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hypocrisy and superstition may be greatly promoted, but genuine piety never fails to suffer.

Add to this that the jurisdiction of the church is purely spiritual. No man ought to be compelled, by rewards or punishment of a temporal or political nature, to become a member of any Christian church; or to continue in it any longer than he honestly believes it to be his duty. All the ordinances of the church are spiritual, and so are her weapons and censures. The weapons of the church are Scripture and reason, accompanied with prayers and tears. These are her pillars, and the walls of her defence. The censures of the church are admonitions, reproofs or declarations of persons, unfitness for her communion, commonly called excommunications, which are of a spiritual nature, and ought not to affect men's lives, liberties, or estates. No man ought to be cut off from the rights of a citizen or subject merely because he is disqualified for Christian communion; nor has any church on earth authority from Christ to inflict corporeal punishments, seize persons, distrain goods, or employ ecclesiastical censures, by an indirect coercion, as tools for effecting the same worldly purpose. Coercive measures are the weapons of civil magistrates, who may punish those who break the laws of their country with corporeal pains and penalties, as guardians of the civil rights of citizens; but Christ's kingdom is not of this world. (See Neal's Hist. Pur., vol. i, p. 26.)

From this part of our subject may we not legitimately infer, that the alliance of the English Church with the state is neither Scriptural, apostolical, primitive, nor useful; but, on the whole, it is unfavorable to the interests of true religion? We may also infer that it was neither schismatical nor sinful for Mr. Wesley and others to reject this part of the English polity, and take for their guide the Holy Scriptures and the example of the primitive church, as far as she followed Scripture. We will next consider,

VI. The early doctrine and fundamental principles of the English Church respecting Episcopacy and Succession.

The fathers of the English Church did not believe that bishops and elders were different orders of clergy, nor did they place episcopacy on the footing of divine right, so as to nullify ordination by elders; but, in process of time, they so far deviated from the great principle of Protestantism, of Scripture, and the primitive church, as to place the principal jurisdiction in bishops, and thus reject the supremacy of the body of elders. In this they receded from original principles, and retrograded towards Rome. It is proper, however, to remark, that the clergy, as we have seen, had little to do with the reformation of the English Church, as this was effected by the king and parliament. To clear up this matter to the satisfaction of the reader, the following arguments are adduced :—

1. The English Church, in her early days, did not maintain that episcopacy was of divine right, and that ordination by presbyters was invalid. Indeed, reordination of persons ordained by presbyters was a perfect novelty in this church at her formation, and for many years after. It was reserved for recent times to profane the ordinance of Christ by reordinations, and to exclude from the character of true churches those who were more intent on following Scripture and primitive usage, than to receive a fundamental element of popery as a rule

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of practice. Nevertheless, the doctrine of the English Church, as expressed in her articles, homilies, and liturgy, gives no foundation for recent exclusiveness. The proofs of this declaration will be called for, and they are the following:

(1.) În a “Declaration, made of the functions and divine institution of bishops and priests," signed by Cromwell, the two archbishops, eleven bishops, and twenty divines and canonists, in the year 1637 or 1638, it is declared, speaking of the ministerial office, "That this office, this power and authority, was committed and given by Christ and his apostles unto certain persons only; that is to say, unto priests or bishops, whom they did elect, call, and admit thereto by their prayer and imposition of their hands." The same document, in speaking of what the fathers of the church did, says, “They did also institute certain inferior orders or degrees,-janitors, lectors, exorcists, acolytes, subdeacons, and deputed to every one of these certain offices to execute in the church, wherein they followed undoubtedly the example and rites used in the Old Testament; yet the truth is, that in the New Testament is no mention made of any degrees or distinctions in orders, but only of deacons or ministers, and of priests or bishops; nor is there any word spoken of any other ceremony used in the conferring of this sacrament, but only of prayer and the imposition of the bishop's hands.” (Burnet, Hist. Ref., vol. —, p. 322, and Addenda, p. 467, Col. v, p. 394.) Such were the views of the first reformers from popery in the English Church.

(2.) In a book published in 1543, called "The Necessary Erudition of a Christian Man," similar sentiments to those expressed above are uttered. This book was drawn up by a committee of bishops and divines, and was afterward read and approved by the lords spiritual and temporal and the lower house of parliament, published by King Henry's authority, and was designed for a standard of Christian faith. (Burnet, vol. i, pp. 369-374.) In this book we have the following view concerning the orders of clergy:-"Their (deacons') office in the primitive church was partly to minister meat and drink, and other necessaries, to the poor, and partly to minister to the bishops and priests. Of these two orders only, that is to say, priests and deacons, Scripture maketh express mention, and how they were conferred of the apostles by prayer and imposition of hands; but the primitive church afterward appointed inferior degrees." (Neal, vol. i, c. i, p. 31, to whom we are indebted for this quotation. See also Miller's Letters, letter vi, p. 141.) According to this book, deacons were no order of clergy at all in the primitive church, bishops and elders were of the same order, and the authority of archbishops and metropolitans was only of human appointment.


(3.) In the year 1540, in the reign of Henry VIII., we find the sen. timents of the early reformers, respecting ecclesiastical orders, very clearly expressed in "the resolutions of several bishops and divines of some questions concerning the sacraments." They were a select number of divines, who sat by virtue of a commission from the king, confirmed in parliament." (Burnet, vol. i, pp. 369-374; and Col., No. xxi, p. 256.) Cranmer was the leader in this select committee. In answer to the tenth question, which is, "Whether bishops or priests were first? and if the priests were first, then the priests made the

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bishop," we find the following among other answers. "The bishops and priests were at one time, and were no two things, but both one office in the beginning of Christ's religion.' The arch. bishop of York gave the following answer :-"We think that the apos. tles were priests before they were bishops, and that the divine power which made them priests made them also bishops; and although their ordination was not by all such course as the church now useth, yet that they had both visible and invisible sanctification we may gather of the gospel. And we may well think, that when they were made bishops, when they had not only a flock, but also shepherds appointed to them to overlook, and a governance committed to them by the Holy Ghost to oversee both; for the name of a bishop is not properly the name of order, but a name of office, signifying an overseer. And although the inferior shepherds have also care to oversee their flock, yet forasmuch as the bishop's charge is also to oversee the shepherd's, the name of overseer is given to the bishops, and not to the other; and as they be in degree higher, so in their consecration we find difference even from the primitive church." The next is the bishop of London's sentiment:-"I think the bishops were first, and yet I think it is not of importance whether the priest then made the bishop or else the bishop the priest; considering (after the sentence of St. Jerome) that in the beginning of the church there was no (or if it were, very small) difference between a bishop and a priest, especially touching the signification." The opinions of others are to the same purpose, but our limits do not allow us to enlarge. In their agreement, or summary of opinions on this tenth question, we find the following answers as the sum of their decision:-1. "At the beginning they (bishops and priests) were all one." 2. "That the apostles were priests, and after were made bishops, when the overseeing of other priests was committed to them." 3. "That the apostles first were bishops, and they after made other bishops and priests." 4. "That the apostles were made bishops, and they were after made priests." 5. "That bishops, as they be now-adays called, were before priests." 6. "It is no inconvenience if a priest made a bishop in that time."

The eleventh question discussed is" Whether a bishop hath authority to make a priest by the Scripture or no? And whether any other but only a bishop may make a priest?" The answers to this question were as follows:-Some thought that bishops had no authority to make priests without the authority of the prince; but others thought the authority came from God, but that bishops could not use it without permission from the prince. Others believed that laymen had power to make priests, especially in time of necessity.

The twelfth question is" Whether, in the New Testament, be required any consecration of a bishop and priest, or only appointing to the office be sufficient?" Cranmer believed that appointment or election was sufficient. Others thought imposition of hands and prayer were required.

Thus, according to Cranmer and the principal divines of his day, episcopacy was not a distinct order from presbytery, by divine right, but only a prudent ecclesiastical constitution for the better government of the church. Dr. Miller (letter vi, p. 141) places this transaction in the year 1548, and in the reign of Edward VI.; but Bishop Burnet,

whom we follow, placed it in the year 1540, and consequently in the reign of Henry VIII. As nearly as we can ascertain, Dr. Millar is mistaken in his date.

Bishop Burnet considers the deliberations and decisions of this com. pany of divines "as great an evidence of the ripeness of their proceedings as can be showed in any church or any age of it." (Hist., vol. i, p. 373.) Indeed, their sentiments were formed at a time when they had just thrown off the principal dogmas of popery, and while they were calmly inquiring after truth, and before they were influenced by the peculiarities of a system. Nevertheless, some of the sentiments delivered are somewhat singular.

(4.) In King Edward's ordinal there is no acknowledged difference made between elders and bishops as distinct orders of clergy. In this the form for ordaining a bishop and priest is the same, there being no express mention in the words of ordination whether it be for the one or the other office. It is true, priests and bishops were distinguished in other parts of this official, though there was none in the words of consecration; but the distinction in other parts of the ordinal was not such as to point out that both were of different orders, though it did of different functions. (See Burnet, vol. ii, p. 188. Neal, vol. i, p. 57.) This ordinal was made in 1549. Above a hundred years afterward, in the reign of Charles II., this service was revised and altered; and the greater part of the alterations indicate an intention to make the whole speak a language more favorable to the divine right of prelacy. The alteration was made when a distinction between the two offices became current, so as to make them two distinct orders of clergy; but this was not the received doctrine of the English reformers. And even now, the ordinal service does not contain the doctrine of the divine right of episcopacy in the sense in which high churchmen use the term.

(5.) The early and first, and, indeed, the best doctrine of the Church of England was, as we have seen, that elders and bishops were not, according to Scripture, of two orders, but one; and that any difference made in their offices was not, by divine right, a separate jurisdiction arising from a superior order. Such was the constant opinion of the first reformers, Cranmer, Pilkington, Jewel, Grindal, Whitgift, &c.

2. The doctrine of the divine right of bishops, as a superior order to presbyters, as possessing supreme jurisdiction in ordination, government, and discipline, originated in the English Church subsequently to her organization.

Archbishop Whitgift was the first who defended the hierarchy from the practices of the third, fourth, and fifth centuries, when the Roman empire became Christian; but Dr. Bancroft, his chaplain, divided off the bishops from the body of presbyters, and advanced them into a superior order by divine right, with the sole power of ordination and the keys of discipline, so that, from this time, they began to reckon three orders in the English hierarchy, viz., bishops, priests, and dea. Bancroft broached, in form, this doctrine in a sermon at St. Paul's Cross, Jan. 1, 1588; and maintained that the bishops of Eng. land were a distinct order from the priests, and had superiority over them, jure divino, and directly from God. He affirmed this to be of God's own appointment; if not by express Scripture terms, yet by plain Scriptural inference. This was new doctrine for that time.


Those that preceded said that the superiority of bishops above presbyters had been a useful and wise appointment, for the more orderly government of the church, begun about the third or fourth century; and, indeed, it was not till then there was any thing like the diocesan episcopacy that afterward prevailed. But Bancroft was one of the first who advanced it into a divine right. It was asserted by Dr. Heylin, in the beginning of the 17th century, (1638,) "That the archbishop of Canterbury was lineally descended from St. Peter, in a most fair and constant tenor of succession." And Dr. Pilkington advanced, "That if he who now sits archbishop of Canterbury could not derive his succession from St. Austin, St. Austin from St. Gregory, and St. Gregory from St. Peter, we would be miserable." (See Neal, vol. i, pp. 5, 10, 432.)

Nevertheless, Bancroft himself was far from being scrupulous on this subject, and as tenacious of popish forms as some of his successors; for when Dr. Andrews, bishop of Ely, moved that the Scottish bishops elect should first be ordained presbyters, in the year 1610, Bancroft replied that it was unnecessary, since ordination by presbyters was valid; and the Scottish bishops were accordingly ordained. Bishop Moreton was of the opinion, that to ordain was the jus antiquum of presbyters. (Idem, vol. ii, p. 387.) But the Church of England advanced in her claims, and removed, by degrees, to a greater distance from the other European Protestant Churches.

3. In the articles of the English Church the doctrine of succession, as held by high churchmen, is not found either in express words or by legitimate inference.

When the great reformers of the English Church, after preparing the way by proper deliberation, went to frame fundamental articles of religion, they carefully guarded against any exclusive claim on the subject in question. If they had believed that an order of bishops, superior to presbyters, was indispensably necessary to the regular organization of the church, the validity of Christian ordinances, and that presbyters in presbyterial churches must be reordained on coming over to their communion, they would certainly have embraced it in their article, in which they formally state their doctrine respecting the Christian ministry. This article, which is the twenty-third, is as follows:-"It is not lawful for any man to take upon him the office of public preaching, or ministering the sacraments in the congregation, before he be lawfully called and sent to execute the same. And those we ought to judge lawfully called and sent which be chosen and called to this work by men who have public authority given unto them in the congregation, to call and send ministers into the Lord's vineyard." The language of this article was studiously chosen, in order to embrace the other reformed churches whose ordination was presbyterial, and to recognize as valid their ministry and ordinances. Were the recent doctrine of exclusion the doctrine of the first English reformers, they would certainly have embraced it in the articles; but they were of quite a different mind.

This succession by divine right of episcopacy, to the exclusion of presbyters, appears to us an innovation in the English Church; and we cannot consider it as a part of the scheme that Christ and his apostles have laid down in the New Testament. We must, on the

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