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appointment, which he here specifies, was, that they should be WITNESSES to all nations. (Comp. v. 47, and Matt. xxviii. 18, 19.) The "things" of which they were to bear witness, he specifies in the preceding verse. They were his sufferings in accordance with the predictions of the prophets: "thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer;" and his resurrection from the dead: "and to rise from the dead the third day." These were the points to bear "witness" to which they had been selected; and these were the points on which they, in fact, insisted in their ministry. See the Acts of the Apostles, passim.


We would next remark, that this is expressly declared to be the "peculiarity" of the apostolic office. It was done so at the election of an apostle to fill up the vacated place of Judas. Here, if the peculiar design had been to confer superiority in ministerial rights and powers," we should expect to be favoured with some account of it. It was the very time when we should expect them to give an account of the reason why they filled up the vacancy in the college of apostles, and when they actually did make such a statement. Their words are these: (Acts i. 21, 22:) "Wherefore, of these men which have companied with us, all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day when he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a WITNESS WITH US of his resurrection.” This passage we consider to be absolutely decisive on the point before us. It shows, first, for what purpose they ordained him; and, second, that they were ordained for the same purpose. Why do we hear nothing on this occasion of their "superiority of ministerial rights and powers?" why nothing of their peculiar prerogative to ordain? why nothing of their "general superintendence" of the church? Plainly, because they had conceived of nothing of this kind as entering into their original commission and

peculiar design. For this purpose of bearing testimony to the world of the fact of the resurrection of the Messiah, they had been originally selected. For this they had been prepared by a long, intimate acquaintance with the Saviour. They had seen him; had been with him in various scenes, fitted to instruct them more fully in his designs and character; had enjoyed an intimate personal friendship with him, (1 John i. 1,) and were thus qualified to go forth as "witnesses" of what they had seen and heard-to confirm the great doctrine that the Messiah had come, had died, and had risen, according to the predictions of the prophets. We just add here, that these truths were of sufficient importance to demand the appointment of twelve honest men to give them confirmation. It has been shown, over and over again, that there was a consummate wisdom in the appointment of witnesses enough to satisfy any reasonable mind, and yet not so many as to give it the appearance of tumult or popular excitement. The truth of the whole scheme of Christianity rested on making out the fact that the Lord Jesus had risen from the dead and the importance of that religion to the welfare of mankind demanded that this should be substantiated to the conviction of the world. Hence the anxiety of the eleven to complete the number of the original witnesses selected by the Saviour, and that the person chosen should have the same acquaintance with the facts that they had themselves.

It is worthy, also, of remark, that in the account which the historian gives of their labours, this is the main idea which is presented. Acts ii. 32. "This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we are witnesses." v. 32. "And we are witnesses of these things." x. 30-41. "And we are witnesses of all things which he did, both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they slew and hanged on a tree." "Him God raised up the third day, and showed him openly not unto all the people, but unto WITNESSES chosen before of God, even

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unto us," etc. In this place we meet with another declaration that this was the object of their original appointment. They "chosen" for this, and set apart in the holy presence of God to this work. Why do we not hear any thing of their superiority in ministerial rights and powers?" Why not an intimation of the power of confirming, and of general superintendence? We repeat, that it is not possible to answer these questions, except on the supposition that they did not regard any such powers as at all entering into the peculiarity of their commission.

Having disposed of all that is said in the New Testament, so far as we know, of the original design of the appointment to the apostolic office, we proceed to another and somewhat independent source of evidence. The original number of the apostles was twelve. The design of their selection we have seen. For important purposes, however, it pleased God to add to their number, one, who had not been a personal attendant on the ministry of the Saviour, and who was called to the apostleship four years after the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. Now this is a case, evidently, which must throw very important light on our inquiries. It is independent of the others. And as he was not a personal observer of the life and death of Jesus; as he was not an original "witness" in the case, we may expect in the record of his appointment, a full account of his "superiority in ministerial rights and powers." If such superiority entered into the peculiarity of the apostolic office, this was the very case where we expect to find it. His conversion was subsequent to the resurrection. He was to be employed extensively in founding and organizing churches. He was to have intrusted to him almost the entire pagan world. Comp. Rom. xv. 16. His very business seemed to call for some specific account of "superiority in ministerial rights," if any such rights were involved in the apostolic office. How natural to expect a statement of such rights, and

an account of the "general superintendence" intrusted to him as an apostle! Let us look, therefore, and see how the case. stands. We have three distinct accounts of his conversion and appointment to the apostleship, in each of which the design of his appointment is stated. Acts xxii. 14, 15. In his discourse before the Jews, he repeats the charge given to him by Ananias, at Damascus : "The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, etc. For thou shalt be his WITNESS unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard." Again, (Acts xxvi. 16,) in his speech before Agrippa, Paul repeats the words addressed to him by the Lord Jesus in his original commission: “I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a WITNESS of those things," etc. Again, (Acts xxiii. 11,) in the account which is given of his past and future work, it is said: "As thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome."

This is the account which is given of the call of Saul of Tarsus to the apostolic office. But where is there a single syllable of any "superiority in ministerial powers and rights," as constituting the peculiarity of his office? We respectfully ask the writer of this tract, and all other advocates of Episcopacy, to point to us a "a light or shadow" of any such Episcopal investment. We think their argument demands it. And if there is no such account, neither in the original choice of the twelve, nor in the appointment of Matthias, nor in the selection of the apostle to the Gentiles; we take the liberty to insist with firmness on a satisfactory explanation of the causes which operated to produce the omission of the very essence of their office, according to Episcopacy. We insist on being told of some reasons, prudential or otherwise, which made it proper to pass over the very vitality of the original commission.

But we have not done with the apostle Paul. He is too important a "witness" for us, as well as for the purpose for

which he was appointed, to be dismissed without further attention. It has been remarked already that he was not a personal follower of Jesus of Nazareth, and was not present at his death and ascension. It may be asked, then, how could he be a witness, in the sense, and for the purposes already described? Let us see how this was provided for. We transcribe the account from his own statement of the address made to him by Ananias. Acts xxii. 14. "The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldst know his will, and SEE that Just One, and shouldst hear the words of his mouth.” That he had thus seen him, it is not necessary to prove. See 1 Cor. xv. 8; Acts ix. 5, 17. The inference which we here draw is, that he was permitted to see the Lord Jesus in an extraordinary manner, for the express purpose of qualifying him to be invested with the peculiarity of the apostleship. This inference, sufficiently clear from the very statement, we shall now proceed to put beyond the possibility of doubt.

We turn, then, to another account which Paul has given of his call to the apostleship, 1 Cor. ix. 1, 2: “Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord?" We adduce this passage as proof that to have seen Jesus Christ, was considered as an indispensable qualification for the apostleship. So Paul regarded it in his own case. We adduce it also for another purpose, viz., to strengthen our main position, that the apostles was designated to their office specifically as witnesses to the character and resurrection of Christ. If this was not the design, we ask, why does Paul appeal to the fact that he had seen the Saviour, as proof that he was qualified to be an apostle? And we further ask, with emphasis, if the apostles, as Episcopalians pretend, did, in virtue of their office, possess "superiority in ministerial powers and rights," why did not Paul once hint at the fact in this passage? His express object was to vindicate his claim to the apostleship.

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