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was still of one church, and de- ordainest a presbyter, do you youtnominated ecclesiasticæ ordinis self put the hand upon the head, the
He speaks of one order presbytery standing near thee, and only.* The idea of the bishop was the deacons; and praying, say," &c. still that of a presiding presbyter, The prayer to consecrate the bishfor he denominates him presidens, op, discovers, that he is to have the antistes, and summus sacerdos ; and power of binding and loosing. The mentions no ordination of such, prayer, accompanied with the imbut to make him a presbyter. position of hands on a presbyter,
At no earlier a period than the expresses, that he is to edity the first of the third century could the church by the word ; and those for letters attributed to Ignatius have the deacon, deaconess, and subdeabeen written. They describe the cons, which follow, speak only of bishop of an individual church as service; and are also with the occupying the first seat, apoxadnus- imposition of the hands of the vou; and a presbytery of preachers, bishop. with deacons. But they discover Presbyters having been from the no ordination, to remove a presby- first, ordained by imposition of ter to the higher station of bishop. hands; the appointment of one of
The * Apostolical Tradition, these to preside, which was not by ascribed to the Hippolytus of the a second ordination, conferred on third century, being the same sub- kim neither a new order, nor office, stantially with the eighth book and the ceremony of ordination of the supposititious “ Apostolical was rightly excluded. It could Constitutions,” represents a bishop not have been an omission, for it and presbytery to have been in is supplied by neither Hippolytus, each particular church, and details nor the Constitutions. It cannot minutely their respective investi- be implied, as some have alleged, tures in office. The people, pres- because the idea of imposing hands bytery, and the neighbouring bish- occcurs in neither, till they arrive ops, convene on a Lord's day, to at the Scriptural ordinations. As set apart the person previously the bishop and presbyter was then chosen by all the people. "A bishop known to be the same office, originasks the presbytery and the people, ating in one ordination, the innovaif this is the person whom they tion would have been offensive ; desire for a President, ov aslouvias also the holding the Scriptures over $10 apxovla; and they consenting, the head was sufficiently distinctit is again asked of his character.
ive. The ceremony of conducting After the third consent, silence the bishop unto, and seating him being made, “One of the first on his chief seat, is minutely disbishops, together with two others, cribed in both; and that points us standing near the altar, the rest of to the origin of this canonical ordithe bishops, and the presbyters, nation. From apostolic times some praying in silence, and the deacons mode of designation of a presbyter holding the divine gospels opened, to the first seat, apwloxadedpia, must over the head of him, who is ordain- have existed. That it was deemed ed, let him say to God." Then an ordination before the third cenfollows the prayer. The ordina- tury, is supported by no proof, but tion of a presbyter is with imposition excluded by the issolated condition of hands, and is described in these of the individual churches, the subwords. “When thou, Obishop, jugation of Christians to the Pagan
establishment, the limited powers * * Differentiam inter ordinem et ple- and actual services of the bishops bem” &c. Tertull. v. III. p. 119.
or presidents, as well as by the in: troduction of the ordination without sat in the first annual councils, in imposition of hands. Thus although Asia Minor. “ Every year, we, the powers of the primus presbyter the elders and the presidents meet had accumulated through all the in one place, to dispose of the second century, especially in the things committed to our care."* larger cities, it was not before the Even at Carthage, Novatus, whom middle of the third, that the desig. Cyprian calls his co-presbyter, nation to such presidency over his ordained Felicissimus a deacon, fellow presbyters, denominated by without the permission or knowlJerom, “ in gradu excelsiori collo- edge of his bishop,f wbich was catio," was considered as a second neither declared void, nor immediordination. Then the influence of ately subjected to censure. Greg. bishops, though parochial, became ory Thaumaturgus, Phidimus, and enlarged by consultations, and fre- Alexander, each ordained, and quent communications, and the mo- each had received but one ordinopoly of the rite of ordination, nation. Nor have we found priunder the pretext of preventing dis. or to the Cyprianic age, the ordicordances among presbyters. Al nation of any one to be a bishop, so the existence of one church only who had been previously a presby. in a city, enhanced the authority of ter. the bishops of the larger cities; Ambrose the metropolitan of where the presbyters, however nu- Milan, Nectarius of Constantinople, merous, constituting the presby- Eusebius the successor of Bazil, tery of a single church, exercised Eucherius bishop of Lions, Cypritheir talents, except in Alexandria, an of Carthage, and Philogonius under the direction of the presby- bishop of Antioch, are thought to tery, over which the bishop presi- have been laymen when ordained ded. The power of ordaining, and to be bishops. Athanasius bishop not his own commission, distin- of Alexandria, Cæcilianus of Carguished the parochial bishop. Had thage ; Agapitus, Vigilius and Fethe canonical ordination commen- lix, bishops of Rome, and Heraced so early as the second century, clides bishop of Ephesus, were bishops would have discovered never presbyters, except as bishops, their claims to the heritage, at a having passed from the order of period prior to that assigned to the deacons to that of bishops. These fact by veritable history. The di- and such examples, accruing soon vision of ordinary grades into three, after bishops and presbyters had must have commenced with the been established by canon law to re-ordination of presbyters to con- be distinct orders, accord with the stitute them bishops ; but the sup- fact that there had been from the position, that this existed in the first no ordination, except of the apostles' days, is not only entirely deacon and presbyter. gratuitous, but perfectly chimerical. Constantine
could not, as a When ordinations by presbyters Christian, receive with the purhad been generally superseded, ple, the Pagan supremacy of Pontheir original powers were not for- tifex Maximus ; but he established, gotten. “ The elders,” says Fir- instead of idolatry, the Christian milian, " preside, who possess the power of baptizing, imposing the per singulos annos, seniores et hand, and ordaining.”
They also præpositi in unum convenimus ad dis
ponenda,” &c. Ibid.
† Epist. 15. ** Ubi præsidunt majores natu, qui I " diaconum nec permittente me, nec et baptizandi, et manum imponendi, et sciente-constituit.” Epist. 52. Vide ordinandi possident potestatem.” Cyp- a later instance, Cassian 267. sian, epist. 75.
Gregor, Nyss. 2 vol. 979. idem. 995
church, by adopting the canons of nothing; the order and the honor the council of Nice as the supreme one; the bishop imposes law of the Roman empire. Thus hands, and so does the presbyter.* the ordinations of presbyters and Basil an aspiring metropolitan, acdeacons, according to the usages knowledged, that the things writadopted in the different provinces ten by Paul to Timothy, and Titus, and kingdoms, were legalized; and were spoken conjunctly to bishops in imitation of the idolatrous and presbyters. Also his friend priesthood, a metropolitan was Gregory, who for a time was archerected over each province, and bishop of Constantinople,
66 wishhis approbation was thenceforth ed there had been no first seat, necessary to every ordination of a priority of place, or tyrannical dicbishop, within his territories. The tatorship ;" showing that he essystem of ecclesiastical government teemed the precedence adventithus established, was somewhat tious. It is probable, that the multiform, because it had been peculiar disposition of Aerius, and removed from the apostolical plan the disappointed views of the pious in different degrees, and various bishop of Nazianzum, may have ocparticulars, in the remote provinces casioned such expressions ; ye and countries. But subsequent were they not the less founded in councils devised numerous canons, truth. Chrysostom observed, † that to reduce the different customs of bishops were superior to presbyters distant churches more nearly to a only in ordination. And Jerom common standard. Thus ecclesi- asks ; “ what does a bishop, ordiastical authority, substituted by the nation excepted, which a presbyter laws of the empire in the place of does not.” I They both speak of the Pagan, though at first excusa- ordination, as it was in their own ble as a defence against persecu. day, resting upon custom, and can. tion, has, by worldly policy and ons, established as laws of the empriestcraft, grown into a hierarchy, pire, and not of ordination, as it which at different periods has prov- had been left by the apostles. The ed an engine, even surpassing the former, in his flourishes, often acformer, in violence and blood. commodated the Scriptures to the
The ascendency gained by the usages of his own day; whilst the presiding presbyters in the church- latter, equally favourable to ecclees, furnished, to civil and ecclesi- siastical power, but of more extenastical policy, a ready expedient for sive learning, and knowledge of the substitution of a Christian, in history, has disclosed the same view the place of the Pagan priesthood. of these things, which the truth Yet was it well known, that the or- still exhibits ; o that a presbyter dination of the bishop and of the was the same
as a bishop, and presbyter was originally one and that the churches were governed the same. Hilary the deacon, ob- by a common council of presbyters, served on 1 Tim. iii, “ After the but afterwards it
was decreed bishop, he, Paul, subjoins the ordi- throughout the world, that one, nation of the deacon. Why, unless chosen from the presbyters, should because the ordination of the bishop and presbyter is the same ?"*
* ουδεν διαλλα77ει ουλος του7ον μια Aerius affirmed they differed in
εστιν ταξις, και μια τιμη, χειροθεσει
-επισκοπος, αλλα και ο πρεσβύτερος. * Post episcopum diaconi ordination Epiphan. lib. iii. Vol. 1. p. 906. em subjicit. Quare, nisi quia episcopi et
+ Hom. 1 Tim. iii. 8. presbyteri una ordinatio est? Ambros. fom. iä. 272.
Epist. 86. ad Evagrium..
be placed over the rest."' * The gospel faithfully preached ander evidence of these things has survi- any form of church government. ved to this day; the numerous efforts
J. P. W. to destroy it, and establish the contrary, notwithstanding. If the offices were one, they requel but one ordination.
To the Editor of the Christian Speciales. The sum is, that when the extraordinary officers, the apostles
I wish to occupy a column or and evangelists, passed away, they two in your journal with the inquiry left only presbyters and deacons in how far it is right for a preacher of the churches : the duties and pow
the gospel to make himself, as such, ers of whom were perspicuously a subject of prayer in public. No detailed in the New Testament.
who has the least measure of Ordinations were consequently of preparation of heart for the minis. those two kinds only, both of which try of the word, will come before were to be performed by the pres.
his fellow sinners in the discharge byters of the churches respectively. of that office, without earnest prayer Ordination communicated no gift virtue, or right; but merely desig? may be enabled to preach so as to nated the person, as solemnly ap
approve himself to his divine Maspointed to the work attached to ter, and save those that hear him. such office in the sacred word:
He will do this with a deep feeling neither the truth nor the efficacy of his weakness and unworthiness, of the gospel, nor the validity nor
and with frequent supplication for utility of its ordinances, depending guidance and strength from on high. upon either the internal call. or the My inquiry is, how far it is right to external commission. But although do this in the public devotions, in the ordination, which now adds the
which all praying people are supepiscopal authority to the office of posed to join. It has been done to a presbyter, and is supposed to a very great extent; and the pracconfer on the bishop the sole right tice is sanctioned by the example to ordain, is merely founded on
of all preceding ages, perhaps, in custom, and supported by ecclesi. the religious history of New Eng- . astical canons, and imperial de. land ; and, doubtless, to a much crees; and not by scriptural au- greater extent. How far it may thority; and notwithstanding the
have been consonant to the public ordination of lay elders is a still taste, and recommended by its inmore modern invention, and wholly trinsic propriety in former times, I unknown to ancient Christians, yet
will not undertake to say. But, in may salvation be obtained, and the the plain and honest times of our
fathers, the public taste was less ** Idem est ergo presbyter, qui et
fastidious than now,—at least, it episcopus—communi presbyterorum con
was not the same as now,-in recilio ecclesiæ gubernabantur. Postquam ligious things as well as in other vero in toto orbe decretum est, ut unus matters. The circumstances of de presbyteris electus superponeretur the preacher are changed in many cæteris.”—Hieron. op. Tom. vi. 198. The “ dicretum est” he explains by particulars. For instance, it was “consuetudine.”-p. 199. Augustine re- then the practice, much more than fers the superiority also to custom—"ec- now, to preach without full notes ; clesia" usus obtinuit, episcopatus pres- and there was so much more probyteris major sit. Tom. i. Epist. ad Hier
. He also asks “ Quid est enim episa priety in the preacher's asking for copus, nisi primus presbyter?" Tom. iv.
divine assistance ;-for gracious in780.
fluences on his heart, and for all
needful helps to his understanding, respect, he must speak humbly ; his memory, and his judgment,- and in considering what it becomes to be “enriched in all utterance him to say, he will be sometimes and in all knowledge.” But the tempted to utter what he does not suitableness of such petitions is less suficiently feel. It is always a apparent when the speaker has al- difficult inatter to speak with deliready written down what he intends cacy and propriety in public of our to say. They might now, indeed, own religious character, or our fithave
application to the ness for our duties. Especialiy it preacher, insomuch as he has also is so, when what is said is to be emto conduct the devotions of the con- bodied in a solemn address to the gregation, and does that, to some Deity. I doubt not that many men, extent at least, extemporaneously. especially many young men, would But they are still shaped with prin find great relief in being excused cipal or sole reference to the ser- from this public profession of their mon, while they might, in a major- incompetency and their humility. ity of cases, with as much proprie- If any are so weak and so wicked, ty, be referred to the psalms and as really to be pleased with tius hymns selected and read to be per- "humbling themselves before men formed by the choir.
in the expectation they shall, thereIn the times from which this fore, be exalted, it is very desirausage is handed down, there were ble that a stop should be put to also prevalent, some undefined but their hypocrisy. And if the thing extravagant and unwarranted opin- of which I am speaking, holds out ions on the subject of divine im- any temptation, or furnishes аг. у
fapressions and interferences,amount- cility to this profane impertinence, ing to something very like inspira- and lends any countenance to this tion. Sounder views on this sub- parade of humiliation, a strong moject are now generally received, tive is thus supplied for discontinuwith which some of the forms of ing altogether the practice of thus expression still in use are not well disparaging one's self. Such as do accordant.
feel oppressed with a sense of their With the habit of praying for di- unworthiness, and the humbleness vine aid, is almost necessarily, and of their capacities-of such there in most cases very properly, con- are very many, and I wish there nected declarations of our need of may be yet more,-such inay find it, of our weakness and unworthi- other more fit opportunities for
If this is done in the case speaking of it, both to God and under consideration, and it very commonly is, the speaker is imme- In the Scriptures, indeed, we diately placed in a situation of great find the prophets and apostles using difficulty. If his confessions are language of the deepest self-abasonot full and ample, they do not sat- ment. But I do not remember that isfy his own feelings, nor corres- they ever do it on such occasions pond with the truth of the case. If as to furnish a warrant for the use he uses strong and comprehensive of such language by one employed expressions, he is liable to the im- in conducting the devotions of a putation of insincerity and ostenta- public assembly.
There appears tion ; and many will imagine this to be a great intrinsic impropriety language is inconsistent with his in this practice.
The congregageneral conduct and manners. And tion is to join in that part of the it will be well if there is not some
prayer, or is not.
But how can an ground for such an imputation. If audience join in confessing the deke speaks of himself at all, in this ficiencies of the speaker ? or, with VOL. I.-No. X.