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were interchangeably applied to the same class of officers, and those ordinary pastors of the church; when they grant, as they also universally do, that the former of these titles was gradually disused by ordinary pastors and appropriated to prelates; and when they further concede, as they do with one voice, that the process of dropping this title on the part of the former, and appropriating it on the part of the latter, took up a period of more than a hundred years after the death of the apostles ;—I think no candid man can hesitate to conclude, that the necessity of this change in ecclesiastical titles, arose from the introduction of an order of officers before unknown in the church.
What confirms this reasoning is, that we certainly know facts of a similar kind to have taken place very early. Dr. Bowden himself asserts that although metropolitans existed, in fact, in the second century, yet that the use of this distinctive title, was but little known before the council of Nice, in the fourth century. It is certain that the title of pope was frequently applied to pastors in general, as early as the third century. We find Cyprian repeatedly called by this title, in the epistles addressed to him. It was not until a considerable time afterwards, that the Roman pontiff succeeded in appropriating to himself the title of THE pope, by way of eminence. These examples are exactly in point. A policy which we know to have been adopted in other cases, we have every reason to believe was adopted in that under consideration. In short, our doctrine concerning the rise and progress of prelacy is not only, in itself, natural and probable; but it is so remarkably confirmed by early history, and especially by a variety of minute facts incidentally recorded, that my only surprise is, how any candid mind can withstand the evidence in its favour.
I HAVE now nearly completed my review of such parts of Dr. Bowden's volumes, and of Mr. How's pamphlet, as appear to me worthy of notice. I have, indeed, passed over many passages in both, which might justly have been made the objects of severe criticism; but which I considered as either of too little importance to demand animadversion, or so obviously erroneous, as to leave no unprejudiced reader of the least discernment in danger of being led astray by them. It only remains that I make a few miscellaneous remarks, and then close a controversy which I unfeignedly regret that there should ever have been a necessity of begin ning.
It was my intention to add another letter on the concessions of Episcopalians, for the purpose of vindicating and establishing what I had before advanced under this head ;* and also of presenting a
* Dr. Bowden has made an insinuation with regard to one of the episcopal concessions cited in my work, of which it is proper to take notice. He says he has examined Jewel's Defence of his Apology, and cannot find the passage which I profess to quote from that work, in my seventh letter. He therefore infers that I have either taken the quotation at se*cond hand, on the authority of some person who has blundered in the business; or that my references are to a different edition from that which he has consulted. I can assure this learned professor, who has, it must be confessed, much reason to plume himself on the fairness and accuracy
number of additional concessions from the works of eminent episcopal writers. To fulfil the latter purpose, I had made a large collection of extracts from the works of Bishop Jewel, Bishop Andrews, Bishop Morton, Bishop Hall, Bishop Taylor, Bishop Burnet, Bishop Warburton, Dr. Jorton, and several other prelates and divines, all containing sentiments very different from those of Dr. Bowden and Mr. How, and making concessions of the most decisive kind. But having already drawn out this work to a length greatly beyond my original design, I am constrained to suppress the proposed letter, and to content myself with the episcopal concessions already laid before the public.
But really, independent of the fear of trespassing on the patience of my readers, there is little use in collecting testimony for such opponents as Dr. Bowden and Mr. How. However abundant and pointed it may be, they appear to find no difficulty in persuading themselves that it is of no value. The unceremonious manner in which Dr. B. rejects testimony is amusing. The testimony of Archbishop Grindal is set aside on the ground of his being "somewhat fanatically inclined," and "lax in his discipline." The testimony of Wickliffe, on the ground of his being supposed to have embraced error as to other points. The testimony of Dr. Raignolds is rejected, because, though a regular member of the Church of England, he was a Puritan at heart. The testimony of Archbishop Usher is pronounced to consist only in a scholastic distinction, which dull Presbyterians have not perceived; the difference between him and other Episcopalians being only verbal." That of Bishop Stilling fleet, upon the ground of the immaturity of a juvenile mind, the visionary speculations of which were corrected by age. That of Archbishop Tillotson, because he was " a very moderate churchman," "a sort of neutral man," and withal "suspected of Arianism and Universalism." That of Bishop Croft, because his name is so obscure that not one of the Episcopal clergy of this city ever heard of him before; and because
of his quotations, that I possess a copy of the work from which my citation was made; that my edition is, like that which he professes to have consulted with so much care, (a folio, printed in 1570,) and that I am ready, whenever he will please to favour me with a visit, to show him the very words which I have quoted, in the very page referred to as containing them.
he was "a man of very comprehensive principles, and an enemy of all creeds and subscriptions." That of Mosheim, because "he had the system of his own church to maintain."* But when testimony is adduced which cannot be set aside by any such frivolous pretext, it is boldly pronounced "worthless," "of no value," perfectly "destitute of force," &c. Nothing can be drawn from testimony. It is waste of time and labour to collect it.
Mr. How's mode of treating the concessions of the Episcopalians, is still more ludicrous. He complains that I have produced extracts only from between thirty and forty writers; pronounces this a number too trifling to be regarded as of any weight; and expresses a suspicion that he could present a much larger list of Presbyterian writers who have opposed the doctrines of their own church. In answer to this plea, I will only say, that when Mr. How shall present me with an equally long list of standard Presbyterian writers, who are praised, quoted, studied, and made the guides of theological students, and who at the same time oppose our fundamental doctrines, I shall then acknowledge that those doctrines are not the doctrines of the Presbyterian Church.
Were there time to go over in detail the extracts from Episcopal writers which I have presented as concessions, it would be easy to show that almost all the glosses of Dr. Bowden and Mr. How are
* If the testimony of Mosheim is to be rejected on this ground, then the testimony of all the Episcopalians quoted by Dr. B. himself, must be set aside on the same ground. Will he agree to this? Besides, I thought Dr. Bowden had assured us that the Lutheran church is Episcopal; and yet Dr. Mosheim's testimony against Episcopacy is to be rejected, because he had "the system of his own church to maintain!" The truth is, the testimony of Mosheim and of other Lutheran divines on this subject is peculiarly weighty: for while they have in their church a sort of qualified Episcopacy; and while they have as strong a temptation as other churches to place their constitution on the footing of divine right; they unanimously grant now, what they have unanimously granted since the days of Luther, that prelacy is not a divine or apostolic institution; that it was introduced after the days of the apostles; and that it rests on the ground of human expediency alone. This fact will weigh more, with every impartial inquirer, than all that the collected learning and zeal of the divines of the church of England have ever advanced in favour of Episcopacy, because "they have the system of their own church to maintain."
either irrelevant or worse. reasonable trespass on your patience. I have already given a specimen of the mode of answering adopted by the former of these gentlemen, in the case of Bishop Jewel. The latter is no less vulnerable in a variety of instances. He tells us, for example, (p. 56.) that Archbishop Usher pronounces Presbyterian ordination to be schismatical, in all cases excepting that of necessity alone. This is not true. Usher says neither this, nor any thing like it. He says, "the ordinations made by such presbyters as have severed them"selves from those bishops, unto whom they had sworn canonical "obedience, cannot possibly by me be excused from being schis"matical;" immediately after which he goes on to say, that he "loves and honours" the Presbyterian churches of Holland and France, as "true members of the church universal; and that he would with pleasure receive the sacrament from the hands of the ministers in either.*
But such a process would be an un
My argument drawn from the practical influence of prelacy, has, as I fully expected, both embarrassed and offended my opponents. But, after all their impatience and irritation under it, and all their cavils against it, I still think it a sound and irresistible argument. If the Episcopal Church, be the only true church, the only denomination of professing Christians who are "in covenant with God," then the demand that they should exhibit more of the distinguishing character of God's covenant people, viz. universal holiness, is surely a reasonable demand. In truth, their mode of replying to this demand amounts to a surrender of the argument. With their subterfuge respecting the Quakers, I have already shown that we have nothing to do.
Dr. Bowden complains that, in speaking of the practical influence of prelacy, I have expressed myself in terms much too severe concerning prelates and their system. He complains especially of the following passage: "If we examine the history of any Episco
pal Church on earth, we shall find it exhibiting, to say the least, "as large a share of heresy, contention, and schism, as any which "bears the Presbyterian form and what is more, we shall ever "find the prelates themselves quite as forward as any others in ❝ scenes of violence and outrage." He asserts that "these charges
Judgment of the late Archbishop of Armagh, 110-123.