in God's "church."—" It is beyond all dispute, that the first and apostolic "church, was, by the apostles, so constituted, that the elders of the "church did exercise a common episcopal care over the Lord's "flock, and enjoyed the same function of teaching and governing, "and were therein subject to no head or president."+

Zsegedin, an eminent Lutheran divine of Hungary, contemporary with Luther and Calvin, delivers, in substance, the same doctrine. The following quotations are decisive. "May one pastor "preside over other pastors? The practice, indeed, hath obtained "that presbyters should preside, each one in his own college, and "that this person alone should be called bishop. This, however, ❝arose from human custom, and is by no means supported by the "authority of scripture. And from perverting the signification ❝of a word this evil hath arisen, that, as if all presbyters were not

* Ursin. Corpus. Doctrinæ, Par. III. p. 721.
† Loci Communes de Offic. Minist. p. 360–362.

"colleagues, and called to the same function, one, under the pre"text of a new title, arrogated to himself a dominion over others."* Again, "Hence learn that all pastors are equal both in their "vocation and function; and that there is no prelatical tyranny "constituted. It is necessary, indeed, that, among brethren, there "should be some one to convene the college, to state the business, "and, when it is necessary, to write and speak in the name of the "college. But this person, to avoid the odium of prelatical ty"ranny, may be called superintendent. The power of superinten"dents ought to be temporary and definite, not perpetual."+ Again, "Is the title of bishop common to all ministers of the word? "Yes, certainly. For Paul, in the first chapter of the epistle to "the Philippians, represents many bishops as belonging to one "church. The titles bishop, pastor, presbyter, are, therefore, "synonymous. Bishop is a term expressive of duty and care, not “of dignity.”—Again, " The popish bishops are false bishops; "not successors of the apostles, but of Balaam, cruel, heretical, "enemies of Christ, who esteem the episcopate on account of its "introducing them to great riches. While Paul comprehends "under the name of bishop, all pastors, the papists will have it "that none is to be held as a bishop but the one who is chosen by "the college to preside over his brethren."

The learned Junius, an eminent Dutch professor of divinity, who lived at the commencement of the reformation in Holland, and who was, of course, nearly contemporary with Luther, wrote very fully and explicitly in support of Presbyterian principles. In his work entitled Ecclesiastici, he decidedly, and with great learning, maintains, that pastors, ruling elders, and deacons, are the only three scriptural orders of church officers; that pastors, or ministers of the word and sacraments, are the highest order, and, of course, are invested with the power of ordaining, that the second class are men of distinguished piety and prudence, chosen from among

* Loci Communes, p. 197. Fol. Quint. Basil. 1608.

+ Loci Communes, p. 197

+ Ibid. 202.

§ Of this illustrious reformer, it is related, that he preached in the city of Antwerp at midnight, with no other light than that which was produced by the flames of burning martyrs.

the members of the church, to assist the pastor in the government of the church; and that the deacons are appointed to collect and distribute the alms of the church. He affirms that these three orders are set forth in scripture, and existed in the primitive church. He declares that a scriptural bishop was the pastor of a single congregation; and that giving this title, by way of eminence, to one of the pastors in a city or district, was a practice introduced after the time of the apostles, and is to be considered as a departure from the primitive model.*

The same writer in his Animadversions on cardinal Bellarmine, is still more pointed and positive against the claims of diocesan episcopacy, and in favour of the Presbyterian doctrine of parity.— It is really amusing to trace the popish cardinal through all his reasonings and cavils, and to observe what a remarkable coinci dence there is between him and Dr. Bowden ; and it is no less worthy of notice that Junius, though he wrote nearly two hundred and fifty years ago, and, of course, many years before the synod of Dort, argues as uniformly and strongly in favour of Presbyterian principles, as any champion of presbytery that ever appeared. I cannot forbear particularly to observe, that Bellarmine turns in every direction, and strains every nerve, to set aside the testimony of Jerome ; and for this purpose, in almost every instance, employs exactly the same arguments and the same subterfuges with Dr. Bowden: While Junius pronounces and proves his arguments to be futile, and his subterfuges unavailing, and the testimony of that celebrated father to be precisely what the friends of parity have ever considered it.t

The learned Sadeel, a French protestant divine, contemporary with Calvin and Beza, has frequently been represented by episcopal writers, as friendly to their claims, and even as acknowledging the apostolical institution of episcopacy. What the opinions of this reformer really were, will appear from the following quotations. In answer to a learned popish doctor, who, like some of

* Ecclesiastici, sive de Nat. et Administrat. Ecclesiæ, &c. Lib. I. Cap. 2, 3, 4.

+Fr. Junii Animadversiones in Bellarm. controv. v. Lib. 1. cap. 5, 6, 7. No intelligent reader will fail to observe how almost universally reformers, synods, confessions, and learned divines of every name interpret Jerome precisely as I have done.

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