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as the sacred writers did, of their ministers indiscriminately as "bishops," as "pastors," as "teachers," as "evangelists." They regard their ministers as on an equality. Did not the sacred writers do the same?
It is as remarkable, that the mode of using these terms in the Episcopal churches is NOT, ex concessis, that which occurs in the Bible. And it is as certain that were they thus to use those terms, it would at once confound their orders and ranks, and reduce their ministers to equality. Do we ever see any approximation, in their addresses and in their canons, in this respect, to the language and style of the New Testament? Do we ever hear of Bishop Tyng, or Bishop Hawkes, or Bishop Schroeder, or Bishop Croswell? Do we ever hear of Presbyter Ives, or Doane, or Onderdonk? How would language like this sound in the mouth of a prelatical bishop? Would not all men be amazed, as if some new thing had happened under the sun, in the Episcopal Church? And yet, we venture to presume that the terms used in the New Testament, to designate any office, may be used still. We shall still choose to call things by their true names, and to apply to all ranks and orders of men the terms which are applied to them by the spirit of inspiration. And as the indiscriminate use of these terms is carefully avoided by the customs and canons of the Episcopal Church; as there seems to have been a presentiment in the formation of those canons, that such indiscriminate use would reduce the fabric to simple "parity" of the clergy; and as these terms cannot be so used, without reducing these "ranks and orders" to a scriptural equality, we come to the conclusion that the apostles meant to teach that the ministers of the New Testament are equal in ministerial rights and powers.
We have now gone through this entire subject. We have examined, we trust, in a candid manner,— -we are sure with the kindest feelings towards our Episcopal brethren,-every
argument which they have to adduce from the Bible in favour of the claims of their bishops. We have disposed of these arguments, step by step. We have done this, remembering that these are ALL the arguments which Episcopacy has to urge from the Bible. There is nothing that remains. The subject is exhausted. Episcopacy rests here. And it is incumbent on Episcopacy to show, not to affirm, that our interpretation of those passages is not sustained by sound principles of exegesis.
The burden of proof still lies on them. They assumed it, and on them it rests. They affirm that enormous powers are lodged in the hands of the prelate-every thing pertaining to ordination, to discipline, to the superintendence of the Christian church. They claim powers tending to degrade every presbyter in the world to the condition of a dependent and inferior office; stripping him of the right of transmitting his own office, and of administering discipline among his own flock. They arrogate powers which go to strip all other presbyters, except Episcopalian, of any right to officiate in the church of God; rendering their ordination invalid, their administrations void, and their exercise of the functions of their office a daring and impious invasion of the rights of the priesthood, and a violation of the law of Christ. The foundation for these sweeping, and certainly not very modest claims, we have examined with all freedom. At the conclusion we may ask any person of plain, common sense, to place his finger on that portion of the book of God which is favourable to Prelacy.
The argument for Prelacy having been met and disproved, we have produced an instance of express Presbyterian ordination, in the case of Timothy. Two churches we have found that were organized without prelates. We are thus, by another train of argument, conducted to the same result-that prelates are unknown in the New Testament. And to make
our argument perfectly conclusive, we have shown that the same titles are applied indiscriminately to all.
Our argument may be stated in still fewer words. The Episcopal claims are not made out; and, of course, the clergy of the New Testament are equal. The Episcopalian has failed to show that there were different grades; and it follows that there must be parity. We have examined the only case of ordination specified in the New Testament, and the constitution of the churches, and find that it is so; and we are conducted inevitably to the conclusion that Prelacy is not in the Bible.
We now take our leave of the Episcopal controversy. As Episcopacy has nothing which it can add to the scriptural argument, we regard our labours in this department as at end. The whole scriptural argument is exhausted, and here our inquiry ends, and here our interest in this topic ceases. We take leave of the subject with the same kind feelings for that church, and the same respect for the author of the "Tract," with which we began the inquiry. We remember the former services which the Episcopal Church rendered to the cause of truth, and of the world's redemption; we remember the bright and ever-living lights of truth which her clergy and her illustrious laymen have, in other times, enkindled in the darkness of this world's history, and which continue to pour their pure and steady lustre on the literature, the laws, and the customs of the Christian world; and we trust the day will never come when our own bosoms, or the bosoms of Christians in any denomination, will cease to beat with emotions of lofty thanksgiving to the God of grace that he raised up such gifted and holy men, to meet the corruptions of the Papacy and to breast the wickedness of the world.
In our view of ecclesiastical polity, we can have no unkind feelings toward any branch of the true church of God. We strive to cherish feelings of affectionate regard for them all,
and to render praise to the common Father of Christians, for any efforts which are made to promote the intelligence, the purity, and the salvation of mankind. In our views of the nature of mind and of freedom, we can have no unkind feelings toward any denomination of true Christians. "There are diversities of gifts, but the same spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all." We have no expectation that all men in this world will think alike. And we regard it as a wise arrangement that the church of God is thus organized into different sections and departments, under the banner of the common captain of their salvation. It promotes inquiry. It prevents complacency in mere forms and ceremonies. It produces healthy and vigorous emulation. It affords opportu
nities for all classes of minds to arrange themselves according to their preferences and their habits of thought. And it is not unfavourable to that kindness of feeling which the Christian can cherish, and should cherish, when he utters in the sanctuary the article of his faith-"I believe in the holy catholic church, the communion of saints." The attachment of a soldier to a particular company or squadron need not diminish his respect for the armies of his country, or extinguish his love of her liberty. Being joined to a company of infantry, need not make me feel that the cavalry are useless, or involve me in a controversy with the artillery.
We ask only that Episcopacy should not assume arrogant claims; that she should be willing to take her place among other denominations of Christians, entitled to like respect as others, to all the tender and sympathetic affections of the Christian brotherhood; and willing that others should walk in the liberty wherewith Christ has made his people free. We shall have no contest with our Episcopal brethren for loving the church of their choice, and the church in which
they seek to prepare themselves for heaven. We shall not utter the language of unkindness, for their reverencing the ministerial office in which the spirits of Cranmer and Leighton were prepared for their eternal rest. Content that other
denominations should enjoy like freedom, while they do not arrogate to themselves unholy claims, and attempt to "lord it over" other parts "of God's heritage," we shall pray for their success, and rejoice in their advancement. But the moment they cross this line; the moment they make any advances which resemble those of the Papacy; the moment they set up the claim of being the only "primitive and apostolical church;" and the moment they speak of the "invalid ministry" and the "invalid ordinances" of other churches, and regard them as "left to the uncovenanted mercies of God," that moment the language of argument and of Christian rebuke may properly be heard from every other denomination. There are minds that can investigate the Bible as well as the advocates for Episcopacy; there are pens that can compete with any found in the Episcopal Church; and there are men who will not be slow to rebuke the first appearance of arrogance and of lordly assumption, and who will remind them that the time has gone by when an appeal to the infallible church will answer in this controversy. Arrogant assumptions, they will be at once reminded, do not suit the present state of intelligence in this land, or the genius of our instituWhile the Episcopal Church shall seek, by kind and gentle means, to widen its influence, like the flowing of a river, or like the dews of heaven, we shall hail its advances; when she departs from this course, and seeks to utter the language of authority and denunciation,-to prostrate other churches as with the sweepings of the mountain-torrent,—she will be checked by all the intelligence and piety of this land; and she will be reminded by a voice uttered from all the insti