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proof that he was fully invested with the apostolic office. 1 Cor. ix. 1, 2. In the course of the argument, we adduced not less than twenty explicit passages of Scripture bearing directly on the point, and proving, beyond dispute, that this was the design of the appointment to the apostolic office. Our purpose, in this, was evident. It was to show that the peculiarity of the apostolic office was of such a nature, that it could not be transmitted to distant generations; but that it had a specific, yet very important design, which, as a matter of course, must cease.
With deep interest, therefore, we opened the "Answer," to ascertain how this array of scriptural argument was met. We did not deem it unreasonable to suppose, that there would be some new attempt to show, that the peculiarity of the apostolic office was to ordain; that the passages of Scripture on which we had relied, were irrelevant; or, that other passages might be adduced in proof of what Dr. Onderdonk had affirmed to be the peculiarity of the apostolic office, and which we had respectfully denied. Our readers will join with us in "amazement," to find the following as the result of an examination of the "Answer:"
(1.) A solemn, and somewhat pompous, readducing of the expression, (Acts xv.,) "the apostles and elders," "the apostles, and elders, and brethren," (Answer, p. 7;) a passage, maintaining still its solitary dignity, and reposing in the "Answer," as it had in the "Tract," in its own lonely grandeur. We could not restrain our "amazement," that no other passages were even referred to, on this material point; and we came to the conclusion, that we had reached an end of the argument, so far as direct Scripture proof was concerned.
(2.) We found a notice of our extended array of prooftexts, showing what was the design of the apostolic appointment, of a character so remarkable, that we shall quote it entire :
"The reviewer, in order to show what he thinks was the point in which the apostles excelled the elders, in the matter in question, dwells largely on the fact, that they were special witnesses of our Lord's resurrection,-and with the help of CAPITAL and italic letters, he has certainly made a showy argument. But nobody denies that they were the special witnesses,-or, that they were distinguished from the elders, as well as from others called apostles,-the Tract gave due attention to both these particulars. The point is,—was this distinction the one that led to the expression apostles and elders? Surely not. Among those apostles was Barnabas, and perhaps Silas,* neither of whom was a special witness of the resurrection. Besides, the expressions apostles and elders,'' apostles, and elders, and brethren,' are used with immediate reference to the council at Jerusalem,—and the reviewer is more acute than we pretend to be, if he can say why, in a council, acting on questions concerning idols, blood, things strangled, and licentiousness,' the special witnesses of the resurrection should, as such, have peculiar authority. We really think the Tract argues with more consistency, when it says, that the apostles were ministerially above the elders." Answer, p. 16.
Here, it will be observed, there is no notice taken of the texts which he had adduced, as irrelevant, or unsatisfactory in number, or as unfairly interpreted. Dr. Onderdonk, if he was the writer of the Auswer, deemed it an ample notice of those texts to remark that, "with the help of CAPITAL and italic letters, he (the reviewer) had certainly made a showy argument." (Answer, p. 16.) That our agument was thus noticed, was, indeed, to us a matter of "amazement." It was, however, an indication-of which we were not slow to avail ourselves, and the hold upon which we shall not be swift to lose that our proof-texts were ad rem, and that they settled the question. When all that the assistant-bishop of Pennsylvania deems it proper to say, of our array of more than twenty explicit declarations of the word of God, is,
* Acts xiv. 14; xv. 2, 4, 22; 1 Thess. i. 1; ii. 6.
that by the help of capitals and italics, they constitute a "SHOWY argument," (we mean no disrespect, when we display the word in a showy form,) we deem the conclusion to be inevitable, that our texts are just what we intended they should be that they settled the question-and, to use an expression from the favourite chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, we "rejoice for the consolation." Acts xv. 31.
(3.) Though we were not met by any new proof-texts, or by answer to our own, we were referred to the sentiments of the following distinguished men, viz., the late Dr. Wilson, Dr. Miller, Dr. Campbell, Matthew Henry, "the divines who argued with Charles I. in the Isle of Wight," and Calvin, to prove that the apostles were superior to the elders and the evangelists. (Answer, p. 10.) Respecting these authorities, we may be permitted to remark (1) that we shall probably not yield, out of regard to their names, to any persons. With us, they have all the authority which uninspired men can ever be allowed to have. The writer of the review may be permitted to remark, perhaps, that he has occasion of peculiar respect for two of those venerable men. By one-whose superior, in profound powers of reasoning, in varied and extensive learning and in moral worth, he believes is not now to be found among the living in any American church-he was preceded in the office which he now holds. At the feet
of the other, it has been his privilege to sit, for nearly four years, and to receive the instructions of wisdom from his lips; and, whatever skill he may have in conducting this argument, on the government of the churches, he owes to the "basis" which was laid by those instructions. Whatever may be said, therefore, of these authorities adduced in the "Answer," will not be traced to want of respect for these venerable names. But (2) we may remark, that, in this argument, the authorities of uninspired men are to be laid out of the account. With all due deference to them and to Dr. Onderdonk, we
must be permitted to believe that their authority belongs to the "extraneous considerations," as well as that of the opinion of Cranmer, (Answer, p. 5,) which, by common consent, it had been agreed to lay out of the controversy. (See Tract, pp. 3-10.) Our wonder is, that, after the disclaimer of relying on these extraneous considerations, in the Tract, the author of the Answer should have occupied nearly two pages with the statements of these distinguished men. (3) Their authority, even when adduced, does not bear on the point before us. The question is, whether the apostles were superior to other ministers of the gospel in ministerial power and rights; that is, the power of ordination, confirmation, discipline, and general superintendence. Their authorities adduced prove only that, in the judgment of these venerable men, they were superior, in some respects, to evangelists and teachers; or, that there was a distinction between them—a point on which we make no denial. On the only question in debate, they make no affirmation. On the claim set up by Episcopalians, that the apostles were superior in ordination, etc., they concede nothing, nor did they believe a word of it.
Having thus noticed the "Answer" on this part of our argument, we shall dismiss it. We do it by simply reminding our readers, that the solitary text, which undisputed learning, talents, and zeal have discovered, during a period of more than four years, since the discussion first commenced, -the lonely Scripture proof of the sweeping claims that the apostles only had the power of ordination, and that this was the peculiarity of the office,-stands forth in the Tract and in the Answer: "the apostles and elders," "apostles, and elders, and brethren !"
But the author of the "Answer" complains, (p. 11,) that we did not give the "whole" of his argument on the subject; and he refers to a note on p. 12 of the Tract, designed to show that the apostles had the power of administering discipline,
and that, therefore, they were superior to the presbyters, or held a more elevated grade of office. The note is this:
"That the apostles alone ordained, will be proved. In 1 Cor. iv. 19-21; v. 3-5; 2 Cor. ii. 6; vii. 12; x. 8; xiii. 2, 10; and 1 Tim. i. 20, are recorded inflictions and remissions of discipline performed by an apostle, or threatenings on his part, although there must have been elders in Corinth, and certainly were in Ephesus."
This note he expands into an argument, which constitutes the most material part of the "Answer." It is incumbent upon us to examine it, and to ascertain how far it goes to settle the point under discussion. Before examining the particular cases referred to, we would remind our readers, that the purpose for which they are adduced, is to show that the apostles were superior to presbyters in powers and rights; and the alleged proof is, that they administered discipline. To bear on the case, therefore, the passages must prove not only that they exercised discipline, but (1) that they did it as apostles, or in the virtue of the apostolic office; (2) that they did it in churches where there were presbyters; and (3) that presbyters never administered discipline themselves. The second point here adverted to, is all that the author of the "Answer" feels himself called upon to make out. (Answer, pp. 11-13.) Now in regard to this point of the proof, we make the following general remarks: (1.) There were certainly, in all, fourteen apostles; and, if we may credit the writer of these pamphlets and reckon Timothy, and Barnabas, and Sylvanus, and Apollos, and Andronicus, and Junia, and Titus, and perhaps half-a-dozen others, there were somewhat more than a score invested with this office; yet it is remarkable that the only cases of discipline referred to, as going to prove the superiority of the whole college of apostles, are cases in which the Apostle Paul only was concerned. (2.) There are accounts in the New Testament of perhaps some hundreds of churches; and yet we meet with no instance of the kind