George bush the_christian_ministry_longmans_london_1867
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Emanuel Swedenborg

Emanuel Swedenborg



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George bush the_christian_ministry_longmans_london_1867 George bush the_christian_ministry_longmans_london_1867 Document Transcript

  • THECHRISTIAN MINISTRY, CO!llIDI....D IIf u,u.nOH TO"11 .. U .. CUolI:K 01111....710" I .. aOTIoL J.n:mtooo." 1 Pet. it. 9. LONDON:LONGHANS, GREEN, READER, 4; DYER.
  • NOTICE TO THE READER.THE following is an abridgment of a work publishedabout ten years &gO, in Amerioa, under a somewhatdifferent title. Various alterations have been made inthe original text, which, without affecting the generaloharacter of the work, will, it is believed, tend to re-move oooasional obsourities in the style, and to bringthe subjects treated on-subjects especially importantat the present day-still more olearly before the mindof the reader.
  • TI
  • CONTENTS. OHAPTER I. PRIESTHOOD. Page§ 1. Definition .. 1§ 2. Prerogative of Priesthood common to all Chris- tians ... .•. .., ... ... ... ... ..• ..• 7§ 8. Why so little said of Chmch Government in the Scriptures ... ... .. . .. . ... .. . •.. 12§ 4. The Churoh Fruits of the Holy Spirit.. . ... 18§ 6. What kind of Government recognized in the Acts an~ the Epistles ... ... ... ... ... ... 15§ 6. Where we are to look for the Law of Chmch Government ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 16§ 7. The Doctrine of a Christian Priesthood apart from the general body of Believers reoeives no oountena.noe from the earliest History of Christianity ... .., ... 18 OHAPTER 11. TIlE APOSTOLATE.§ 1. Position 8Bsumed 24§ 2. Position denied 26
  • vi. C01f~E1fTS. C H APT E R I I I. MINISTRY. Page§ 1. Prevailing Notions ... ... ... so§ 2. The true Idea of :Ministry as set forth in the Scriptures ... ... ... " ... ... ... ... SI§ 8. Examination of Scripture Terms relative to Ministry 4t5§ 4.~... 46§ 6. DiakoMo ... 61§ 6. Diakono,... 54§ 7. The Office of Deacon 67§ 8. lfinistry as implied in the term ~eer.u 66§ 9. Imposition of Hands ... ... 67§ 10. Administering the Sacraments 68§ 11. Preaching the Gospel 70§ 12. Ordination ... ... 78§ 13. General Remarks on Ministry 87§ 14. Tendency of Clerical Rule ... 99§ 15. The Clerical system espeaially out of place among the C~gationaJists 103§ 16. The Evil Effects of the Distinction in Question 104 CHAPTER IV.GBNEBAL RESULTS ••• ••• .•. . •• ...... 106
  • THE AP08TLlD PAUL TO THE CHURCH IN ROKE. "Alwe bave muymemben In ODe body, and all members have Dot thesame oftlce; 10 we belng many, Ue ODe body In 0brIIt, and e,ery ODe mem-ben one of another. HavlDI then gifta dlfterJDI accordtDI to the grace that11 given to as, whether prophecy, let UI propheey aecordinl to the propor-tion of falth; or min1ltry, let UI walt on our mlDJ8terlng; or he that teaebethOD teaching; or he that ahortetb, OD ubortatlon. He that glveth, letbim do it with simplicity; h. that ruletb, with d1UIence; he that Ihowethmercy, with cheerfalD_."-BoK£1fS sUe " 6, 6, 7, 8.
  • CHAPTER I. PRIESTHOOD. § 1. Definition. IT will be important to settle in limine the meaning that is ordinarily attached to the word cc Priest." A. priest is a person consecrated to the priestly office, by &11 order of priests already existing, and sup- posed, in virtue of this consecration, to be endowed with a character, giving him privileges in divine things above those of his fellow-worshippers who are not consecrated as he is. In the Levitical institutions, we find the priest greatly exalted in the service of God above the people, because the Levitical order was, till the coming of Christ, a type of the company of the faith- ful under the High Priest, who was eminently a type of Ohrist Himself; the whole of the worship, the burning of the offerings on the altar, the pre- senting of every zeback and mmcka, of every korbcm and olGk-in the temple, and the performance ofevery religious ceremony, were the exclusive privilege and. duty of " the priests, the sons of Aaron." The most • Zebach, .the slaughtered-offering; Mincha, the meat-offering of inanimate things offered by fire j Korbcm, anoffering generally; Olah, a burnt-offering. B
  • 2 PRIESTHOOD. [CHAP. J.important of the Levites sacerdotal functions wasto make an atonement for the sins of those thatcame t<;> him to have their sins removed throughhis mediation. "And the prie,t ,hall make an atonfJ-ment for llim concerning kill nn, ana it ,kall he for-given, kim." (Lev. iv. 20.) ".And it shall be, whenhe shall be guilty in one or these things, that heshall confess that he hath sinned in that thing; andhe shall bring hi~ trespass offering unto the Lordfor his sin which he has sinned." (Lev. v. 5,6.) . In the above definition of "a priest," we have stated that such an one "is & pe18on consecrated tothe sacerdotal office by an order of priests already existing." This is deemed absolutely indispensable to constitute & human priesthood; whereas every true member of the church of Christ, who has re- ceived the seal of the Spirit, is a priest in the gospel sense; and if, with that seal, he has re- ceived also the gift of preaching, and the church accept his gift, he is a "prophet," and may deliver that knowledge which he has received. Paul de- clares he was an apostle, "not of men, neither by-man;" that is, he was no priest according to the received ideas and ancient custom; nobody had ordained him; no son of Aaron had anointed him with oil, and arrayed him in the consecrated ~phod ; the corporation of priests were not at all concerned or consulted in his ordination. If he had thought the apostolical succession indispensable in establish. . ing the validity of his office, he might most easily have sought out the" archbishops " (ss the apostles . are deemed by some to havebeen) and have received
  • 8110.1J DEFINITION. 3 consecration from their hands. But he had other views, and what those views were he has stated very plainly: "When it pleased God, who separated me from my mothers womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his son in me, that I might preach Him among the heathen, immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood, neit~er went I up to J ern- salem to them which were apostles before me, but I went into Arabia." So he began preaching and teaching without human ordination; and so little did he think it requisite to be ordained by the apostles that he purposely avoided it, as is clearly intimated in the epistle to the Gslatians. This, then, .is to be " an apostle not of men, neither by man," and is the true apostolicaJ succession, for the honour of which the church of Christ has good reason to be jealous. To distinguish, by a broad line of demarcation, between Cl the clergy" and "laity;" to act as if we supposed that a certain order of men had the power of admitting candidates into their body corporate, or that their interference, or even assis-· . tance, was indispensable in opening the door of the ministry to those whom the grace of God had previously selected to teach the truth, is, in fact, to take away from the glory of Him who sends the rod of his strength out of ZioD, and who, by the gift of repentance and remission of sins, rules 8S a Prince in his Israel, and anoints all his true servants to be kings and priests to God and his Father. As one great aim of the Bon of perdition has been B2
  • 4 PRIESTHOOD. [OllA.P. destroy: the priesthood of grace, and exalt thepriesthood of man, and as this his work has too suc-cessfully transformed the oneness of the believingbody into "clergy and laity, tt so should it now be theunremitting labour of the servants of the Lord toundo his work; to go back again to tbe fountain oforiginal purity, and there, in a thorough cleansingof holiness, to recover the fair image of primevalsimplicity. And for this purpose it behoves usnot to tolerate any ancient custom, any receivedformulary of words, by which it is possible that theunderstanding of believers may be led, unawares,into a train of thought bordering on the old delu-sion. We have all an inherent tendency to thatdelusion: without this tendency, the papacy nevercould have achieved that mighty dominion which itformerly secured for itself: for, what is the papacybut an accommodation, in all things, to the un-hallowed desires of the natural man? How careful,then, should we be to avoid the paths whereinit is even p08sible to lapse into old errors! Howcautious to shun the stumbling-blocks which arethickly set by Satan in every high-road and by-pathof the journey! cc If any man be in Christ, he is anew creature: old things are passed away; behold,all tiling are become new!" He comes to see themany privileges of the church; a spiritual temple, aspiritual altar, a spiritual High-priest, a spiritualcompany of priests anointed by God the Holy Ghost,and by Him appointed, and sent forth to exercisetheir gifts in any office He chooses for them; a frater-nity of spiritual kings, who shall reign with their
  • 8Eo.1.J DEFINITION. 5God for ever; enjoying spiritual union with the ex-alted Head of the church,-perfect God and perfectman,-who has taught his servants this unspeakablemystery, that they" are members of his body, ofhis :flesh, and of his bones." Now, in order to recover these privileges, ourduty is to place the gospel ministry in a clearlight; to bring it forth in open day; and to de-prive it of the false effect produced by shadowy •back-grounds, and the picturesque accompanimentsof antiquity. If the churches of Rome, of England,or other countries, have their orders-if they, inperfect consistency with their system, make theirpriests first breathe the sacerdota1life through thelaying on of prelatical hands-we" cannot be at alos8 for the line of conduct which we ought topursue, in ceasing to imitate or tolerate theirexample. It is but justice to remark in this. connection,that one sect, if sect it may be called, has ap-proached perhaps nearer the truth concei-ning thepriesthood than any other, and, entirely levellingevery remnant of distinction between clergy andlaity, has at last produced a system framed on thefundamental doctrine, that "the old covenant"having " decayed and w:axed old," ought "to vanishaway." This sect is the Quake18; a body of menwho seemed determined to investigate this ques-tion, without the least regard to the trammels ofpreconceived opinions and settled customs; andthough, by such a method of investigation, they mayhave been in danger of running into Bome extra-
  • 6 PRIESTHOOD. [CHAP. I.v&gances, they were also sure to discover sometruths unknown, denied, or detested by their con-temporaries: for 80 great are the delusioDs of everygeneration, that he who systematically opposes theopinions of the age in which he lives, can h&1dlyfail to liber~te Bome truths from the captivity oferror. The Quakers, then, are entitled to the wholecredit of having placed the sacerdotal controversyin its true light; and they not only stated thetruth, but acted on it, guarding their opinions withsuch a watchful discipline, that it became impos-sible for their successors to misunderstand or mis-interpret their meaning. To acknowledge a priestin any way, directly or indirectly, is, in fact, to ceaseto be a Quaker. And herein is their wisdom deserv-ing the highest admiration; for they acknowledgeand act upon this great maxim, that our Lord andSaviour J eallS Christ is the only Priest that hasany pre-eminence, and that the whole body ofbelievers are priests in perfect equality one withanother, in and through Him, their Head and Lord.One ofthe early Quakers was, therefore, rightwhen he 8aid, "we are not persons that have shotup out of the old root into another appearance, asone sect hath done out of another, till many arecome up one after another, the ground still re-maining out of which they all grow; but that veryground hath been shaking, destroyed and is destroy-ing, removed and is removing in us."· • Life of William Dewsbury t. London, 1836, p. 5.
  • SEC. 2] PREB.OGA.TIV:z OF A.LL CHBIBTIA.liS. 7 § 2. Prie,thood the prerogative common to all OkristiMuJ. Ohristianity can never be fully developed, norcan the points of difference between Christ andAnti-Christ ever be fully settled, till the liberty ofthe ministry to all believers, and the ordination bythe Holy Spirit of all the members of the mysticalbody be fully understood, and admitted 88 entirelyvalid and sufficient. This is the axe that strikes attbe root of the tree of Popery, indestructible by anyother instrument, but, by this, ultimately to beuprooted. To deny all distinction between clergyand laity, prohibits, in limiAuJ, the advance of anyother papal heresy; neither Pope nor Prelate canpla.nt his feet where this is held forth and acted on ;it meets him with confutation and expulsion at thedoor of the sanctuary; and, by referring to thesole priesthood of the divine Head of the Church-who brings into union with Himself all bis people,and invites them "with boldness and confidence" to enter "the holiest of all," as "priests to Godand their Father"-renders it impossible for any " clergyman" to usurp functiOn! which his brethren, anointed with the Holy Ghost, may not perform with an authority and validity fully equal to any that he can claim. But it is marvellous to see h~w this important truth of the Gospel has been neglected, and how Christians have, in almost all Protestant denomi. nations, set themselves to the work of consolidating such a form of church government 88 should reduce
  • 8 PRIESTHOOD. [CHAP. I.the priesthood of the whole body of believers to anaked theory, and make that a mere idea, abstractedfrom anything practical or tangible, which was in-tended to be a governing principle of the churchupon earth. , Protestant Dissenters are of all others the mostdeeply interested in this question; both becausethey profess to have seceded to the utmost distancefrom Rome on purely Scriptural grounds, and alsoto have secured to themselves an ecclesiasticalpolity free from the evils incident to the systemswhich elsewhere prevail. Still their practice andtheir principles seem not to be consistent with eachother. Their principles would lead to a pluralityof ministers in each church; and we know not thatsuch a plurality has ever been denied, in theoryat least, by any respectable writer· of their class.Nevertheless, the great body of Dissenters have,in practice, rejected the plurality of ministers, andhave settled down into the one-man system, withoutthe semblance of an argument in favour of such anarrangement. But we take still higher ground. We pleadnot merely for the plurality of ministers, but for thefull and free acknowledgment of the liberty of minis.try to the whole Ohurch of God; by which all maybe placed in such a position " as that all may pro-phecy, that all may learn, and all may be com-forted." (1 Oor. xiv. 31.) We plead for the abro-gation of that law, or, which amounts to the samething, of that jl:&sd cuatom which commits to aclerical order, the whole duty of teaching and
  • BEC. 2J PBEllOGAtIIVE OF ALL CHBISTIANB. 9 ministering to the spiritual necessities of a con-gregation, and substitutes for tb~ mutual exhor-tations of the church, the studied orations of pro-fessional theologians. We plead for the plenary recognition of the church-privileges of all the people of God; that they may, if called to the work andgifted for it, preach the word (Acts viii. 4); thata saving faith in Christ may be admitted 88 proofof that anointing, which institutes into the evnn-geli~ priesthood-for no one can say that Jesusis his Lord but by the Holy Spirit-and that therule of the Apostle may be revived and acted on,cc We, having the same spirit of faith, according88 it is written, I have believed and therefore haveI spoken, tDlJ alBo beZitme Mid tltJrttfors apelik." Ifthe New Testament is to give us any light in thesematters, this is plain, that the whole body of be-lievers are, by it, regarded as exercising di1Ferentministrations: cc The manifestation of the Spirit isgiven to every man to profit withal; for to one,is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; toanother, the word of knowledge by the sameSpirit; to another, faith by the same Spirit; toanother, the gift of healing by the same Spirit;to another, the working of miracles; to another,prophecy; to another, discerning of spirits; toanother, divers kinds of tongues; but all theseworketh that one and the self-same Spirit, dividingto every man severally u he will: for as the bodyis one, and hath many mem bers, Bnd all the mem-bers or that body, being many, are one body, 80also is Christ: for by one Spirit are we all baptized
  • 10 PRIESTHOOD. [CHAP. I.into one body." (1 Cor. xii.) This importantpassage proves the whole argument,-that the Holy Spirit does baptize all believers into the body of Christ; making them priests in the sanctuary, byvirtue of their union with Him; and that theHoly Spirit imparts to each the gifts of ministra- tion, according to the will of God. Again, it is written, cc Every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, bath a tongue, hath a revela- tion, bath an interpretation: let all things be done unto edifying,1 Cor. xiv. 26." Now, whatever may be said of the miraculous gifts to which there is here an allusion, this is certain, that these passages con- template the whole church in action, in miniltr. tion ; and it would be presumptuous indeed to assert that the modem practice of restricting the ministry to one individual, however pious, learned, and respectable that individual may be, was known, or even thought of, in the mra when the New · Testament was composed under divine in1luence. Incidental directions are continually occurring in the Scriptures, indicating th~t the work of the·ministry (i. 8. the edification of the church by exhortation, experience, doctrine, warning, counsel, faith, &c.) was with all believers: cc As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, 88 good stewards of the manifold grace of God" (1 Pet. iv. 10); "not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but 6$lwrting one MWtker." (Heb. x. 25.) But whilst passages like these are of frequen~ occurrence, there is no record of a fact, nor of any .
  • SEC. 2] PREROGATIVE OF ALL CHRISTIANS. 11thing like an incidental passing allusion, which canauthorize even the most resolute partizan to assertthat the order existing in these days existed also inthe days of the apostles. But here we encounter the usual argumentsadvanced for the power, authority, and pre-eminence of the clergyman, whether he be cailedBishop, Priest, or Deacon, Minister, Pastor, orSuperintendent. Now, as nearly all denominationshave substantially, 88 it relates to the laity, thesame ~use to defend, it is no matter of surpriseto find them all supporting their common theoryby precisely the salne arguments. There is indeeda wide difference in the eztent of power which theyclaim for their clergy; and Rome and Oxford8uperinduce the aid of tradition to make theircase still stronger; but all agree in quotingthe same texts for the establishment of the clericalorder. "Remember them which have the ruleover you, who have spoken unto you the wordof God; whose faith follow, considering the end oftheir conversation. (Heb. xiii. 7)" "Obey them thathave the rule over you, and submit yourselves; forthey watch for your souls as they that m.ust giveaccount; that they may do it with joy, and not~th grief." (Heb. nii. 17.) "We beseech you,brethren, to know them which labour among you,and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;and to esteem them very highly in love for theirworks sake" (1 Thess. v. 12, 18) ; and others of asimilar import.
  • 12 PRIESTHOOD. [CHAP. I. § 8. WAyo Zittle aid of OkurCh Government in the Scripture8. In contemplating this question of early churchgovernment, we are too apt to bring to it our ownideas and practices 88. a medium through which toview the subject. The object of most personswho engage in this inquiry, is to discover theexact degree of authority which the Elders, orDeacons, or Bishops of the church respectivelypossessed; to know and define, with precision, allthe laws and customs of church polity; to restorethe discipline and recover the canons ofecclesiasticalregimen. Some writers will tell us that there wasonly one Bishop, and that he ruled the Priests ;others, that there were no Priests, but many Elders,who were the same as Bishops; others, that therewas one Bishop, above the rest, in every church;others, that the brethren might elect, or might notelect, to clerical offices; that the Deacons had thisor that office, or this or that duty; and diversother points of that sort, which have been investi-gated with laborious research, and sustained withno little animosity in ecclesiastical controversies.But how comes it, if this indeed were the realmatter of inquiry, that it is left undefined, un-certain, intangible, in Scripture; that churchgovernment is nowhere clearly described; that weare constrained to make our discoveries as well aswe can, by the very unsatisfactory help of passingallusions or incidental remarks; and that thatwhich seems to be the very soul of modern division,
  • SBc.4J CHURCH FRUITS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. 13and the life of controversy, and the strength of allBeets, should have no definite shape in the canon ofthe New Testament P The church government of the Mosaic Law isclear beyond dispute. There are, in the Law, notmerelya few detached and questionable allusions,butwhole chapters and books expressly on the subject :but in the Gosp~l, which is a more glorious minis- .tr&tion, which is a better, a clearer, a more life-giving system, the whole question of church govern-ment is Dever once directly handled! Howahall we account for this P Simply by this ex-planation; that our Lord Jesus Christ is Himselfthe Head of the church, and that He raises upwhom lIe will by the giit of the ij:oly Spirit, toedify the church according to bis own purpose;that He never designed that it should be governedby a code of human laws and a book of canons, butthst He did intend, and will effect that which Heintended, to rule by his Spirit the church which He purchased with his own blood. § 4. The Church Fruit, of tke Holy Spirit. Where the Holy Spirit is imparted, there willbe seen the fruits of it, "love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness,temperance;" and, with such fruits 88 these, therewill be no lack of church order. There will beElders and Teachers; yea, there will be Epucopoior Overseers of the Hock; but their power will bethat of love; they will, with the mitre of meekness,and the P8ltoral staff of humbleness of mind, with
  • 141 PRIESTHOOD. [CHAP. I.the knowledge of the deep things of God, and, withthe strength of prayer, seek to lead the flock to stillwaters and green pastures, and to keep them closeunder the eye of the great Shepherd and Bishop ofsouls. They will sit enthroned in the affections oftheir faithful brethren: and, amidst the royal priest-hood, the holy nation, the peculiar people, they willrule with priestly sway. Who can doubt it P Whodoes not wish that so it should be P Dare we nottrust the promise of the exalted Head of the church PAre we unable to believe that He will magnify hisword above all his name, and that He will, accordingto his word, be with his people to the end of theworld P And are we at all doubtful that, if wecome together with one mind and with one spirit,having no other desire than to live and die for theglory of Him who died for us, that He will not onlyraise up Pastors to take care of us from amongst ournumber; but will supply all other gifts needed forthe different branches of edification and ministra-tion P That is very simple in itself which to many per-sons is a problem of inextricable difficulty. TheHead of the Church will, by the agency of theHoly Spirit, raise up spiritual men into those officeswhich are for edification. Wherever there are giftsof preaching or teaching in the brethren, there theywill, by that IBme grace by which faith was firstimparted, be ultimately made manifest. Everyman will stand in his proper position: each willfall into the ranks of the church according to thestation for which he is adapted. The grave, the pru-
  • SEC. 5] THE AOTS AND EPISTLES. 15dent, the watchful, perceptive character will takehis natural place for government; the brother, whohas a gift of utterance, and who is well instructedin the Scriptures, will become a preacher or teacher;some, by general superiority of understanding, willprecede others; and some, by faith and patience, andothers by the gift; of prayer, will be in that place oftrust in the church which is evidently theirs, with-out any ceremony of election, or imposition ofhands. The true authority is that of the messagedelivered and the character of him who deliversit. There is one Spirit which anoints them all forthe priesthood, and sanctifies their faculties andcalls them forth according to their adaptation,for the edification of the church. CaiuB may havemany qualifications for government or for teaching,either conjointly or distinctly, which Lucius hasnot; whilst Lucius, a very dear brother, will takesome other station, and be exceedingly valued bythe church in his proper capacity. And thus itwill come to pus, that, in the kingdom of love, eaius will be an overseer (epiBCOP08), and he will take the oversight of the brethren· by ruling in their affections.§ 5. Wnat kind of Government is recognized in tke .Acta and tke EpiBtle8. To us, it is obvious that both the Acts and theEpistles were written with a view to churrh govern-ment such as this ;-a church government, not withmy fixed laws or defined polity, but avowedly underthe direction of the Holy Spirit, ruling by the
  • 16 PRIBSTHOOD. [CHAP. I.principle of love; which, if it were understood andfelt, would effectually Bettle all disputes aboutecplesiastical regime, and show the utter emptinessof all those interminable questions concerning theministerial office, which have indeed filled manybooks, but have not advanced the settlement of thequestion one degree further than it was in the daysof Luther and Calvin.§ 6. Where we Me to look for tke Law of Ckwrci G01JtJNI,mtmt. The law of church-government is to be found inthe general principles prescribed for the regulationof Ohristian conducta and not in any canons or enact-menta of discipline. In texts like these we are todiscover it: "If we live in the Spirit, let us alsowalk. in the Spirit; let us not be desirous of vainglory, provoking one another, envying one another."(Gal. v. 25.) "Bear ye one anothers burdens,and 80 fulfil the law of Christ: for if a man thinkhimself to be something, when he is nothing, hedeceiveth himself; but let every man prove his ownwork, and . then shall he have rejoicing in himselfalone, and not in another; for every man shall bearhis own burden. Let him that is taught in theword, communicate unto him that teacheth in allgood things." (Gal. vi. 2-6.) "Walk in love, asChrist also hath loved us, and bath given himselffor UB, an offering and a sacrifice to God, for asweet-smelling savor." (Eph. v. 2.) "Speakingto yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritualsongs, singing and making melody in your heart to
  • SEC. 6] LAW OF C~UBCH GOVBBXllENT. 17 the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father, in the name of the Lord J eSllS Christ; submitting !louraclveB one to anotlatJr in t1u) fear of God." (Eph. v. 19-21.) "The Elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an Elder." cc Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint but willingly; not. for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being Lords over Gods heritage, but being ensamples to the flock; and ,vhen the chief Shephera shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto theelder; !lea, all l!f !loo be BUbJect one to OIIWtker, and be clothed with humility." (1 Pet. v. 1-5.) "Put-OD, therefore, 88 the elect of God, holy and beloved,bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind,meekness, long-suffering; forbearing one another,and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrelagainst any; even as Christ forgave you, so also doye; and, above all these things, put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness: and let the peaceof God rule in your hearts, to the which also yeare called in one body; and be ye thankfuI." (Col.iii. 12..15.) " I am persuaded of you, my brethren,that ye also are full of goodness, filled with allknowledge, able also to admonish one another." (Rom. xv.14.) "Now the God of patience andconsolation grant you to be like-minded one towardsanother according to Christ Jesus: that ye maywith one mind and one mouth glorify God, eventhe Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore c
  • 18 PBIESTHOOD. [CIIAP. I.receive ye one another, as Christ also received 118 _tothe glory of God." (Rom. xv. 5-7.)§ 7. The doctrine of a Okriatian Priesthood apart jrorn, tke gfJfl,eral boily of Believer8 receives fU) countenance from tke earZie,t HiBtOr!J of 01lriB- tianity. On this head we make no pretensions to dive deep into the depths of patristic lore. Indeed, we place very little stress on the historical argument as compared with the Scriptural. It is of small.lnoment to us what the most ancient Fathers hal"e taug~t on a question that is finally to be settled solely on the authority of Holy Writ•. If they are to be summoned into court, it is simply that they may give testimony to matters of. fact, and not to take the judges seat and lay down the la,v for the church. That we have to seek in the archives of Inspiration, and nowhere else. At the same time, if the collateral records· of the purest ages of Christianity go to confirm the rel!ults of previous enquiry conducted wholly on other grounds, nothing forbids our availing our- selves of this fact. Happily there is ample evidence that, though the apostolic polity was very early . departed from, and the foundations of the hierarchy . thoroughly laid, yet in the really prima-primitive . days of the church the order for which we plead was the one that actually prevailed. The profound and clear-sighted N eander, the honest Mosheim, the exact Gjeseler, are accounted reliable authorities in
  • SEC. 7.] THE EA.RLY OHURCH. io this department, and they all concur in substan- tially the same vi~w of the non-distinction of the clerical and the laical classes in the commencement of the churchs career. The following extracts, samples ofverymanyothers which might be adduced, will convince the reader that, in the averment now made, we do not "speak withoJlt book." ., What MOBes expressed as a wish, that the Spirit of God might lest upon all, and all might be prophets, is a prediction of that which was to be realized thl"Ough Christ. By Him was instituted an economy distinguished from the constitution of aU previously existing religious societies. There could be no longer a priestly or prophetio office, constituted to serve 88 a medium for the propagation and development of the Kingdom of God, on which office the religious consciousness of the com- munity was to be dependent. Such a class of priests as exis~d in the previous systems of religion, emp.owered to guide other men, who lemained, as it werf, in a state of religious pupilage, having the e:cclurive oare of providing for theh leligious wants, and serving 8S mediators, by whom all other men must be pla~ed in conneotion with God and divine things,-such a priestly caste could :find no place withiJl Christianity. • • • • When the apostles applied the Old Testament idea of the . priesthood, this was done invariably for the simple purpose of showing that no such visible partioular priestllood could find place in the new oommunity; that since free access to God . and to heaven had been, once for all, open to believers by one High Priest, even ChI"jst, they had, by virtue of their union to Him, become themselves a eph·itual!)eople, consecrated to God j . their calling being DODe other than to dedicate their entire life to God 8S a thank-o:ffering for the grace of redemption, to publish abroad the power aud gt"ace of Ifim who had called them out of the kingdom of darkness into his ma.rvellous light,. to make their life one continual priesthood. • • • " Eaeh society was a whole composed of equal melnbers, all the mem- bers being but organs of the community, as this was the body c2
  • 20 PBIESTHOOD. [CHAP. I.quickened by the Spirit of Christ. All those m~mbera, organs of the whole and of the one Spirit that gavt it life, were to co- operate each in his appropriate place, for the oommon eDd: and some of the members acted in this organization of parts as the pre-eminently guiding ones. But it could hardly work itself out in a natural way from the eS8p.noe of the ChriatiaD life and of Chl"isuan fellowship, that tllu (JUidantJ6 8houltJ beplaced in tke ha1uU elf 011.111 one individual. 11I.e monarchicaZform o.f gov8rll,1Il61lt 1VU Itot mitet/, to the OhrUtian com,nunitll of Spirit. The preponderance of one individual at the head oC the whole might too easily operate 8S. cheque on the free development of the life of the church, and the free co-operation of the different organs, in whom the oonsciousnesl of mutual independence must ever be kept alive. The individualon whom every thing depended, might acquire too great animportance for the whole, and 80 beoom.e a oentre round which all would gather, so 88 to obscure the sense of their commonrelation to that only One, who should be the centre for all."- .!VtJander8 Cl". Hut., p. 179-183. TOPr8g8 T".an8. ".All CltriBtWlIU, originally, had the right of pouring outtheir hearts before the brethren, and of speaking for theiredification in the public 88sembliea."-Id. Vol. I., p. 186. " The duty of teaching, as an office, was by no means incum- bent on the elders, although the apostle wishes that they should be apt to teacl". The capacity for instructing and edifying in the auemblfes was rather considered 88 a free gift.of the Spirit, which manifested itself in many Chriati&lls, though in different modes. Stalk. ",111 tI di8tinDt pritJltZy order kntJTDn at tAia time; fm tluJ RJko~ ,oci8tV qf Okri8titMflWaea a r01/al prie8thood, Gotl, petnJ,lial PtKJP~." GiUlUr,.EM. Kut., ch. ii. § 30. p. 90. Edin. Ed. "The authority of the church constituted the dUFereucebetween the (olerical) order and tbe people. (Di1Ferentiaminter ordinem et plebem cODltituit ecole8be auotoritaa!)Ambl"Osiaster (Hilary the Deacon), about A.D. 800, thus
  • SEo.7.] THE EA.RLY CHlJRCH. 21apeab in his Comment all Bpke, :-" At first all taught andall baptized on whatever days or whatever times it might beconvenient. • . • . As then the people grew and weremultiplied it was a privilege conceded to Iill at the outset toevangelize, to baptize, and to expound the Scriptures in thechurch. But 88 places became :filled with churches, conven-tieles were established and directors appointed, and othel·011088 were created in the churches,80 that no one of tilenumber who was not ordained dared to take upon him an officewJrlch YOB not thus entrusted or conceded to hinl. The con-sequence was, that the church begun to be governed byentirely a difterent ordelo and providence, because if all were tobe vieved as competent to the same function, it would of coursebe esteemed i.orational, vulgar, and vile. Hence it bas happenedthat now neither do deacons pl·each among the people~ nor doolerics or lais baptize, nor aloe believers baptized on any and evel·Y duy, unless it be the sick."-Gieaeler, Vol. I. p. 91. The grand question is the true sense of the Wordof God, and yet we are not indifferent to the suffragesof great and good men. Bro,Yn, the earliest of tbeEnglish Independents (from whom they were origi-nally called BrowniBt8) held the liberty of ministry,the equality of Christian brethren, the Spirits teach-ing and competency (and not mans appointmentor ordination), as the proper and only warrant forministry in the present dispensation. Milton alsomaintains entirely the spiritual priesthood of all trnebelievers, and utterly repudiates the idea of anyolraer of men whatever be tlieir name, being aJlowedto come in as prie8t8, between God and his peo-ple, as the medium of intercourse, and the link oftheir connection with hen:ven; maintaining, wbatthe Nev Testament so enlpbatically enforces, tlie
  • 22 PRIESTHOOD. [OJLUl. I.personal responsibility of every individual believerto God, and the impossibility of transacting, by rproxy, those matters which relate to God and thesoul, and can only be carried on by the aid ofthe Spirit, through the mediation of J esU8 at theright hand of God. So far Miltons principlesaccord with the principles of the New Testament:and many of his pungent remarks in the tractateentitled· u The Likeliest Means to remove Hirelingsout of the Church," deserve the grave and practicalattention of the pastors and people of all sectionsof the professing church. We quote 8 brief pas-sage from the close of it, commending the perusalof the whole to those who would see a clear andforcible exposition of the mischief which h88 beenwrought in the church, by the exhibition of lures ofany kind for inducing men to take upon themselvesa work which they should undertake "not by con-straint, but willingly, not for filthy lucre but of aready mind:" " Heretofore, in the first evangelio times (and it were happyfOI- Christendom were it 80 again), ministers of the gospel weloeby nothing else distinguished from other Christians but bytheir spiritual knowledge and sanctity or life, for whicn theChUl-ch elected them to be her teachers and overseers, thoughnot thereby to separate them from 1IJhatever calling she thenfound them following besides; 8S the example of St_ Paul de-clares, and the .first times of Christianity. When once theyaffected to be called a clergy, and became, as it were, a distinctorder in the commonwealth, bred up for divines in babblingschools, and fed at the public cost, good for nothing else butVhatw88 good for nothing, they aoon grew idle; tllat idleneu,witb fuhw8S of brend, begat pride &nd perpetual contention
  • SEC. 7.] THE EA.RLY CHURCH. 28.with their feeders, the despised laity, through all ages eversince, to the penerting of religion and the disturbanoe of allChristendom j"-of which" Christendom might soon rid her-self and be happy, if Christians would but know their owndignity, their liberty, their adoption, and, let it not be won-dered if I say, their apiritual prie8tkooa; whereby they haveall equally access to any ministerial function, whenever calledby their own abilities and the ChUlch, though they nevercame near commencement 01" university. But while Protes-tants, to avoid the due labor of understanding their ownreligion, are content to lodge it in the breast, or rather in thebooks of a clergyman, and to take it thence by scraps andmammocks, as he dispensEs it in his Sundays dole, they willbe ~ways learning, and never knowing; always infants;always his vassals,88 lay Papists are to their priests; or atodds with him, 88 reformed principles give them some light tobe not-wholly conformable."
  • 24 THE APOSTOLATE. CHAPTER 11. THE ApOSTOLATE. § ,I. Position a88Umetl."CHURCH Government," says Prof. Schaaff, in hisHistory of the Apostolic Church, "has its founda-tion in the Christian Ministry, which is originallyidentical with the Apostolate and contains thegerms of all other church offices." Such, brieflystated, is the theory which constitutes the strong- .hold of the advocates of a priestly and clerical caste.It supposes that our Lord, in giving his last com-mandment to the disciples to go forth and proselyteall nations, gave it to them as 8 kind of corporation,or apostolic college, set apart under 8 special eccle-siastical organization, instead of giving it to themmerely as individuals. Nearly all theologians haveinterpreted our Saviours words in the former sense,implying a special commission to the apostles 88 anecclesiastical corporatioa...and authorising them, as8uch, henceforth to preside over the whole body ofbelievers; having power, in virtue of that position, t·oexpound the doctrines of the Christian faith, tO Iadminister the sacraments, and especially to ordain •
  • SEC. 2] POSITION DEXIJ:D. 25other persons to the performance of the sanle func-tions; thus perpetuating the clerical order as longas the church should endure on earth. § 2. Positio1~ denied. The above statement brings the great questionbefore us. Is it an undoubted fact that Christ didconstitute the apostles an ecclesiastical corpora-tion P The determination of this question involvesthe most serious consequences, since the clergy·resttheir claims, as a body of men consecrated by divine-appointment to perform certain flIDctions, on the8ssumption that the apostles themselves were 8corporation; for unless they were so constitutedthey could not confer corporate powers upon those-who succeeded them in point of time. Everyimportant passage that is quoted from the NewTestament, as implying commission, authority, orpower to the clergy or ministers of the gospel,consists of words addressed expressly to theapostles. But no one- has 8 right to apply to taeclergy at large words 8pok~n by Christ specially tohis apostles, unless he can also show that the apostleswere a corporation, and that as such they com·-municated the powers or authority which theythemselves had received. Were they such a body PDid they communicate such a power P That twelveapostles were, in a special manner, individuallycommissioned to COMMENCE the work of proselyting-mankind, is evident from tIle New Testament his-
  • 26 THE APOSTOLA.TE. [CHAP. IT. tory; but that they were appointed to this work asan apostolic corporation, with powers to perpetuate this corporate authority by ordination, is a doctrine for which we :find no adequate evidence in the;Scripture. In the first place, we have sought in vain for any passage in the New Testament that either speaks of, or implies, any ~uch corporate action of the apostles as a distinct body. There is no plan for the organizations of such a collegiate body laid down in the apostolic writings~ nor rules given by which it -should be regulated. In warning the disciples against false prophets who would in time appear among them, our Lord gave them no other instruc- tion bywhich to determine the cbaracterofthesefalse teachers than that of judging them "according to ,theirfruits." The theory of the appointment of such .an apostolic college empowered to teach or govern" with a special authority is also at variance with what -t~e Lord says to his disciples, Matt. niii. 7-10, cc Be ye not called Rabbi, for one is !lour Master, even Ohrist, and all !If) are brethren. And call no man!lOfllr.father upon tho earth, for one is your father which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters, for one i" your master even Christ." Is it possible for words to bear 8 more direct testimony against a body of teachers so constituted than the circum- -stance, that the very words which imply the neces- :SarY superiority of such teachers are positively forbidden to be used P . Secondly. That there could have been no organ i-
  • SBo.2] POSITIOlf D:BNI:aD•.zation of the apostles, as a corporation, is evident .from the statement made by Paul, who expresslytells us (Gal. i. 15, &c.) that, after his miraculouscall to the apost1eship, he held no conference what-ever with those who were apostles before him, butwent into Arabia in the work of the ministry; andDot until three years after did he go up to Jeru-salem, where he conferred only with Peter, andmerely mentions having seen James of aU the otherapostles• .Thirdly. Neither did the other apostles know,during these three years, that Christ had appointedPaul to be an apostle with them; for when he firstwent up to J ernsalem (Acts n. 26, 27) and " assayedto join himself with the disciples," they were allafraid of him, not believing him to be even a convertto Christianity, till Barnabas cleared up the matter.It BeemB incredible, then, that the apostles shouldhave been a corporation when, for three years, theydid not even know so eminent a member of their own. bod,.. Fourthly. It is to be observed that Paul, in the.gzeater number of his epistles, associates with him. self in the address, Timothy, Bylv&nus, or- Sos- thenes, who were. his ordinary attendants on his missionary excursions. In other epistles he writes in his own name, and never uses any expression implying the concurrent authority of an apostolic body. It is the same with Peter, James, and John; they each write as individuals only. These facts are ineoDBistent with the hypothesis that the
  • 28 ~JDC UOSroLA.TE. [CHAP. ll.apostles constituted 8 corporation, which WBB to bethe fountain-head of ministerial authority. The popular theory, therefore, that the minis--terial function centered in, and originated with~what is termed the" apostolic college," viewed as adivine corporation, is, we think, totally irrecon-·cilable with the statements made above. Nor doesthe filling up of the vacancy occasioned by the-defection of Judas in the election of Matthias, a&related Acts i. 15-26, invalidate in our minds thisconclusion. The election does not appear to havebeen made by the apostles exclusively, but by thewhole body of the disciples; and moreover it mustbe borne in mind that Christ Himself selected Paulfor the vacant apostleship by a direct and super-natural appointment: The description (in Rev. xxi.14) of the city of the celestial Jerusalem states thatits foundations bore the names of cc the twelveapostles of the Lamb." If Paul was included inthis enumeration, then certainly Mattmas was not,for then there would have been thirteen apo8tles~and if Matthias was included, then by the samere880n Paul was not. The same remark is appli- cable to what is said by our Lord respecting thetwelve apostles sitting upon twelve thrones, judgingthe twelve tribes of Israel. . From the various considerations now adduced we deem the conclusion justified, that Christ called the apostles as individuals, and commissioned them to act in this capacity, and in this only. As such· they went forth into the world, as it were upon so •
  • :SEC. 2.] POSIlION DENIED. 29many diiferent missionary enterprizes, wherein eachacted in accordance with his own views of religious duty, and not according to any enactments of an.spostolical conclave. Consequently the theory of a permanent or perpetuated body of clergy originating from this source has, in our. opinion, no founda-tion.
  • 30 :MINISTRY. CHAPTER Ill. MINISTRY. § 1. Prevailing Notion8.THE setting aside of any other prie8tlwoiJ in the- ChristiaI;l church than that of our Lord Himself stillleaves the institution of a mini8try untouched, and our inquiry now concerns that subject. What the general and popular idea of "ministry," andwhat is the divine teaching concerning it P Withthe multitude it is a wide undefined term, meaningan office equally undefined, held by one who is·termed a priest, clergyman, minister, or preacher.With the uninstructed, "priesthood" and "min-·istry" are the same thing. Whoever will take the·trouble to institute the inquiry, will find that thepopular idea of "ministry" is like the popular ideaof" church"-all dimness and confusion. A notion.prevails that whatever is said about priests andlevites in the Old Testament, and about bishops.and ministers in the New, is to be applied to the·Christian ministry,-that a minister is a priest, and.8 priest 1 minister; that. the person holding is, in some way, to be ordained to it by otherpriests or ministers; that by virtue of his office he-
  • SEC. 2] SCRIPTURAL REPRESENTATION. 31is to preach and pray for the people, to visit thepoor and the sick, to look after the salvation ofmens souls, and more or less to secure it; that he is to be more pious than "the laity;" to wear official apparel; to be called" Reverend;" and generally to take the management of everything that belongs to "religion." This is, with very little variation, the popular idea of " ministry," among all bodies of Christians ; and it obviously is not the interest of the clerical·department, in any sect, to clear up the popular mistakes on a subject which, if rightly understood,·might tend to subvert all established arrangements, and to restore Gods order over the ruins of the order of man.§ 2. PIle true Idea of Minist171 a~ set forth in tAe 8criptu1~e8 . The first and most obvious duty attached to aministry by all parties is, of course, official teaching; except, indeed, in the Roman Catholic persuasion, where performing the sacrifice of the mass, and administering "the sacraments," take precedence of preaching and teaching; but now we are writing of· Protestants, and amongst them-in all their deno- minations-teaching and preaching constitute, of necessity, a large portion ofthe ministerial functions. Let us now see what the N ew Testa~ent says of these functions, their origin, and the persons to whom they are assigned. We find all this stated in 1 Cor. xii. " Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant .•.• Now
  • 32 llINISTBY. [ CHAP. Ill.there are diversities ofgifts, but the same Spirit; andthere are differences of administrations (or services),but the same Lord; and there are divenities ofopera-tions, but it is the same God which worketh all inall. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given toevery man to profit withal; for to one is given bythe Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the wordof knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faithby the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healingby the sanle Spirit; to another the working ofmiracles; to another prophecy; to another dis-cerning of spirits; to another divers kinds oftongues; to another the interpretation of tongues :but all these worketh that one and the self-sameSpirit, dividing to every man severally as he will." This statement is very clear: we are here veryplainly informed that the Holy Spirit bestowsvarious gifts on the members of the church; that thedonation is not to a privileged class, separated fromtheir brethren, nor according to mans appointmentor election, but that the selection is made out of thewhole body, according to the unrestrained will ofthe sovereign Distributor. " The manifestation ofthe Spirit is given to every man, to profit withal"(v. 7), and in consequence of this divine regula-tion, one man receives wisdom, another knowledge,another faith (v. 8,9). There are, indeed, other giftsmentioned, but with them we are not now con-cerned, as the church confessedly does not nowpossess them; but wisdom, knowledge, and faithmust, in degree at least, exist, otherwise therevould be no ministry or teaching a.t all. IC Now all
  • SEC. 2.J SCRIPrUnA.r~ REPRESENTA.TION. 88 these worketh that one and the self-same Spirit, diDiding to elJery man severaJIy as he will." (v. 11.) If this be a true description of the church as it was at the first, then it clearly bears no resem- blance to the arrangements p~vailing at the present time, when the division of ministry is not by the. will and appointment of the Spirit, but by the direction and choice of man. This is indeed 80 plain, that almost all commentators seem quietly to yield the point,-that the ministry in the Corinthian church was of an order now lost, and that all existing churches have adopted another system. They speak of the Corinthian order as a pattern known only in the Scriptures; it is, in fact, terra in- cognita to them, and so accustomed are they to the arrangements introduced by tradition, that the dis- tribution of gifts by the Spirit to eve..ry man in the church, they regard as some strange phenomenon of the days of miracles. Amongst the yarious deno- minations we do indeed see quite another system. In the churches of Rome and EngI8nd, the bishops appoint to the ministry; in the kirk of Scotland, the Presbytery is the fountain of clerical functions; amongst dissenters generaJIy, the people, or the church as it is called, elect the minister, and otb~l ministers ordain him after he has been elected; whilst amongst the Wesleyans, the Confere~ce, or some power deputed by the Conference, selects and governs all the ministers and preachers.. Now, it must be clear to everyone, that neither bishops) popular elections, presbytery, nor conference, can supersede the functions of the Holy Spirit; . and D
  • .34 lIINISTRY. [CHAP. I n.beyond this one need not push the inquiry, in orderto be satisfied that nearly all secta, from the statelychurch of England, down to the lowest denomina-tion of dissent, are gone far astray from the orderrecorded in the New Testament. If the Scriptures,then, are to be our guide: we have already advancedfar in the ~olution of the problem before us; and.we have only to apply the statements in the NewTestament to facts before our eyes, to assure us orthe accuracy of our deductions. For instance, let U8try the existmg church of Rome, by Pauls descrip-tion of what that church was in his day. Paul, inwriting to the Romans, (chap. xii.) says, "We, beingmany, are one body in Christ, and every one mem-bers one of another," having different gifts-somebeing evangelists, others pastors, teachers, rulers,or helps. But now all that can be said ofthe churchof Rome is, that it is entire}y clerical; that theHoly Spirit does not appoint to the ministry, andthat every thing there is under the supreme controlof the Pope. The church of Rome, therefore, haslost the order set forth in the Scriptures; and so itis with others also; for we do not find it written,"He gave some bishops to rulfl dioceses; or Hegave rectors and curates for the care of parishes ;or He gave ordained ministers," &c., but some-thing very dissimilar in every respect. Protes-tants, therefore, as well as the church of Rome,have departed from the authority of Scripture intheir arrangements in regard to ministry. Aiain: supposing, for arguments sake, thatsuch tt. form of the church did exist as has beeR
  • SEC. 2.] SCRIPTURA.L REPRESENTATION.. 35described. in the twelfth chapter of the first epistleto the CorinihiaDa-that there was no " ordained ~ministry, no clerical or official appointments, noclergymen or "ministers" consecrated or chosen toact 8S functionaries for the people, but that all thepeople, without any recognition of ojJitMZ distinc-tion, met as a gathering of believers, to receive anycc diversity of gifts" which the Holy Spirit mightdispense amongst them; that "wisdom" "know-ledge," "faith," were exhibited here and there,without mans direction, and wholly independentof it; and that those so gathered had no idea ofany other order; would not such a church resemblea body in active and vigorous life; every limb, everymember, contributing, in proper proportion, to thelife and activity of the whole body? Now this isexactly the similitude selected by the apostle Paul,to describe the church of the Corinthians. cc. Thebody is not one member, but many. If the footshall say, Because I am not the hand, I am Dot ofthe body; is it therefore not of the body P And ifthe ear shall say, Because.I am not the eye, I amnot of the body; is it therefore not of the body PIf the whole body were an eye, where were ·thehearing P If the whole were hearing, where werethe smelling P But now bath God set the memberseveryone of them in the body, as it hath pleasedhim. .And if tkey fDM6 all 008 member, where werethe body P But now are they many members, yetbut one body. And the eye cannot Bay unto thehand, I have no need of thee: nor again, the head n2
  • 36 m.1STHY. [CHAP. the feet, I have no need of you. . • • . Now yeare the body of Christ, and members in particular. tJ(1 Oor. xii.) But let us uk, how can this portion of Scriptureapply to the generality ofProteatantdenomiDatioDS PID them there is no body at aJ.l, if ~e are to followthe apostles illustration of the life and visibilityof the church as manifested in the vitality ofall the members, for the· apostle plainly tells us,that" if they were all one member there would beno body;t and who is there that does not see in these words a condemnation of the clerical system, which presents tbe body in the form of one member only-THE MINISTER,-the ordained, official, and salaried minister, who, whetber he be appointed to his office by a prelate or popular election, supersedes all other spiritual gifts in the church? In such a system as this, the body is dead, all the members are inanimate, the "honorablo" or "feeble" are alike useless, and one individual is eye, mouth, ear, hand, and foot. " The eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee; nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you." This is the illustration of the apostle; whereaa, applying this illU8~ation to the arrangements of the present day, we see that one member .ys, "I will be eye, hand, head, and foot: entrust all your funetioDs to me, ye separate members, for I will be the life of the whole body." This is a figurative description of tke fact presented to us by the ministry of tke . one man !I,tem, and in ,such & sY8tem the supre-
  • SEo.2.] SCKIPTUlUL UPBBSENTATIOlf. 37macyof the Holy Spirit cannot be owned, nor canHis distribution of gifts "to every man accordingto his own will " have any place. Paul says, "The body is not one member, butmany" (ver. 14). Now, the various sects prac-tically, though unintentionally, deny this; andthey ought, in keeping with their practices, to readthe text thus: "The body is one member, and Memany." The apostle afterwards proceeds thus:cc Now ye are the body of Christ, and members inparticular. And God hath set some in the church,first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers,after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps,governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apos-tles P are all prophets P are all teachers P" &c.This is a full explanation of all he had previouslyurged. Every member has not all these gifts, buteveryone is in a condition to receive any w~ch theSpirit may impart; some may have one gift, othersmore than one. Teaching, helping, governing, maybe separated or united, just as the Lord chooses; but not one word of this could be understood, if wewere to suppose that one or two individuals acted officially and permanently in lieu of the whole body·of believers. Suppose, only for arguments sake,that there was a ministry in the apostles days, luch &8 we see in these times, then would it be im- po88ible to comprehend Pauls meaning; but if on the other hand we dismiss the idea of a clerical order, and admit the fact that the whole body of believers waited for such ministry as the Holy Spirit migbt please to apportion to them, dividing
  • 38 llINIBTBY. [CHAP. every man severally aB He chose, then we canunderstand all the argument of the apostle. In the fourteenth chapter of the same epistle, Paulincidentally lets us know the result of the churcb-oMer 8S it eDsted in those days. (Ver. 28-31~ .."If therefore the whole church be come togetherinto one place, and all speak with tongues, andthere come in those that are unlearned; or unbe-lievers, will they not say that ye are mad P But ifall prophesy, and there come in one that believethnot, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all,he is judged of all. How is it then, brethren Pwhen ye come together, tJfJety 0ntJ of !lOll batha psalm, hath a doctrine, bath a tongue, bath arevelation, hath an interpretation. Let all thingsbe done unto edifying. If any man speak in anunknown tongue, let it be by two, or at themoat by three and that by course; and let oneinterpret. • • • . Let the prophets speak two orthree, and let the other judge. If anything berevealed to another that sitteth by, let the firsthold his peace. .llw!lB may all propAelg one by OftB,that all may learn and all may be comforted."The meaning of this passage is evident: Paul sup-poses it to be p08sible that in the meetings of thechurches all the believers might be 80 injudicious use the one gift which would be intelligible onlyto themselves, but wholly unintelligible to cc th~unlearned ot unbelievers" (ver.28). This possiblemistake he corrects by recommending that only twoor three should speak in an unknown tongue; butat the same time be mentions, with manifest appro-
  • BEC. 2.] SCRIPTURAL BBPRESENTATIOY. 39bation, the possible fact of all prophesying, nay,he plainly S&ys, that" all might prophesy one byone, that all might learn, and all be comforted;"and whilst he says this, he never alludes to theexistence, in the Corinthian church, of official pas-tors, ordained ministers, or clergymen; his thoughtsnever go that way at all; be does not, as is thecustom now, addre88 his remarks 88 a matter ofcourse to "the minister," meaning thereby eitherthe parish priest or the popularly-elected preacher,but he directs his precepts to the whole Corinthisnchurch, as the ministering body. He takes it forgranted that gifts would be visible in tke body-thegifts of knovledge, wisdom, faith, teaching, help,government, evangelizing, and the rest; andthat the appointment to those gifts must be bythe Holy Spirit, that same Spirit by which, as betells us, in introducing the subject, every believerhas been enabled to say that J eaus is the Lord.(1 Cor. xii. 8). And indeed it is well worthy ofobservation that Paul, in writing to the Romans,Corinthians, Ephesians, GaIatians, Thessalonians,Philippians, and ColossiaDs, never directs his lettersto "the minister;" he never even names luch anindividual; and this fact alone, if duly weighed,would go far to settle the question of an " ordainedministry," wherever there is a disposition implicitlyto believe and obey the word of God. Are we then to follow the Scriptures in these matters P Are we to test "churches" as they are called, by the precepts and arrangements which we find in the Scriptures P If 80" let us see how, with
  • 40 lIDfIBTBY. [ CHA.P. Ill.any intel1j~ble meaning, the following words couldnow be addressed to the congregations assembled forworship whetber in church or chapel :-" Brethren,when ye come together,evSfY O1Ie of!lfJ1l hath a psalm,hath a doctrine," 1 Cor. xiv. 26: "To one is given bythe Spirit the word of wisdom, to another the wordof knowledge by the same Spirit, to anotber faith bythe same Spirit..•.. But all these worketh that oneand the self-same Spirit, dividing to e1JBr!l man Beve-rally aB he will." 1 Cor. xii. "AB 6fJety man bathreceived tbe gift, even 80 minister the same one toItnotbel, as good stewards of the manifold grace ofGod; if an.,! lnan speak, let him ~ptak as the oraelesof God: if an.,! man minister, let him do it as of theability which God giveth." 1 Pet. iv. 10, 11. There are two other chapters in the New Testa-ment in which the subject is fully set forth. To theRomans Paul writes, "For I say through the peegi"en unto me, to every man that is among you,not to think of himself more highly tban he oughtto think; but to think soberly, according as Godhath dealt to every man the measure of faith. Foras we have many members in one body, and allmemhers have not the same office; so we, beingmany, are one body in Christ, and everyone mem-bers one of another. Having then gifts differingaccording to the grace that is given to us, whetherprophesy, let us prophesy accordin~ to the propor-tion of faith; or ministry, let us wait on our minis-tering; or he that teachetb, on teaching; or hethat exhortetb, on exbortati~; he that giveth, lethim do it with simplicity; be that ruleth, with
  • BEC. 2.1 8CBIPTUB.A.L REPBBSE:NTATION. 4.1 diligence; he that showeth mercy, with cheerful- ness" (xii). Here Paul enumerates some of the gifts :-prophesy, mini~try, teaching, exhorting, giving, ruling, showing mercy; now whatever may be our opinion about the precise character . of some of these gifts, this is certain, that ministry, exhortation, teaching and ruling-four offices, which in these days are always assigned to one person, and which are always deemed to be the peculiar prerogatives or duties of "the minister "-are de- clared by Paul to be gifts" differing according to tho• grace that is given." Now his precepts and admo- nitions cannot, in. the least, be understood, unless it be admitted that these offices are distributed among the members of the church, instead of being con- ferred on one individual only. His remarks are to this effect: "Do not. any ofyon, in the church which is sojourning in Rome, be elated with your gifts; for if you have any gift, whether that of ministry, teach- ing, exhortation, prophesy, or power of government; understand that it is a donation of grace, a manifes- tation of the Spirit dividing to every man severally 88 He will. You are but members of one body; the members have each their proper office assigned to them, and when each member performs its func- tiODs, the whole body is in a state of harmonious and healthy vitality." This being the same Bubject as that which Paul handles in his epistle to the Corintbians, it is in- teresting to notice that on both occasions he enforces his thoughts by similar illustrations,-the subject leading him, as jt were of necessity, to refer to the
  • 42 lIINI8TBY. [CHAP. nI.body and its members for an intelligible and con-vincing similitude. Again, in his epistle to theEphesians, we :find the same statements: "There isone body, and one Spirit ..••. But unto everyone of us is given grace according to the measure ofthe gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, when heascended up on high, he led captivity captive, andgave gifts unto men . • • . . . And he gave someapostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists,and some pastors and teacbe~ ; for the perfecting ofthe saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edify-ing of the body of Christ: till we all come in theunity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Sonof God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of thestature ofthe fulneu of Cbrist • . . • and may growup into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ j from whom the whole body fit1y joinedtogether and compacted by that which every jointsupplieth, according to the effectual working in themeasure of every part, maketh increase of the bodyunto the edifying of itself in love." (iv. 4-16.) In this portion then of the Scriptures we have again the same subject with the same illustrations- the Holy Spirit divides to all as He chooses-the ehureh is in a capacity to receive any gifts-every believer may help in the service of the church. Moreover, it deserves particular attention that "the growing up into the perfect man," and "the in- crease of the body," is presumed by Paul to be both possible and probable wken God. order prevails. He brings forward these things to show the end and object of such an .arrangement; if, therefore, we
  • SEC. 2.J SCRIPTUBAL BEIRESEKTATION. 48find professing Christians deliberately rejectingGods order, and letting up a ministry ordained ofman instead, can we be surprised if there is notamongst them any visible" growing up into a perfectman," and that "the increase of the body unto theedifying of itself in love," is a mystery with whichthey are practically unaequainted r And now, let us compare this teaching of Scrip-ture with the practices everywhere prevalent. Inthese days we hear clergymen asserting that theybold an office which makes them a class distinctfrom the body of believers; that to them, by theirordination, belongs the exclusive prerogative of evan-gelist, pastor, teacher, and ruler amongst "theirpeople;" and that "the laity" cannot, withoutgreat irregularity, nay, not without sin, interferein functions belonging exclusively to the clericalorder. In church and chapel we hear this eitheropenly asserted or tacitly implied, according to thedegree of clerical feeling which prevails with thosewho hold ecclesiastical offices; but wherever we see aclerical order, do we not at the same time see apractical contradiction of the scriptural constitutionof ministry P How can a ministry appointed byman, barmonize with a ministry distributed by theSpirit P How can an ordained clerical ctIBte com-port with the free exercise of gifts on the part of thewhole body of believers P. We can, therefore, cometo no other conclusion than that "the churches" ofour days do Dot represent the ditJine order in theirministerial arrangements. The origin and historyof this great perversion ,,·e need not now examine;
  • lIINISTnT. [OHAP.III. of the fact of 3 perversion-of an apostacy-there can be no doubt at all in the minds of those who are guided in this inquiry by the Scriptures rather than by tradition. A formidable array of Scripture authority has,been produced to establish the truths fer which we plead: but what is the UBUoJ. reply to 80 much and to such clear evidence P Generally, an exclamation .of amazement that we could have propounded anything so strange &8 that, in the New Testament, there il no such thing as human ordination to the ministry. It behoves us, therefore, to be still more explicit, that we may show both what Scripture does and does not teach on the subject-that we may prove our point both negatively and positively. Here, then, let it be remenlbered that we are not to be deceived by the use of words diverted from their proper meaning; for there is "ministry" in the New Testament, and abundantly set forth too there, far more abundantly than we are, for the most part, prepared to receive; but it has no reference to that kind of ministry which is handed down to us by tradition: it is therefore important again to describe the traditional, before we further exhibit the scrip- turaJ. The ministry of professing Ohristendom, at the present day implies a body of men set apart by a sacerdotal ceremony, and ordained into an office in which they have the exclusive right to preach, teach, feed, and tend the Hock, as well as to "ad- minister the 800rBlnents." We now proceed to inquire, if the ministry of scripture answers to this representation of it.
  • SEC. 3.] SCRIPTURE TERMS.§ 3. Ezamination of Scripture Ter111B relative to Ministry_ In the New Testament the Greek words trans-lated cc ministry," except when predicated of Christhimself, Rom. xv. 8, Matt. xx. 28, Heb. viii. 6, areused to denote 1I1&!I .erviC8 of beZitmw. to God aflllto liB Church, though in our English translationtheir meaning is occasionally weakened or perverted.The word "ministry" occurs in our New Testamente~hteen times, in all which instances, except two, itis a translation of the Greek word dia1coftill. In thefollowing pusuges m;""utry is given as the trans-lation of Zeitourgia, otherwise rendered 8BrDice:-cc But now bath he obtained a more excellent mini.-try (leitourgia) , by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant." (Reb. viii. 6.) Moreover, he sprinkled likewise with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the minilltrg (l.eitourgia). (ix.21.) These two instances are the only exceptions. There are, however, several in- stances in which tli.alconia is translated by some other word than "ministry j" and this fact may at once enable us to understand how much confusion of thought may be introduced by a capricious trans- lation, made under the iD1iuence of preconceived opinions. But in order to present the whole sub- ject in its clearest light, it will doubtless be expe- dient to bring before the reader the entire list of passages where the original terms for to minilltfYr, miniBtr!l, &c., occur in the New Te8tament~ The actual usage will evince that nearly all the ndvan-
  • 46 llINISTBY. . [CHAP. 3.tage gained by the clerical theory is due to a subtleprocess of tec1vnicaZizing terms which were intendedto bear no other than their ordinary import. Thiaprocess ha been somewhat largely applied byecclesiastical and other dignitaries in the interpreta-tion of holy writ, but in no case perhaps moreglaringly than in regard to the words which we arenow about to consider. § 4. dialtonitl. The word dialconia is found in the New Testa-ment thirty four times. In sixteen cases it istranslated cc plinistry"-in six, "ministration"-in four, "service"-in three, cc ministering"-intwo, "administratioDs"-in one, "oflice"-in one," relief"-and in one, "to minister."Luke x. 4:0. .c But Martha wu cumbered about much ,tJI"Oiftg (tlisko,.ia)."Acts i. 17. "IIad obtained part of this miniltt71 (tlialumia)."Acts i. 25. cc That he may take prt of this mini8trll (tlttJ- konia)." Ministry here is .errJice, service to God and hischurch; not a clerical or episcopal office, BB it is tobe feared the translators wished the readers tounderstand it, if we may judge by their unwarrant-able use of the word "bishoprick" in the 20th verseof that chapter.Acts vi. 1. cc Were neglected in the daily .in.tltration (tliakonia)."Acta vi. 4. . Will·give ourseh"es continuaIlf to prayer and to the fI~i"i8tlV (dia7wnia) of the Word."
  • BEC.4.] DIAKONIA. 47 In the general BertJice to be rendered by ail themembers to the church, that of expounding andapplying the Scriptures doubtless devolved moreespecially upon the apostles. So at the presentday, those whose gifts qualify them for it would, intrue gospel order, be called to the discharge of thesame functions.Aota xi. 29. "Then the disciples • • • • • determined to send ,.,zUj (dioJlonia) unto the brethren whioh dwelt in Judea."Acta xii. 25. " And Barnabas and Saul returned from J era- .lem when they had fulfilled their .nUt,.,(diako"j,· i.".,had admini8tINd tAs ,."ug spoken of in the preceding pauage.Aots ZX. 24. "So that I might finish my course with joy, and the fAift"trV (ditJlumia) "hicb I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the g08pel of the grace of God." This was the special aervice to which Paul wascalled; and every man who has an experimentalknowledge of the gospel, and it! gifted for the work,is called also to "testify" of that gospel to hisfellow-men; though the character of his miniBtty or.tWtJ1ce may not be the same with that of Paul.Aots xxi. 19. cC And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrougbt among the Gentiles by his alnilt"!I (dioAonia)," i.,., by hia iutrN- m"",tal ",.,,1ctJ.Hom. xi. 13. cc Inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, 1 magnify mine q/fitJ, (difJionia)," i.,., my aervioe.Rom. xii. 7. "Or miniltr, (ditUt.ollia), l~t us wait on our ".inWerillg (diaJumia); or he that teacheth, on teaching. Whatever is bere implied by miniBtrg or millister-ing, it is evidently some~~ing not precisely identical
  • 48 KINISTRY. [CRAP. fiX. with teaching, as tbe two are clearly distinguished. With the popular ideas of the ministry, 88 now existing, this distinction would not have been made. Rom. xv. 81. "That my 6ic. (ditlkonia) which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints;" i.B., the cont1-i- butlon ofwhioh I am made the bearer. 1 Cor...U. 6. "And there are dUferenoea of tulmiaUtt-atItnu (tlitlJumio7J), but the aame Lord." 1 Cor. xvi. 15. "And that they have addicted themaelv8I to the minUt,., (tliakonia) of the wnts;" i .•., to the ,WfJics of the sain ta.I Cor. iii. 1. cc It the miniltratioJi (dilJJumia) or death, written," &0.2 Cor. ill. 8. "HoW shall not the .inim-tItioft (dill1umls) or the Spirit be rather glorioua!"2 Cor. Hi. 9. "For if the minWrtltio,,. (diaAoltia) or con- demnation be glory, much more doth the minutration (dia- llonitl) of righteousness exceed in gIol"." Ministration or miniBtry as used in this connec-tion seems to be equivalent to eCOMfllI·· or tlU.ptJ1l,tJtWn.2 Cor. iv. 1. cc Therefore seeing we have this miftiltr!l (Ills- 1umia), 88 we have received mercy, we faint DOt;" i.B., seeing we are called to act in connection with the O",w.z 8tJrrice befof"tl spoken of.2 Cor. v. 1. 8. .c, And hath given to us the miniIJtry (diaAonia) of reconoiliation."I Cor. vi. S. "Giving no offence in anything, that the . flllniltrg (dlnkonla) be not blamed."2 Cor. viii. 4. "Praying U8 with much entreaty, that we would receive the gift; and take upon U8 the· fellowship of the miniltring (if,iaAonia) to the saints;" 4•••, dording them relief.2 Cor. ix. 1. "Touohing the mlni8terillO (dioAonia) to the , laints ;" i.e., Bd obo·c, ministering to thtair tempol·il1 wants.
  • 811:0•.4.]2 Cor. Ix. 11. cc For the t.atltIIi.iltNtiofl of tAi, ,,,.,,,. (ditJ- _ita t. lfttDurgia, tauta) not oD1y aupp1ieth tile want of the aainta," &0.2 Cor. ix. 13. " While by the experiment of this minutratiofa (tlU&1unaia) they glorify God."SI Cor. xi. 8. cc I robbed other churohes, taking wagee of them to do W 1tJrfM, (tlia1tonitJ). n OUBph. iv. 11, 12. "And he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelisUJ, and 80me pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry (tlioJumia), for the edifying of the body of Christe" . Prior to a close inspection of this passage in the original we were not aware how far short the present rendering comes of exhibiting the true sense of the sacred writer. That rendering, it will be observed, presents three distinct clauses, dividedby commas, embracing what the English readerwould take to be three separate, but closely relatedobjects to be accomplished by the divine appointmentof "apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, andteachers" in the church-the first, "the perfecting ofthe saints,"-the second, "thework oftheministry,u-the third, "the edifying of the body of Christ."It may, however, be fairly doubted whether thistruly expresses the meaning of the original. Thereis, as is well known. no apostolic authority for thePfl1l,DtuatioA ot the text. Moreover, the preposition" for n before cc perfecting ., is not the same word asthat before "work of the ministry," or that before"edifYing ofthe body." In the one case it is pro8, andin the other tU. In view then of the phrasing ofthe original, no other rendering appears to be B
  • 50 KIBISTBY. [CRU.IU.legitimate than the following, or one equivalentto it: cc for the perfecting of the saints unto thework of ministry, unto the edifying of the bodyof Christ." The original is simply tlia1&oniaB, ofministry, without the article, and not of tl,:8 mill-utry, with the article. What more obvious thanthat the ministry here spoken of is a ministry per-taining to all the saints, and not the technical orclerical ministry which has been so generally under-stood by it P Christ gave these various offices tothe church for the express purpose of better quali-fying all his people to perform that ,,,",ice ormm;"try which should help to build up the wholebody into the fulness and completeness of the divinelife.Col. iv. 17. U Say to Archippus, Take heed to the mini8try (tliaionia) whioh thou hut received in the Lord, that thou fulDI it." Had tlialconia been here translated " service" itwould have far more faithfully expressed the mean-ing of the original. Archippus bad been knownas one in enJice to the Lord and to his people;what that service was, we cannot now say, but itdoes not at all appear that it was preaching theGospel, or the exercise of the pastoral office.Archippus might have had no gift for teaching orpreaching; he might bave had no gift for govern-ment. What bis gift was it is impossible for usnow to determine; only this is apparent, that theservice for which he was known, he had "receivedin the Lord;" but such is the force of the cus-tomary notions, that his "ministry" is generally
  • 8:£C. 5.] DUKono. 51supposed to have been an ofticial pastorate; so thatministers of the establishment claim Arcbippus asone of their clergy, while others, with equal confi-dence, tell us that he was a minister of a congre-·gational church.1 Tim. i. 12. cc For that he counted me faithful, putting me into the minutfy (eU tlioAonian);n lit. appointing tn8 to ,Wt1ice, the article being wanting in the original.2 Tim. iv. 5. "Make full proof of thy min_,., (tlWumia); lit. fulfil tAy lervice. By "ministry" here is to be understood not theclerical function, but the whole of Timothys service.What sort of service that is, we may learn by re-ference to the words of Paul respecting himself:cc I have fought a good fight, I have finished mycourse, I have kept the faith." This is the ilialconiawhich is so often in his thoughts and so much uponhis pen. Any service and all service is "ministry"in the New Testament diction.2 Tim. iv. 11. "Take Mark and bring him with thee; for he is profitable to me for the mini8try (Bildiakonian);" lit. he is profitable to me tmto ,BrtJice, i.e., to serving or minister- ing to my neoe88itiea.Heb. i. 14. "Are they not all ministering (leitourgico,) spirits sent forth to minuter (ei8 ditJlumian) for them who shall be heirs of salvation?" lit. sent forthfor ,ertJice.Rev. ii. 19. "I know thy works, and charity, and ,ert1ios (tlia- konia)." § 5. tlialconeo. The verb tliakoneo, to 8rV6, ~o miniater, occursthirty-six times, in twenty-two of which it isrendered by. mmilter, in ten by 6",8, in two by :s2
  • 52 KmIBTBY. [CHAP. III.administer, and in two by uftrIg tu ~ of ladeacon.Matt. iv. 11. "Allacrels came and mi,.Ww.tltllo (tliMOtIn.) ki1l~."Matt. viii. 15. "She arose and minwwetl unto (tliektmea") them."Matt. xx. 28. c, Even D8 the Son of Man came not to be minia- tered unto (diakonetkenai) but to ministtw (dia1unU8QI1and to give hialife," &0. So also Mark x. 45.Matt. xxv. 44. cc When saw we thee ••••• iD prison and did not miniate-r unto (diekonuQmen) thee?"Matt. xxvii. 55. "And many women were there ••••• which followed Jesus from Galilee, miniltering unto (diakonouBai) him.":Mark i. 13. "And the angels miniBtered unto (tlieko-noun) him."Mark. i. 31. "The fever l~ft her and she minut".ed unto (diekonei) them." Luke iv. 30.Mark xv. 41. cc Who also ••••• followed him and mi"I,i8teretl unto (diekonoun) him."Luke viii. 8. "And mauy others whioh minutered unto (diekonoun) him of their substance."Luke x.40. "My sister hath left me to 88rtJe (diakonein) alone."Luke xii. 37. "And will come forth and 8erve (diakone8ei) them."Luke xvii. 8. ":Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve (diakonei) me."Luke xxii. 26. "He that is chief, as he that dot" Brt:8 (dia- konon)."Luke xxii. 27. cc Whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that 8tlr1Jet" (tliakonon)."Luke xxii. 27. "I am among you 8S he that 8erfJeth (diaJumon)." .John xii. 2. cc There they made him 8 IU pper, and lIartbs ,ervetl (tliekonn).u
  • SEc.5.J DIAXONBO. 58John xii. 26. Cl If any man ,rtJs (tlialone) me, let him follow me."John xii. 28. "If any man ,.,6(tli4Jums) me, him will my Father honor.ftActa vi. 2. "It is Dot reason that we Ihould leave the word of God and "6 (diakonein) tables."Aots six. 22. h Two of th~m that m,,,inered unto (tlWumoun) him."Rom. sv. 25. "But now I go unto J eru8alem to minUter (diakonon) unto the eaintB."2 Cor. iii. 30 "Forasmuch 88 ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of ChrilJt, mini8tsred (dioJum.stkei8a) by U8."2 Cor. viii. 19. "To travel with U8 with thi8 gloace, ",kick it Q,f/,mitti.uWBd (diakonoumma) by us to the glory of the same Lord."2 Cor.- viii. 20. " Which u admini8teretl (tlia1umOfMAena) by us."1 Tim. iii. 10. Cl Let these also first be proved; then let tksm ms tks ojJios of tI tleUOft, (tlioJumelt08o,n), being found blameleaa." 1 Tim. iii. 13 cc For they that have Ulell tM qfftce qf tJ dsacon (tlia1untuantu), well," &0. In the two preceding texts a new phase is givento the rendering of the original word; our trans-lators having turned the term into the "exercise ofthe deacons office," which they could readily dowhere it would especially suit tlleir purpose. Butupon the deaconship we shall dwell more at lengthin a ~ub8equent page.2 Tim. i. 18. "And in how many things he mlnut",sd unto (die1w1W6fl,) me at EphesU8."Pbil. 13. " That in thy 8tead he might M/VB miniatwed utato fn8 (tlia/unl,tJ) in the bonds of the Gospel."Beb. vi. 10. "In that ye lIave minutsred to (dioJuJuaMtea) the IlLinta and do minUttr (dialumotlntu). tt
  • 54 KINISTRY. [ CHAP. lIT.1 Pet. i. 12. cc But unto us they did, .ini8tw (tliekotaoun) the things which are D:OW reported." &c.1 Pet. iv. 10. "Even 10 minUtBr (d,ioJumountu) the same ODe to another;" i.e. be mutually 8mJiceabk one to another.1 Pet. iv. 11. "If any DUUl minl8tlf (tlitJJumsl,) let him do it. &e. § 6. tlia1con08. This word occurs in the New Testament thirtytimes. In twenty it is translated "ministers," iDseven, "servants," and in three, "deacons."Matt. XL 26. "Whosoever will be great among you" let him be your miniMer {dioAonoa}."Matt. xxii. 13. "Then said the king to the srt1a.u (ilia- Jumou), Bind him hand and foot."Matt. xxiii. 11. "He that is greatest among you sIian be your a,rvant (di0JuJn08).":Mark ix. 86. "If any man dflire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and 8ervant (tli41umoa), of all.":Mark x. 43. "Shall be your minister (dlaJumo8.)"John ii. 5. "His mother saith unto the l8r1am, (tlill1umoU)."John li. 9. "But the a,",ant, (tlia1umoi) whioh drew the. water knew."John xii. 26. "Where I am, there shall 8180 my ,,,,,,ani (ditJ,1r.onoa) be."Rom. xiii.4. "For he is the minWIf (dia1ttmn8) of God to thee for good." This is spoken of the oivil magistrate.Rom. xiii. 4. "For he is the mini8ter (dlaJumo8) of God, a revenger," &0.Rom. xv. 8. "Noy I lay that J eSU8 Christ was a minUt". (diakonol) of the circumcision for the truth of God."Rom. xvi. 1. "I commend unto you Phebe our sister which, is a atJMJfMt {tliokonoa} of the ohuroh whioh is at Cenchrea.,.1 Cor. ill. 5. "Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but mini8tBr8 (dialumoi) by whom ye believed !"2 Cor. ill. 6. "Who bath·also made us able min_er, (tlitJ- IuJnotu) of the New Testament."
  • SEc.6.J DUXONOS. 55SI Cor. vi. 4. "But in all things approving ourselves the minister (tlioJunwi) of God ;" i.s., as ,srt:aM8.2 Cor. xi. Ui. "It is no great thing tfbis minut61" (diakonoi) also be transformed as the "dnUter, of righteousness i" l.s., his WtJtmt8.2 Cor. xi. 28. "Are they tniniBter, (tlialumol) of Christ! . . . . . I am more." ,Gal. ii. 10;-. "Is therefore Ohrist the minUttlf (dia/umo,) of 8in?" Eph. iii. 7. "Whereof I was made a tni,.ilter {dioJumol} according to the gift," &to.Eph. vi. 21. e But that ye al80 may know my aftaira, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful miniattlf (tliaAon08) in the Lord shall make known. tt Phil. i. 1. "To all the saints in Chris Jesus whioh are at Philippi, with the bishops and deuom {dilJktJfWi8).tt Col. i. 7. "As ye al80 learned of Epaphras, our dear fellow servant who w for you. faithful minilt",. (ditJ1uwlM) of Christ." Com. ch. iv. 7.Col. i.23. "Whereof I Paul am made a .nUt". (tlitiJumol)." 80 al80 v. 20. 1 Thes. iii. 2. cc And sent Timotbeus, our brother and minllter (dialumo,) of God." I Tim. iii. 8... Likewile must the deaconl (dioAonotJ,I) be grave." &0. I Tim. iii. 12. "Let the tUtJCOfI,8 (tlialumoi) be the husbands of ODe wife.,t1 Tim. iv. 6. cc If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minilttlf (tJiaJumoI) of J eaU8 Christ.JJ These are very important instances of the usageof a word which in fact is descriptive of all Christsdeacons, ministe18, or servants. Anyone that servesOhrist is his tlitJ1cOflO. "I commend unto you Phebe,our sister, which is a MtJ1cOft08 of the church at Cen-chrea, (Rom. ni.I)." Even Bloom1ield, who seldom
  • 66 KmlSTBY. [ CH.u. III.fails, wherever an opportunity oceDn, to give a high church interpretation, says upon Rom. xii. 6, "The words tlialcOft08, tlitJlconein, and tlialconia, though general terms and used of the apostles *hemselvtl, are often, in the N ew TestameD~, used of some certain rpecific office undertaken in the cause of the Christian church and exer- cised by those Christians who did not BO much employ themselves in ezplaining tke doctrine, or the Gospel, as in fII,QNJgiIlg tke eztemal and t,m-po,.a~ affairB of the church and of individualB." This is a creditable conceuion for a member of that church which so emphatically teaches that tlellCOfl (tlialcono,) is the title of one of the orders of the teaching priesthood. It is one of the accumulated and irresistible testimonies to the fact, that the general import of the term, in all its branches, is ,enJictJ-,ermce of whatever kind-which is broughtinto requisition in building up the Lords church OD earth. But upon the usage of this term and on theoffice of deacon we shall have more to say shortly. In view of the ample array of passages nOlfadduced, is not the conclusion fair and unimpeach-able, that "miniBtef." MVW, in 0118 Bingle ~MlC6 i1ltke New Te,tament, means a clerical functiont1llY ;tkat "mini..try" has tM meaning of ,enJiclJ in everyi1l8taMe w1wrtJ it iB u:pre.w6 of tkB tlCtiDAI ofOA.,v- 0titmB; Mid ,,",, it freqtI8AtZg re/Br t~ ,BnJica oftllZ beZiltJ6r OIIe 0 MWtMr 1 This is our firm con..viction, and consequently we hold that the entireclerical system which has so long obtained in theChristian church has been, aB we have before ~
  • SBo.7.J OFFIOE OF DEACON. 51marked, the result of a process of t6cAnictlliang theimport of certain terms which were designed tobe taken in their more natural and ordinarysense. It is eMy to see how the operation ofcertain principles ot our fallen nature shouldhave led to the conversion, for instance, of theoriginal word for HnJtlnt into that of miflvtw 88implying ecclesiastical rule, and of the simpleword ovtw,eer into that of bUMp; and so of a multi-"tude of others, that have been made the ground-work of a pernicious system of hierarchy. § 7. Phe Office of Deacon. But in order to make the general subject yet plainer we must clear up some mistakes that have accumulated ar~und the word tlialcOfl08, which, in the English Bible, appears as "minister," "ser... vant," or "deacon," as it suited the object of the translators to render it. Let it then be remem- bered that the translators had a double task to. perform, not only to give an English version of the Scriptures, but BO to accomplish their task as not to disturb the ecclesi~tical order of their own communion. That this was the case we know by historical record; for King J ames expressly com- manded them not to change "the old ecclesias- tical words;" and in their preface attached to the larger Bibles, they thus express themselves: " We have avoided the scrupulosity of the Purit&1l8, who leave the old ecclesiastical words and betake them- selves to others." The effect of this caution. is most conspicuous in relation to the words "bishop,"
  • 58 MINISTRY. [CHAP. lIT. " overseer," " deacon," "minister," cc church," &e., &c.; but at present we have only to investigate their mode of dealing with the words, ministry, minister, service, servant, deacon; a mode of deal- ing which, with them, was almost a necessity, since in the preface " to the form and manner of making, ordaining, and consecrating bishops, priests and deacons," published in the larger prayer-books, we find this to be the first sentence, "It is evident-unto all men, diligent.", reading Holy ScriptUlrlJ MUlancient autluw" that, from the apostles time, therehave been these ortltJr, of miftiBttJrB, in Christschurch; bishops, priests, and deacons." Here is anappeal to Scripture, together with "ancient authors,"in support of the three orders of. the EstablishedChurch: we may, therefore, conjecture how theclerical translators would handle the text, when itpresented difficulties in the way of their system. Dialcono8, a word employed thirty times in thethe New Testament, has not, in a single instancein the original, the technical and official meaning ofeither a deacon or a minister. The dialc0ft08 of theNew Testament, when used in reference to theChurch of God, is a person who, in any way, isserving God. In two instances it is applied toexpress an ordinary domeltic seryant. "His mothersaid unto the ,BnJcmt, ••••• tle ,enJcmtB whichdrew the water." (John n. 5, 9.) And in Rom.xiii. 4, the ruler or magistrate is called "tI ,tJrftMI(diakonos) of God." The passages adduced will be sufficient to showthat the dialcono8 of the Greek text is a word gene-
  • SEC. 7.] OFFICB OF DEACON. 69rally expressive of lIenJice, and that to translate itdeacon or miAuter in one passage, whilst in anotherit is rendered IIBrVtJAt, is not to represent the truemeaning of the original, but rather the ecclesiasticalprejudices of the translators. And ~ fact, the word, deacon," &8 descriptive of a special office, though,making a conspicuous figure in the English Bible, hasno existence in the original, as will clearly appearfrom what follows. The origin of the deacons officeis generally traced to the transaction recorded inthe sixth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, wherethe whole church at Jerusalem, by the advice ofthe apostles, selected seven men "full of the HolyGhost and wisdom " to superintend the service ofthe tables, and to silence the murmurings of some,who thought that " their widows were neglected inthe daily ministration." The church chose sevenholy men for this duty; and when they werechosen, the apostles prayed and laid their hands onthem. But no mention is here made that thesepersons were called deacons; nor in any otherplace of the New Testament is this implied. Itbad reference to local and temporary circumstances,namely, the common table of the saints at J ern-salem; and as we read of no such peculiar circum-stances in any of the other churches, so must ithave ceased when the necessity ceased to which itowed its existence. This is discoverable by a closeattention to the text, which, from the original, is tobe thus read-" Look out among you seven men ofhonest report, whom we will appoint for this /Nee,-lit,." In the English Bible we read it "this busi-
  • 60 lIINI8TBY. [OHAP. fir.ness;" but the word is cArBUJ, which, though itoccurs upwards of forty times in the New Testa-ment, is, in every instance but this, uniformlyrendered "need" or "necesaity." Now the dif-ference in the translation is important; as it8tands, "over this business," it leaves a generalimpression that c, the deacons" were appointed totake care of the poor in the church; but translate itcorrectly" for this necessity," and ,then it will ap-pear that it was a peculiar exigency-that the serviceof the common table at Jerusalem at that time re-quired special attention and care; and that, forthat necessity, and in order to prevent a spirit ofiliscontent arising amongst the multitude of be-lievers, they thought it expedient to choose. sevenapproved brethren, to whose wisdom and grace theymight leave all the arrangement and ordering of avery onerous duty. There are indeed, some who, perceiving that theseven were appointed for a special purpose, and thatconsequently their special duties must have ceasedwith the circumstances which called them forth,nevertheless contend that the general duty ofdistribution may have devolved on the Seven, andthat we may .conjecttwfJ that an office similiar tothat of the Seven would be created elsewhere.But to this we reply, that "the general dutyof distribution" W88 not considered the specialprovince of the Seven, for in Acts xi. 29, 30, we aretold that the disciples at Antioch, "every manaccording to his ability, determined to send relief (or service, ditJlconitm) unto the brethren which
  • SEo.7.J OFFICE OF DEACON. 61 dwelt in J udea~ which al~o they did, and sent it to eM EldtJr, by the hands of Barnabas and Saw." • • • • cc And Barnabas and Saw returned from Jerusalem when they had fulfilled their ,ennu (tlialconian)." (xii. 25.) Now the collection heremade (and doubtless that also referrred to in Rom. xv. 26), was not aent to the Seven, 88 the general distributors or bursars-general of the church, but to tluJ tJldw.; and it is moreover apparent from Acts xv. 2, 22, 28, that the elders were distinct from the apostles; hence we conclude, ,that the general ministry of distribution fell rather within the pro- vince of the elders. In what other place then in the New Testament shall we find "the deacon" and his "office P" In Pauls Epistle to Timothy, our translators have given it a being: "likewise must the deacons be grave;" "let the deacons be the husbands of one wife" (1 Tim. iii.); and still more conspicuously, " let these al80 first be proved; then let tkem Ul8 tie ojJice of(J tleQ,C()fl" being found blameless." (v. 10.) But, as in the first instances, "the deacon" should be "the servant," or, if you will, "the minister," taking care that no clmcal meaning is attached to the word; 80 in this instance " the office of a deacon" is wholly ideal: in the original it is, "let,them 8tJNJe, or be in .ervics." Again, verse 18, instead of "They that have used tns ojJic8 of (J Macon well purchase to themselves a good degree," it should read thus, "~ey that have 8fWverJ well secure to themselves a good step." So that the only passages in the New Testament where, in the autho-
  • 62 . KmISTBY. [CHAP. fil. rized version, we find "the office of a deacon," wholly fail to support it; and the term itself, when examined by the original, tums out to be the in. vention of the tranalators, introduced into the text to take the place of a word expressing quite another idea! But this may be put still clearer, for a, few versesfurtber on the translators have again found the word tlialcDnOl j but there they give it another meaning." If thou put the brethren in remembrance of thesethings, thou shalt be a good miniBter of Jesus Christ." (iv. 6.) Why then is the worq in this verse nottranslated " deacon," when it had twice before beenso presented to us P Apparently for this reason,that as Timothy is, by the Episcopalians, pro-nounced to be "Bishop of Epheslls" (yea, by somedeclared to be "Primate of all Asia ")-his prelatictitles would have disappeared if he had been calleda "deacon" by the apostle Paul. We see ~henthat deacon is an arbitrary word; that the originalword means simply any servant of the Lord inthe church; and that the translators introduce orkeep back the official "deacon" as it happens tosuit their purpose. If" they who serve well"(1 Tim. iii. 18), are " deacons," then 88suredly wasTimothy himself a deacon (iv. 16); but if he wasnot a, deMon, but only a servant of the Lord in thechurch, then "they who se:JVed well" were notofficial deacons, but servants of the Lord in thechurch as was also Timothy. In 1 Thess. iii. 2,Timothy is again mentioned as dialconoB. After this, need we hesitate to pass judgment
  • SEc.7.J OFFICE 0:1 DEA.CON. 68 on the mistakes that exist on this subject? In the ordination of deacons in the Church of Eng- land, the bishop is made to say, that cc it apper- taineth to the office of a deacon to assist the priest in divine service, specially when he ministereth the holy communion; to read the Scriptures and homilies in the church, to teach children the church catechism, to baptise infants, in tkB tih8tmCe of tAB-priest, to preach, if licensed 80 to do by the bi,shop, and to point out the poor and sick of the parish to the curate, in order that the curate may exhort his parishioners to relieve them I" And all this we are gravely told is the office of the deacon, as appointed by the apostles, and recorded in the sixth chapter of Acts! The Non-Conformists too have gone astray in their endeavours to realize" the deacons office." They are not indeed agreed amongst themselves whether" the deacons office" is to be traced to the sixth chapter of Acts; but they pretty generally affirm that the care of the poor is the proper duty of this officer. cc I affirm," says the author of the OAurck Memher8 Guide, "that the table of the poor is the deacons appropriate and exclusive duty. Whatever is conjoined with this is e~tra-dialc()fl,al service, and vested in the individual mere}y for the sake of utility."-The same writer further sa1s- "the deacons, from their being officers in the church, . . • • will be considered by every wise and prudent minister as his privy council in his spiritual government, and should always be ready
  • KmIBTBY. [CHAP. afford him, in a modest, respectful, and unobtru- sive manner, their advice." This last sentence could scarcely be put into Scripture language; for in making the attempt weshould thus read it: "The tlialconoi, from theirbeing officers in the church, . • . • will be con-sidered by every wise and prudent tlialcOfto" &c. ItTradition has separated the deacon and the minister,but in the New Testament they are one and thesame word; and indeed so fully does tlialconia meanany service in the church, that, a8 used in theScripture, it is a synonyme also for" the office of abishop," as the English translators have fallaciol1s1yrendered. Compare Acts i. 17 with verse 20 ofthe sam~ chapter. By this examination of Scripture we are nowcoming to daylight where much darkness had beenallowed to settle, and we are beginning to ascertainthat "ministry" is all manner of service in thespiritual government of the church of God: that" ministers" and "deacons" are simply servants:and that any believer, man or woman, who 8erve~the Lord and his people, is a deacon or aminister. Paul was, in this sense, a deacon, minister, orservant (2 Cor. xi. 23; Eph. iii. 7; Col. i. 23);and so also were Timothy, (1 Thess. iii. 2; 1 Tim.iv. 6); and Phebe (Rom. xvi. 1); and ApolloB(1 Cor. ill. 5); and Tyehieus (Eph. vi. 21); andall those who were in the service of the Lord in .the church at Philippi (Phil. i. 1.) And indeed,
  • SEC. 8.] HUPEEnETEES. 65if we may imitate the translators of the EnglishBible, and coin the term "deacons office" out ofthe verb diakOlleo, then all believers that have re-ceived the gift are to exercise the deacons officeone to another, 1 Pet. iv. 10; and then also thereare diversities of deacons offices (1 Cor. xii. 5.) There is in the Greek one word for "deacon,""minister," "servant," &c.; that word is dialctm08:let, then, anyone word that the enquirer may bepleased to select be taken as a translation of thatword,-and let it be uniformly adhered to in everyinstance where the word dialcono8 appears in theoriginal. § 8. Ministry a.a inplied in the terln kupeeretee8. " lIinistry," however, makes its appearance in the English Bible through the medium of another word, which Inust not be overlooked. That word is kupeerctecs, and in four instances .it is so trans- lated as to carry with it a clerical meaning. Hupeeretees, is, in its primary meaning, an under- ro:-er, one who sat in the rowers bench of the ancient trireme-vessels, under the command of a~uperior officer; but in its secondary sense it is any inferior officer, chiefly of the civil court:s, the apparitor, sergeant, or constable; also any servant, official or domestic, state-servant or house-servant; and lastly, anyone who renders ser~ice in anymatter or duty. In the Gospels the word is frequently translated" officer" or "servant." Thus: F
  • 66 KINISTBT. [CHAP. rn.}[att. v. 25. Lest "the judge delh"er thee to the # " (kupeerstse).")lark xiv. 54. "Peter followed )Jim ••••• e,"en into the palace of the high pri~st, and he sat lVill" the ael-Vo,11t8 (flleta ton Ituple,.eton). In the following instances, however, we find itrendered minister :Luke i. 2. ., Which from the beginning were eye-witnesses and, minilter, of t1,,8 1l7O1-d (l1,upeeretai tOfl, logou);" equivalent, according to Kuinoel, to aOl1it, of the affair, recorded.Acta xiii. 6. "And they had also John to their mini8ter (ku- pesr8teen);" i.e. assistant in service.Acts xxvi. 16. "I have appeared unto thee ••••• to make thee a minilter, (ll1/peereteen, aervant) and 8 witness." .1 Cor. iv. 1. "Let a mon 80 uccount of us as of the minuim·, (kupeeretfU,8ervant,) of Christ, and stewards of the mys- :teries of God. U This latter text is probably often read, thoughunconsciously, aB one of the clerical passages of theNew Testament; yet when closely examined andcompared with others, it appears to be of rather anopposite tendency. We do indeed often hear theclergy tell us that they are "stewards of mysteries"and "ministers of Christ;" but here the ministeris simply the servant, and we must not forget thatPeter gives the stewardship to all believers; "asevery man hath received the gift, so minister thesame one to another, as good stewards of the mani.fold grace of God." (1 Pet. iv. 10.) Dr. Arnold, in his "Miscellanies," p. 22, 23, has shown that " mysteries" here are the mysteries or profoundtruths of the kingdom, and not the sacraluents Of
  • SEc.9.J IKPOSITION OF HANDS. 67Baptism and the Lords Supper as frequentlyunderstood. § 9. Imponti01l of HaMs. We have now only to examine the last strong- hold of the cleriealsystem-tbe imposition of hands, a subject which affects the whole order of the clergy and all its accompaniments. So great indeedis the influence of this ceremony on the minds ofmany, that they consider the whole question of thesacerdotal order clearly established by the instancesof imposition of hands recorded in the New Testa-ment; and it must· be confessed that the Papists,the Episcopalians, the Presbyterians, the Indepen-dents,- and the Wesleyans, are in accord on thissubject. Imposition of hands creating (J clericalorder, they all discover in the Scriptures; onlythey cannot agree amongst themselves who are thetrue clergy, and by which of them the ceremonyis most accurately performed. But granting that there is any truth in thatwhich has been already argued, then it must beobvious that the "ministry" of the New Testamentdiffers so widely from any existing ministerialorder that we need not be very solicitous to inquire • In formal words the Dissenters do Dot allow that theycreate a clerical ol·der; but all their practices and theirhabitual language cltJarly show that they think they have aclergy; their ministers are called clergymen, and alwaysclaim the title of Reverend. They distinguish also veryaccurately between "the secular" and " the sphitual" offioersof their churches-the deacon. office they tell us is lecula,·,and the ministers apiritual. 12
  • 68 llI:NISTBY. [CHAP. Ill. about" a regular ministry, ordained by imposition of hands;" for unless the advocates of the clerical order can succeed in setting aside these statements from the New Testament, then is their system virtually undermined. But let us, nevertheless, for arguments 8~e, waive any preceding proofs, and very briefly examine the popular theory of "an ordained ministry." Now, according to this theory, the regular minister has been ordained "to preach the Gospel, and administer the S8cra.. mente," by virtue of the imposition of hands of a clerical body already existing. Let us advert to-both these points in detail. § 10. AilminilltBring tAB Sacrame·ni,. As to "administering the sacraments" the term is wholly unknown in scripture. There are no " sacraments" in the New Testament. The churches. of Rome and England talk much of "the sacra- ments;" and the dissenters, cOPJing those churches, or rather retaining the practices which they received originallyfrom Rome through the church ofEngland, enlarge on the mysterious theme; but the Chris- tian who is guided by the Scriptures need not trouble himself about any theological language which he cannot find in them. As for baptism, which they call one of the sacraments, there is no scripture proof that it was performed by any "minister," taking this word even in the wide sense of diakon08. The bap.. tiem of the converts in the house of Cornelius was not performed by any" minister," for, as far as ,ve are informed, the only" minister" present was
  • SEC. 10.] ADKINISTEBIXG SACRAMENTS. 69Peter, and he "commantkiJ them to be baptized"(Acts x. 48); that is, he did not baptize them him-self: and though doubtless the traditional schoolwould assure us that cc the certain brethren from~oppa" who accompanied Peter (verse 23) wereclergymen, and "administered the sacrament ofbaptism" on that occasion, yet no such statementappears in Scripture; and therefore it may bedismissed with other kindred errors. Neitheris there any evidence that the presence of aminister, or an elder, or a bishop, was cODsideredindispensable in those meetings of the believers,,vhen, on the first day of the week, they assembledto break bread. Paul gives many directions to theCorinthians concerning those meetings j" but henever once names or even alludes to any elder,bishop, or ordained minister, as likely to be presenton those occasions. Ifthere were elders in the churchof Corinth, they would of course break bread withthe rest; but 80 little did Paul know about" ordainedministers administering the sacrament" that heneither names the minister nor the sacrament; andhow this omission can be accounted for, if in thosedays there were either" ordained ministers" or"sacraments," we see Dot. Let those who can, ex-plain this difficulty. . The ecclesiastical phraseology of "administeringthe sacrament of the Lords Supper" is in vainsqught for in the New Testament. The LordsSupper is thus described there, " Upon the first dayof the week when the disciples came together tobreak bread." (A.cts xx. 7.) And this simple state-
  • 70 KINI8TBY. [ClU.P. lIT.~ent, made if possible still more simple by Paulsallusions to the mode of meeting in the Oorintbianchurch (see 1 Oor. xi. 20-84), ought to be sufficientto dissipate all our ideas about ceremonies andclergymen in the observance of the Lords Supper~The truth is this: on the :first day of the weekthe brethren met together to break bread; andif in those meetings ministers, that is dialconi,were present, or if elders were of the number,they would take the bread and wine amongst therest; but neither the sacrament nor the clergyhad then been invented. In the second centuryof church-history, they begin to make their ap-pearance. § 11. p,.eacnmg tu Go8pel. Then, as to "preaching the Gospel," no suchfaculty was conveyed by any imposition of hands or any ordination; for if that bad been the case,then of course no other door to preaching the Gospel could have been opened. Now to theexistence of unordaiiled preachers we have a direct testimony: "Saul made havoc of the church,entering into every house, and haling men andwomen, committed them to prison. Therefore they .t~t were scattered abroad went everywhere preach-ing the word." (Acts viii. 3,4.) Was this an irre-gular antI uncanonical proceeding P Of course allclergymen are bound to declare that it was, becausethese preachers had not received "holy orders ;t~but. the Scriptures here, as in many other ecclesias-tical questions, disagree with the clergy, for it is
  • SEo.11.] PREACIIING THE GOSPEL. 71written further, "Now they which were scatteredabroad upon the persecution that arose aboutStephen, travelled 88 far as • . . . . Antioch, preach-ing the word ..••. 4nd the hand of tne Lord wutDitA them: and a great number believed, and tumetltmto t},e Lord." (xi. 19-21.) Now if this had been irregular, not only wouldthe in~pired writer have ~arked it with disapproba-tion, but the then existing church would assuredlyhave corrected the practice, and laid down some~on ag~inst "lay preaching." But not so; forthe "tidings of these things came unto the ears-of the church: . • . • . and they sent forth Bar-nabas, that he should go as far as Antioch: who,.when he came, and nail ,een tke grace of God.tofU glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose.of heart they would cleave unto the Lord-" (verses~2-24.) This narrative, if duly weighed, destroys the whole fabric of a "regular ministry ordained to preach the gospel;" and it brings us to this point, that" the churches of these days will not tolera~ practices in which the believers of the apostolical-era greatly rejoiced, and which drew forth the com- mendation and thankfulness of "good men whowere full of the Holy Ghost and of faith." Woul~·the Church orEngland, under similar circumstances,;Send forth its cc lay members" to preach the Gospel? Did it do 80 in the time or the Commonwealth, whenrthe hand or power bore heavily on the episcopal,party P Has the Church of Rome ever authorizedj>reaching by any but clergymen? or would it, o~
  • 72 MINISTRY. [CHAP. I l l .could it, under any circumstances, tolerate such anirregularity P Do the Dissenters generoJIy en-courage "lay-men" to preach in their chapels P Iflay-men were allowed to assume this ministerial pre-rogative, it would supersede the clergy, disenthronethe oligarchy of the pulpit, and bring to noughtthat" official distinction and authority," which weare assured is not always sufficiently valued in theirordained ministers, =I though" they are appointed asliving oracles to announce, and as ministers of thetemple to interpret, the utterances and will 01God." (Discourse8 of Robt. MA-lI, LL.D., i. 421.) In the Pontifical of the" Church of Rome we findthat the bishop, in the ordination of a clergyman,confers the power of preaching when he grantsdeacons orders; and that in the previous gradesof .doorkeeper, reader, exorcist, acolythe and sub-deacon, this privilege is withheld. In conferringdeacons orders, the bishop says, "Dearly belovedSOll, as thou art now to be promoted to the Leviticalorder, deeply ponder to what a degree in the chlrch"thou art approaching, for a deacon ought to be aminister at the altar, to baptize and to preach."And in the Church of England, the bishop says tothe deacon, "Take thou authority to read the • Gospel in the church of God, and to preach thesame, if thou he thereto licen8ea by tAe bishop." ." It is mr decided conviction, that in some of our churches-the pastor is depressed far below his j nst level. He is con-sidered merely in the light of a speaking brother. He bus no·official distinction and autbority." Ckwck Members G"ide~p.57.
  • BEC. 12.] ORDINATIOX. 73This is mans system, but it is otherwise in the in-spired volume. § 12. 01·dination. The case of Apollos (Acts xviii. 24), is exactlyto the point. He was cc an eloquent man, andmighty in the Scriptures . . . . . instructed in the-way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit,.he spake and taught diligently the things of the-Lord." This was his ordination, "I have believed,and therefore have I spoken;" and this is theordina~ion that a Christian, instructed by the wordlJ:.of Scripture, is..called upon to own-the ordinationof faith through the Holy Spirit. " We having thesame spirit Df faith, according as it is written, Ibelieved, and therefore have I spoken; we alsobelieve, and therefore speak." (2 Cor. iv. 13.) This also was the ordination of others whom Paulmentions, "I beseech you, brethren (ye know thehouse of Stephanas, that it is the first fruits ofAchaia, and that they have addicted tkemselveB tut1lelniniBtr!l [dia7conia] of the saints), that ye submityourselves unto such, and to every one that helpethwith us, and laboreth." (1 Cor. xvi. 15, 16.) Thisis remarkable; "the house of Stephanas" is a verywide expression; the whole family had addictedth~mselves to the ministry; they had not beenordained to this ministry by canonical sanctions,but had, without the help of a bishopJ or of thepresbytery,. taken upon themselves "the sacredfunctions." Besides this, they had not only addicted • See page 84.
  • KIN1STBY. [CHAP. m.themselves, but ordained themselves; for so thetranslators were bound to render the word eta:ean,if they had had any regard to consistency. InRomans xiii. 1, they 80 give it, "The powers thatbe are ordained of God; It but here the trans1&-"tion is changed, and a meaning is given which theoriginal will scarcely bear. To these irregularministers Paul requires that the Corinthians should:submit themselves, and not only to them, but to allwho, like them, had helped in the service of the-Gospel. Such is the ordination of the Scriptures,which the translators keep back where it might properly appear, or bring forward where there is no authority for it, as in Acts i. 22, "Must one be.ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrec- tion." The ecclesiastical phrase, ~ordained to be,"is wholly wanting in the ~riginal. The word is-simply gene8tkai, and we should read the passagethus, "Wherefore of these men which have com- panied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out amongst us • • . . . must one be a witness with us of his resurrection." Remembering, then, that the words "ordinati~n".and "ordain," when used in matters of sacred ]m. port, are "liable to be misunderstood, and thoughthey will carry the signification of "appointment,Uyet that, by juxta-positionwith certain circumstancesrecorded, they may convey the idea of clerical COft;--8ecration, we shall easily perceive how these ambi- guous words in the English translation of the Scrip-- tures are calculated to mislead the unsuspecting reader. In Titu8 i. 5, we read thus, "I left
  • 1S:lC. 12.J OBDINATION. 75thee in Crete that thou shouldest . . • . . ordainelders in every city as I had appointed thee."This certain!y looks not a little like canonical.consecration or ordination, and we know that thetext is continually quoted by its supporters inorder to establish the clerical theory; but thewords of the original will by no means bear suchan interpretation, as we shall presently see. Theword "ordain" is the rendering of the verb katkia-teemi, meaning "to appoint, U "to make," "to con-stitute." In the following instances it is so trans-lated:Matt. xxv. 21. "I will make (kattuttuo) thee ruler over many things."Luke xii. 14. "Who mad8(katmeel6) me a judge or a divider over you."Rom. v. 19. "As by one mans disobedience many ",et-6 made (kat,lIatkuan) ainDers, 10 by the obedience of one ,IUUJ many be mad8 (kataatatkuomia) righteous."Acts vi. S. "Look out •••• seven men • _ • • whom ye may .Qppoint (katute80men) over this business." . Such being the usage of the word and its truemeaning, we can at once perceive how the render-ing it by .the word ordain, in TitU8 i. 5, i8 calculatedto make U8 suppose that Titue did, by clericalconsecration, ordain certain elders; whereas he onlyIIppointed them, where churches already existed,selecting those individuals who were 8pirituallygifted for superintendence-in fact recognizing th8gift; for it was "the gift," and not Titus, whioh-determined what the men were to be; and accord-ing to that gift, whatever it might be, must they
  • 76 KL--nSTBY. [ CHA.P. Ill..exercise their ministry; hence Paul enjoins Timothynot to neglect "the gift It which he had recei ved~and which was given him by prophecy and the·laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Timothyreceived a gift; but what that particular gift mighthave been, we are not informed. The persons whom Titus appointed ,,·ere theelders or overseers, or, to use an ecclesiasticalword, bishopB, for this is the name given to themin the next verse; and it is worthy of remark,that this very passage, which is much quotedby the Episcopalians as one particularly fortify-ing the views of their party, does in fact sadlydamage the diocesan theory; for ,,·e find thatTitus is appointing overseers or bishops in everycity or town in Crete: not one bishop for thewhole island to rule " the diocese of Crete,"but bishops, that is, more than one, perhapsmany, in BlJe19 city, and that by Pauls express desire! Crete is an island about two hundred and seventy miles long and fifty miles broa.d, and in the days of Paul contained a hundred cities;· as, therefore, the direction given to Titus was to appoint bishops in every city, there must have been a very large number of them in the island-far too large to allow the diocesan system elbow-room. Indeed, it is manifest that "the bishop" of the Scriptures could have had a diocese only 88 large 88 the city or town in which he dwelt; though even there his diocese must have been divided, for Paul speaks of these elde18 or bishops in the plural • PUn. iv. 12. Mela ii. 14. Solin, xvi.
  • -SEC. 12.J ORDINATION. 77number, "Elders in every city," more than one-in fact, us many as baeI received gifts for theoffice! Neither is this a solitary confutation of thediocesan theorJ1, for we read elsewhere that Paul-and Barnabas chose elders in every church inLycaonia (Acts xiv. 28.) To return, however, to the passage in question,we conclude that it ought to be translated-CC Forthis cause I left thee in Crete, that thon shouldest • • . • .. appoint elders in every city, as I had·directed thee." The original is translated "ordain n in otherpassages where clerical consecration might thereby seem to be implied. cc Every high priest takenttom among men iB ordained for men in things pertaining to God." (Heb. v. 1.) "Every high priest is ordained to oft"er gifts and sacrifices" (Heb. viii. 3); and yet, in another text, relating to the same subject, in the same Epistle, this"Word is truly translated, "The law maketl men high priests which have infirmity" (vii. 28).•CC Ordination" was not here wanted, as it speaks not of priests ordaining priests. N either is thisto be considered a small and unimportant matter; for when we find in one place of Scripture that·TitUB Cl ordained n elders or bishops in the cities of Crete, and in another that the high priest was ~( ordained" to make offerings and sacrifices, is it surprising that the unsuspecting reader should connect the two ordinations together, and find in the ordination of the high priest something-very like the ordination of the bishop P A careful
  • 78 KIlUSTBY. [ OHAP. Ill.examination or the text does, however, immediatelydissipate the fallacy, and brings before us quiteanother meaning. But the clerical consecration, through the instru-mentality of the word" ordain, n appeBls also in thetranslation given of the word ckeirotoneo. " And,vhen they (Paul and Barnabas) had ordained themelders in every church, and had prayed with fasting,they commended them to the Lord on whom theybelieved." (A.cts xiv. 23.) Here, doubtless" i~is generally understood that Paul and Barnabasconsecrated elders into the clerical office; but letus see how "ordination," thus ingeniously intro-duced through this word, is, in the only otherpassages where it occurs, evaded. "Him God raisedup the third day and showed him openly, not toall the people, but unto witnesses chosen before (ckeirotonemenois) of God." (A.cts x. 41.) Whynot "ordained before of God;" or if " chosen" werethe right word here, why was it the wrong one inthe other passages? . But again; we have Bent "Titus who was ch08en. (ckeirotonetkeis) of the churches to travel with us. n (2 Cor. viii. 19.) This is truly remarkable; thetranslators will allow Paul and Barnabas to C4 ordain" elders, but they will not permit the churches to ordain Titus-h the bishop of Crete;" in fine, on this subject, by bringing forward or keeping back the word "ordain" they make the Scriptures say whatever harmonizes with their own system. It is worthy of observatioD, in passing, that
  • SEC. 12.] ORDINATION. 79though our translators have not recognized theordination of TitU8 by the churches, they: have notbeen able to suppress the unmanageable fact, thatMatthias was chosen or " ordained" into theapostolical office by the one hundred and twentydisciples at Jerusalem, some of whom were women(Acts i. 14, 15, 26),- a fact which, if dulyconsidered, must for ever vitiate the origin of theapostolical office, as it is represented to us by theEpiscopalians. The apostolical office, they tell us, isperpetuated in their bishops, and the translatorshave done their utmost to support this theory byma.king Judas 8 bishop (Acts i. 20); but evengranting all this to be true, then it follows thatthe first bishop, after our Lord;s departure, was" ordained" by tke disciples at Jerusalem: fromwhich we draw the conclusion, that if the fountain-beacl is of this nature, the whole stream that flowsfrom it ought to partake of the same elements. One more instance may suffice: "And he or-dained (epoiese) twelve, that they should be withhim, and that he might send them forth to preach. n (Mark ill. 14.) This was obviously an importantplace in which to introduce "ordination": it is therecord of our Lords choosing the twelve apostles; and the fact is here described as if our Lord had,in some )vay, conferred ordination as a neces- sary preliminary to preaching the Gospel. But " ordain" is here the unwarranted translation of aword which simply means to make or do: it occurs some hundred times in the New Testament, buthas no where else been thus rendered. If a
  • .so 1IINISTRY. [ CHAP. Ill• secondary and figurative meaning were required for the word, " appoint" was obviously that which ought to have been selected, according to the sense in Rev. i. 6, "luJB 1nade (epoieBen, appointed) us kings and priests." Calvin has, however, thus ex- pressed the meaning_CC Et fecit ut duodecim essent .secum, et ut emitteret eos ad prredicandum." Having thus unravelled some of the intricacies. .of this qutstion, it may be instructive to observe how the Scriptures have been perverted in order to perpetuate a delusion. "Vhen our Lord," .says Bishop Beveridge, "had died and risen from the grave, and when he was about to ascend into heaven, he promoted his apostles into the episco- ~acy, that he might leave behind him the c01l8ervatOi~8 ofni8 own place. The first form ofthis episcopal con- secration is recorded in John xx. 21, 22: where J esU8 .says to his apostles who ,vore all collected together- , P~acc be unto you: as my Father has sent me, even so send I you; and when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them Receive )re the Holy Ghost. I confess that our Lord bnd before this ordained his apostles, but only to preach the Gospel, .and to confirm it ,vith miracles. (Mark iii. 18, 14; Matt. x. 1.) But now for the first time after his resurrection, He says, As the Father has sent me, so send I you. From which it most clearly appears, that by this 8econ~ and last or&ation, celebrated as it were by many cere- monies, the apostles were advanced to a higher .grade than they enjoyed before, or rather (as far as .relates to the faculty of ordaining and exerci~iDg
  • SBc.12.J OBDINATION. 81ecclesiastical discipline) to that very grade intowhich Christ himself had been consecrated by theFather. By the virtue of their first ordination,therefore, the apostles preached the Gospel; but by this last consecration they were made bishops,and so, supplying upon earth the place of theirabsent Lord, they did themselves create otherbishops." Mark the fatal error of this passage! For theprelate, in bis anxiety to establish ceremonies ofconsecration and worldly mitres, has forgotten orconcealed the fact that, on the occasion recordedin J.ohn xx. 21, 22, and on which he builds hiswhole theory, TkOllUa, one of tns -pOBtla, fDIUtib,tmt; for it follow8 immediately-CC but Thornu,one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesuscame." So, that according to this interpretation ofthe prelate, Thomas, a favourite apostle with theEpiscopalians, would receive no cc faculty of and exercising discipline," and consequentlymust have lost his station "as a conservator of theplace of Ohrist," to the no small demment of cc theap08tolical succession," and all its assumed benefitsand p~rogative8. A word furtber 88 to imposition of hands; takethe following instance, which is much urged byclergymen: "Now there were in tbe church thatwas at Antioch certain prophets and teachers . . 81they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the HolyGhost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saw for thework whereunto I have called them; and whenthey had fasted and prayed, and laid eMir ~ 011 G
  • 82 MINISTRY. [CHAP. fil. em, they s~nt them away." (Acta xiii.) Here then, if this instance is of any avail, it ought to be shown that Paul and Barnabas had never preached the Gospel before; that they never had been sent forth before on the ministry or service of the Lord ; and that on this occasion they, for the :first time,received a license "to preach the Gospel, and ad- minister the sacraments." We find, however, in Acts ix, an account of Pauls having preached a longtime, not less than seven years, before this event:nay, both Paul and Barnabas had been preachingin .A.ntiock a whole year, and had been sent by thedisciples of that city to J eruss,lem, with a collection made for the brethren in Judes (xi. 80); so thattheir ministry, not only elsewhere, but remarkablyin ihis very Antioch, had been for a long time tole- rated without the" imposition of hands." Again, ifthis was indeed an " ordination " of Paul, we find the teachers and prophets ordaining an apostle!- afact that would sadly derange the theory of the apostolical succession, which assumes that ·our Lord alone ordained the apostles, and the apostles or- dained the clergy. Moreover, it would reverse the order of precedence as set forth in Scripture, "God hath set some in the chtnCh, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers" (1 Cor. xii. 28), whereas, in this narrative, supposing Paul and Barnabas to have been ordained by imposition oC hands for the ministry, the order would have been "fir" prophets and teachers, a8condtwily apostles.", this seDding forth of Paul and Barnabas
  • SEo.12.] ORDINATION. 83was by the Holy Ghost (Acts xiii. 4); and whereis that power of ordination now P The bishops in the Romish and English communions do indeed profess to convey the Holy Gho8t in their cere- monies of ordination; but we know that this is an assumption without any foundation. The Presby- terians and Dissenters do not now pro/us to convey any spiritual gift, ordinary or extraordinary, by their imposition of hands; and therefore they practice 8 ceremony without power or meaning.; but in the days of the apostles empty ceremonies were not performed. Again, the apostle Paul, in his Epistle to the Galatians, takes pains to make them understand that he did not owe his ministry to .any ordination or appointment of man, "I neither received it (the Gospel) of man, neither was I taught it, ..... but when it pleased God . • . . • to reveal his Bonin me, that I might preach him among the heathen;immediately I conferred not with Hesh and blood [that is, I consulted not with any man, nor did Ifollow any mans advice, order, or direction]:neither went I up to Jeruwem to them whichwere apostles before me; but I w~nt into Arabia.• . . . . Then after three years I went up to J ern-salem to see Peter, and abode With him fifteendays. But other of the apostles. saw I none, saveJames the Lords brother." This is indeed aplain statement; and it clearly shows that Paulthought nothing of any appointment of man,though that man might be an apostle. Accord-ing to the Bucce.lion theory, the apostles were th~ G 2
  • 84 llINI8TRY. [CHAP. Ill. fountain of all lawful authority for ministry; but Paul. Bought not that fountain; nay, he takes pains to inform us that he kept clear of it: therefore, 8S he was not ordained by the apostles, we may be quite sure he waa not ordained, several years after- wards, when he had been previously long engaged in the ministry, by the prophets and teachers of Antioch. Another pusage in the Scripture is frequently wrested from its true meaning to prove ordination by imposition of hands. It is in Pauls Epistle to Timothy, cc Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with tls ltJging on oftA8 hOlfl,u of the presbytery" (1 Tim. iv. 14); and again, 11 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God which is in thee by.tllB puttmg on ofmg1uMuJ8." (2 Tim. i. 6). What then was this gift ? A license to preach the Gospel and to administer the sacraments P Oertainly not: it was the gift-ckariMna--of the Holy Ghost, which was conveyed to Timothy, 8S it would appear, by the laying on of the hands of Paul and the elders: and we know that this power did exist in those days; for we find that Peter and John, after praying that the Samaritan converts mi~ht receive the gift, laid cc their karulB on them, and they re- ceived the Holy Ghost; and when Bimon saw that through laying on of the apostles hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, saying, GiVB me al80 thiB pOWfW, that on whomsoever I lay hands he may receive the Holy Ghost." (Acts viii. 18.) And again, at Ephesus, :Paul found certain disciples
  • SEC. 12.] ORDINATION. 85who knew only of Johns baptism: on these Chris-tians, after they had been baptized in the name of;1esus, Paul laid his hands, and then "the Holy.Ghost came upon them, and they spake with ton~gues and prophesied." (Acts xix. 6.) It wasdoubtless some such gift 8S this which Timothy hadreceived; perhaps the gift of tongues or of pro-phecy, or the power of working miracles, "signsand wonders," any or all of these, or some, of which perhap9 there is no record left: andthis word charisma, which Paul uses in allusion totbis gift imparted to Timothy, is the specific termfor the gifts which the Holy Ghost then conferred on the church. (See Rom. i. 11; xii. 6; 1 Cor. i. 7 ; xii. 4, 9, 28, 80.) If then Timothy was ordained into the clerical order by imposition of hands, 80 also were the Samaritan converts and the" certain disciples" at Ephesus; for they likewise received a gift by impo. sition of hands: and indeed the advocates of the clerical system, if they would build anything on the case of. Timothy, ought boldly to assert that the Samaritan and Ephesian disciples were ordained either priests or deacons. But in relation to this question we do not find Pauls first " ordination" is ever brought forward; which, after all, but for one inconvenient circum- stance, might be more plausibly referred to than any other. Thus it is recorded :-" Ananias ..... entered into the house; and putting kiB kands on kim [Paul] said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou
  • 86 lIINISTBY. [CHAP. m.camest, bath sent me, that thou mightest receivethy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. Andimmediately there fell from his eyes as it had beenacales; and he arose and received sight forthwith,and was baptized." (Acts ix. 17, 18.) This instance is clear on the point that Paul re- ceived the Holy Ghost by the imposition of hands, and that it was at the very beginning of his the church. This therefore looks much like "ordination by imposition of hands;" but then,unfortunately, if this be allowed, it would follow that Paul was ordained before he was baptized, an uncanonical irregularity wholly opposed to the clerical system; and moreover, the person who then "ordained him by imposition of hands" was not an apostle, bishop, or elder, but simply a "certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias" (ver.l0) ; in fact, according to the Papal ideas of these days, a mere lay-man: and yet this cc lay-man," without the assistance of any of the clergy, without the pre- sence of any bishop, lays his hands on Paul, and 80 confers on him the Holy Ghost 1 We can there- fore well understand how the advocates or a "regular ordained ministry" are disposed to p88B over this remarkable occurrence, and prefer rather to quote the imposition of hands by the church at Antioch (Acts xiii.), which has been already considered. Having then seen that imposition of hands does not, according to the Scripture record, confer the power of " preaching the Gospel and administering the sacraments," and having seen also that in many
  • SEC. 13.] GENERAL RElrfARKS. 87 cases the imposition of bands took place, where confessedly no clerical designation or privilege was conferred, we Deed not feel the least perplexity in regard to this question. We conclude by stating : - 1. That imposition of hands sometimes means simple benediction; "Then were there brought. unto him little children, that he should put bis hands on them and pray: .•... and he laid his hands on them." (Matt. m. 18, 15.) 2. Sometimes recognition of service in the church, 88 in the case of the seven brethren choeen "to serve tables;" which certainly was not ordination to the "ministry," as the serving of tables on that occasion was avowedly kept distinct from the" ministry of the word." (Acts vi. 4-6.) 8. Sometimes separation to a particular work, and that by express command of the Holy Ghost. (ActS xiii.) 4. Sometimes an act whereby the gift of the Holy Ghost was imparted, as when Ananias, " a certain disciple," laid his hands on the apostle Paul. (Acts ix. 27.) 6. Sometimes also & visible sign of performing a miracle, as when the disciples were empowered to lay hands OD the sick, and they recovered.. (Mark xvi. 18.) § 18. General remarks on MiniBtry. The train of remark thus far pursued should be considered but 88 introductory to a still more im- portant view of the subject-a view almost lost sight of in these days -viz., that "ministry,"
  • 88 JllliISTBY. [CRU. Ill. when rightly understood, is not merely for govern- ment, or securing discipline, or keeping the people in subjection, but for preserving in rigorous health-. fulne&8 the spiritual body to which it appertains. One evidence of its accomplishing this end is to be BOught and recognized in the degree in which it is promotive of the love of tkB lJretkrt1n. Yea, Chris- tian Reader, understand this truth, that God. ministry is not· appointed by his most wile ordi- nance, to maintain a well ordered congregation under effectual clerical management; which is the utmost extent of excellence that some people, when argu- ing for an "ordained ministry," ever seem to look to. The mind of the Spirit concerning the ministry which He raises up, is that it should promote that love without which a visible church is an inoperative and lifeless thing, a machine out of order, and there- fore U8eless. And hence it is that when Paul wishes . to urge the love of the brethren, he connects it with "ministry;" and when he speaks of ministry, he concludes naturally, pursuing only an obvious COD- catenation of thought, with the kindred subject of love. In the Epistle to the Ephesians, he says, "I beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forheari"1l 0116 a.other in lor:e; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace-t~erBill one IJoa!!." (iv.l--4r.) And having thus mentioned "the one body," he pro- ceeds to describe it, and the various gifts imparted to it "for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of
  • BEC.13.] GENEJU..L 9lU.BXS. 89Christ." This is the body which possesses thepower of growth-not a mere comely block chiselledby mans art into a dead image of the Church, buta living Ohurch, growing" unto 8 holy temple in theLord ;" not a body with a clerical head and lifelesslay members, but a body" compacted by that whichevery joint supplieth." For every part is to becc effectually"· working, and then, and not .till then,can it grow " in newness of life," unto the " of itself in love. n In the Epistle to the Romans, he closes the sub-ject of gifts in the church with these remarkablewords, "Let love be without dissimulation" (xii. 9),evidently implying, that tne undiasembled love ofthe saints would find a congenial atmosphere where-ever all the members of the body were IIllotDeil toreceive and exercise gifts of the Holy Spirit. But nosuch atmosphere as this exists, or can exist, where"a regular ordained ministry" has inflicted minis-terial death on the whole body,-wbere the clergy-man has been appointed by man to be the 80lepastor, teacher, evangelist, ruler, and prophet; justas if the human body, in a fit of lunacy, had electedthe band or the foot to perform the functions of allthe other members; which, as a consequence ofthis infatuated procedure, had been compelled to re-main in a state of reverential inactivity. That flow of life is cut off which was meant to feed all themembers, and the monopoly of vitality is given toone favoured limb, which, consequently, is whollyinefficacious in imparting life to the rest of thebody.
  • 90 :MTNISTBY. [CHA.P. Ill. In the Epistle to the Corinthians Paul says, "Follow after charity (love), and desire spiritual gifts (1 Cor. xiv.); and the precept is in many ways remarkable. In the 12th chapter he had discoursed at large on the gifts and ministries of the Spirit; in the 13th, by a connection which is not often noticed, he introduces the subject oflove, or a.fJD.fJe; and then in the 14th chapter he adds, "Followafter love, and desire spiritual gifts," as a pre- face to that which follows concerning the order of the church; 80 that, in fact, the 13th chapter,though apparently a parenthesis betwee~ the 12thand 14th, is most intimately connected with, themboth. It is part of the 8Mne BUb}ect, becausethat love, agape, or charity, which has been com-mended to all g~nerations by Pauls magnificenteulogy, is not merely the charity of isolated Chris-tians, but of the children of God living harmo-niously together as one redeemed family, under thegUidance and ministrations of the Holy Spirit, andexhibiting the life of the body according to Godsdesign, and not according to the wisdom of man." Let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to thBwhich al80 !le Me called in o·ne botly, and be yethankful." (Col. iii. 15.) But it is not in general principles only that wediscover true ministry and love united, for we findprecepts addressed to the believers, directing themto act 88 pastors one to another, and, in so doing, toshow forth this very love, which betokens the livingand growing body of Christ. In the Epistle tothe Hebrews, it is written, "Take heed, brethren,
  • BEC.13.] GENEBAL UHARK8. 91lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief. . . . . . But exhort one another daily while it is called to-day, lest any of you be hardened throughthe deceitfulness of sin." (H-eb. iii. 12.) They areto warn, to admonish one another daily; every day they are to be guarding the sheepfold; every day they are to be looking warily, lest the evil heart of unbelief open a breach for the enemy in the visible household of faith. But whilst they are called upon . to be thus watchful for one anothers souls, not 8r syllable is dropped whereby we might understand that this was to be the exclusive duty of "an or- dained minister." Indeed, the very fact that such a precept is addressed to "the brethren, n renders it impossible that the cc Hebrews" should have been acquainted with" an ordained ministry," invested,with those exclusive powers and prerogatives which, in these days, are habitually considered to be inse- parable from the cc ministry." The clergy of all parties often assure UB in their sermons that the guarding and feeding of the fold is their peculiar province, in which no one may interfere; but quite otherwise do we find it in Holy Scripture. Paul thus addresses the Thessalonians :_cc Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are un- ruly, comfort the feeble-minded support the weak, be patient toward all men." (1 Thess. v. 14). Other passages are entirely to the same effect. " Let us consider one another, to provoke unto love and to good works; not forsaking the aBsembling of our- selves together •.... but exhorting one another." (Heb. x. 24, 25.) "As every man hath received
  • 92 :MJ NISTllY. [CHAP. Ill..the gift, even so minister the same one to ano-ther, as good stewards of the manifold grace ofGod. If any man speak, let him speak 8S theoracles of God: if any man minister, let him doit as of the ability which God giveth, that Godin all things may be glorified through J eSU8 Christ." (1 Pet. iv.l0, 11.) Now not only are such passages of high value, 88incidentally confirming the truth, that the dutiesalways assigned exclusively to the clergy under theclerical system, are, in the ,criptfWaZ economy,apportioned to all believers, but as showing that theywere shared amongst the apostles, and all the dis-ciples of that day. For instance, when Paul 88YSto the Thessalonians, "warn them that are unruly,comfort the feeble-minded, support the weak," heclearly assigns these duties to the whole body ofbelievers. In like manner we find the Hebrewchurch reminded of their duty to "exhort oneanother daily. . . . . lest any of you be hardenedthrough the deceitfulness of sin." That Paul andBarnabas should exhort the saints, the clericalschool would think quite proper, because theywere apostles, and had been" ordained by impo-Bition of hands;" but the same school would seenothing but irregularity in lay-men daily imitatingthe apostles in so doing. Moreover, it is to be observed, that. though inthe Epistles to the Hebrews and Thessaloniansthele is distinct reference made to those who were"over them in the Lord" (Heb. xiii. 17; 1 Thes8.v. 12), yet it is not on those overseers especially
  • s~c. 18.] GENERAL BEKAJ1XS. 98 that the duty of exhortation is pressed by the apostle. The epistles are not directed to the over- seers; the building-up of the saints is not referred to them; admonition, exhortation, comfort, and warning are Dot spoken of as their exclusive pro- vince (though doubtle8B exhortation and comfort were also within their province); but the whole church is addressed, as if all the believers were mutually to edify one another, yea and mutually to teach and minister to one another, &8 when Paul, having explained to the Thessalonians the second coming of the Lord, concludes thus: " Wherefore comfort one another with these words." The Epistle to the Philippians furnishes similar evi- dence, and in abundance. Indeed, the whole tenor of that epistle is to this point; for tho:ugh the oyerseers and servants of the church are mentioned in the opening of the epistle, after the saints (i. 1), yet the epistle is addressed to the brethren gene- rally; and it is not of "the clergy," but of all the brethren that Paul speaks, when he prays thatIt their "love may abound yet more and more in knowledge, and in all judgment," and that they "may approve things that are excellent" [or try the things that differ] (i. 9),-a prayer which by many would be thought applicable only to clergy- men. I t is "the brethren" (i. 12), that he " would have understand" how through his imprison- ment at Rome many of the brethren had waxed confident to preach Christ, and that he rejoiced they had done so, though these "many" preachers were unquestionably not cc ordained clergymen."
  • 94 MINISTRY. I t is " the brethren" whom he desires to " stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving for the faith of the Gospel." (i. 27.) Them also he admonishes to hold "forth the word of life." (ii. 16); to "beware of evil workers" (iii. 2); to "walk by the same rule, to mind the same thing," as he him- self did (iii. 16); to "stand fast in the Lord" (iv. 1.), &c. &c.; and all this he confirms by commen- cing his letter "to all the saints," and by finishing it "to all the saints." (iv. 21). And this is the more remarkable, because be does not omit the overBeers and servants of the church (" bishops·and deacons," Eng. TraDs.) He mentions them, indeed, but never as if he thought the overseers and servants had any official prerogative which should entitle them, 88 being distinct from "lay- men," to receive his instructions and execute his precepts. - Again, in writing to the Colossians, be addresses "the saints and faithful brethren in Christ," and none others: it is the brethren whom he wishes to increase "in the knowledge of God" (L 10), "ancL unto all riches of the full assurance of the un- derstanding." (ii.2). He tells the brethren that "they are complete in" Christ (ii. 10), and that, no man therefore, " should judge them in meat and drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the sabbath." He bids them beware, lest any man spoil them "through philosophy and vain deceit,"or beguile them of their reward, by "intrudinginto those things which he bath not seen;" heW81D.8 them not to be Bubject to ordinances, "the
  • BEC.13.] GENERAL REJrUBKS. 95 commandments and doctrines of men;" he reminds them that their "speech should be alway with grace, seasoned. with salt, that they may know how they ought to answer every man;" and that they should "stand perfect and complete in all the will of God;" and then, after particularly addressing " wives, husbands, children, servants, and masters," he adds nothing about priests or other official ministers. The message to Archippus (iv. 17), has been already under review, and, therefore, need not here be again discussed; but supposing, for arguments sake, that Archippus was an ordained minister-say, bishop of the Co- lossians-we then find Paul, in a sort of postscript, desiring the church to remind that dignitary to fulfil his ministry, whilst the dignitary himself is wholly passed over in all the rest of the epistle. Now, let these things be applied to modernchurchetl. Suppose that a Christian from somedistant region, acquainted with Christianity onlyas it is presented in the New Testament, and fol-lowing the language and ideas of the Scripturesalone, were to write a letter to Christians in acertain parish in our country, what would be thestyle of his letter P He would address it to thechurch or to the believers in such a town or village,and whatever might be the importance of his com-munications, he would not, as in these days, directthe whole subject-matter to the priest or the cler-gyman. "Reverend Sir," would be to him an un-known formulary; and if he were informed that theminister w9uld consider it an insult if the letters ·
  • 96 llniI8TBY. [CHAP. Itl:were not specially addressed to him, and that" thesaints" were in these days all "laymen," except-ing the" minister," who was ordained to be their801e ruler and teacher; and that "the saints"would deem it strange and indecorous if a letterabout religion was addressed to them, and not totheir minister -would not this foreigner from adistant region naturally conclude that we hadchanged our religion, and that we had ceased, infact, to be Christians P How coul.d he come to anyother conclusion P And who, that examines ministryin the New Testament, and compares it with minis-try in these days, can doubt but that there hasbeen effected a fundamental revolution in the orderwhich God appointed for the edification of HisChurch P But then it will be said that Paul doe allude tothose who" are over them in the Lord." True,he does; but his allusions are in perfect keepingwith the order then existing, and only tend toestablish all that has been advanced in this argu-ment. There tDaB " rule" in th~ church; the Spiritunquestionably raised up government; governmentwas a gift, n, ckariBma, and it was sometimesunited to, and sometimes separated from, teaching." Let the elders that rule well be counted worthyof double honour, especially they who labor. inthe word and doctrine" (1 Tim. v. 17), is an ex-pression by which we ascertain that some of "theleaders" (proe8tote8) did not labor in word anddoctrine, for if it were not 80, Pauls distinctionwould be unintelligible, or rather would have no
  • "BEc.13.] GENERAL llBlLlBKS. 97meaning at all. " We beseech you, brethren, toknow them which labor among you, and are overyou in the Lord, and admonish you, and to esteemthem very highly in love for their works sake."(1 The!s. v. 12.) What is the foundation of thegovernment here alluded to P-Iove. For wherethere is not love there cannot be esteem in theeburch of God, though in the churches of men,esteem for the clerical rulers is too often obtaineden other grounds. Station in society, wealth, poli-tical power, oratorical talent, official prerogative,too frequently command the reverential respect ofthe people for their clergy: and sectprian zealusually adds force to these considerations-to saynothing of that superStitiou8~ignorance which power--fully prevails, and vhich 1eaas the Protestant ~ to"esteem" the minister" vith much of the same feeling·with which a Papist reveres his priest. There are,indeed, instances where the ministers are deservedlybeloved by their" people"; but, too often, love willbe found to have but a small share in the esteemwhich they enjoy; for as the theory of official power, and the idea of prerogative, influence all the arrangements of human ministry, the ruling party usually expects as a right, and the ruled yields as a custom, that portjon of reverence which is decorously conceded to official distinction. Human authority has, it may be, its mitres, its acts ofsynods, and all the weight of ecclesiastical ~OD8,together with an usurpation of all ministerial life, and the monopoly by one man of that which should be open to all: and those things have their attrac- H
  • 98 KINI81RY. [CHAP. m.tions; but heavenly authority in the church, thatwhich comes down with the gifts distributed to thebelievers, is the evidence of superintending care onthe part of those whose hearts the Lord directs;enabling them to watch over the footsteps of theHock, and, by counsel and example, by prayer andprecept, by patience and forbearance, by gentlefirmness and by spiritual wisdom, to keep alooifrom the enclosure those things which would dis-turb the harmony, or prevent the Beloved Onefrom coming into "his garde~, and eating hispleasant fruits." Government is a distinct gift of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. xii. 28.)-and it is not in the power of man, by election or by any other known process, to confer it. It is, indeed, very easy to establish eccleaiaaticaZ rule, either by royal man- date, or patronal nomination, or popular suffrage; but wide is the difference between ecclefttl8tical and Bpiritual rule. Human laws can create the outline and the shadow of spiritual rule, but the substance, the living and the powerful reality, can be imparted only by Him who is the giver of every good and perfect gift, and with whom there "is no variable- ness neither shadow of turning." Spiritual rule is neither for lucre nor for lordship (1 Pet. v. 2, 8), but it is a branch of service, of ministry, of tliacoMtl; a branch springing out of the true Vine. The office of government is the lowest and at the same tim6 the highest service in the Church: it is the lowest, because he" that is "over the flock," and has been called unto this service by the Lord, must ever be washing the disciples feet. And how low are
  • SEC. 14.] CLBBIOAL BULB. 99those who are exercised in it called upon to stoopdown; how deep is the humiliation, how trying tofaith and patience, how wearisome to the body, howclosely surrounded with anxieties and solicitudes,how conversant with tears and prayers and sighs,none can tell or imagine who have looked at thesethings only through the medium of ecclesiasticalcustom, but have not known them in their own ex-perience. " And who is sufficient for these things P"Truly, we. can reply only in the words of Scripture," Our sufficiency is of God, who hath made us ableministers (fitted us to be servants) of the NewTestament." But in this service there is also arecompense, which hereafter is to be nothing lessthan a crown of glory (1 Pet. v. 4) i and in themean time the Chief Shepherd knows how toreward his servants, even during the heat andburden of the day. § 14. SOIM of the Tendencies of Olerical Rule. Wide then is the difference between ecclesiasticaland spiritual rule; for not only is every knownform of clerical rule the result of a false principle,and a standing evidence of universal apostacy, butits whole tendency is to disturb the communion ofbelievers. Many precious volumes have been pub-lished to establish the fundamental doctrines ofChristianity; but when established the applica-tion of them is exclusively to individuals, andnot to churches. The glory of the living temple,which, in Scripture, refers to the collective body ofnll the believers, is thus passed over, and one-half H2
  • 100 MINISTRY• [CRAP. ut.. of the New Testament becomes 0, sealed book, which theologians are unable to open, and which remains in consequence shut up to themselves and their unsuspecting disciples. Those portions which treat of justification by faith, or any of the cardinal points of theology, are often well argued ·80 long 8S the writem confine themselves to these points; but when they proceed to treat on the ministry and the communion of belie- vers, their chariot-wheels drag heavily, often ter- minating in confusion and error. "If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another," is a doctrine almost unknown in professing Christendom; for it refers not to philanthropy, nor to courtesy, nor to alms-giving charity, nor to sympathetic beneficence. We bave seen what the Scriptures teach concerning ministry ; and whilst ministry lasted in accordance with the ·Scriptures, so also, beyond all question, did the communion of saints last; but when men had re- nounced the ministry of the Spirit, and had set up human government instead, then the new com- mandment ( J ohn xiii. 34) speedily diAappeared; and, in lieu of it, was substituted that whica we now see all around us,-the imposing solemnities of clerical authority. A regular ministry exists, with all its necessary appendages, and everything that ~1Ul make it respectable in the view of the world; and many able preachers and excellent men there are; but the communion of believers is almost forgotten; the heavenly calling of the saints passed over; and Christianity stands before the world an
  • SBo.14.] CLEBIC.A.L RULE. 101unsightly phenomenon of sects and parties; whilstthe living temple, the one body in Christ, haswell nigh disappeared, like those splendid but illu..:live cities which, pictured on the vapors of a Syrianatmosphere, fill the spectator with admiration andastonishment, and then anon dissolve into nothing..ness, leaving the wilderness more desolate than}>efore. "But is there no such thing then as a distinctfunction of teaching or preaching in the church PAnd it there is to be teaching and preaching,must there not be teachers and preachers? To thiswe reply, that diversity of gifts in the Lords spiri-tual body does not necessarily create diversity ofgrades in those who possess such gifts. We acknow- ledge at once the necessity of teaching and of preach- ing in the church; but we deny that this fact lays a foundation for that distinction of cler!lY and laity ,vhich has obtained currency throughout Christen:. dom, and which has opened a Pandoras box of evils and mischiefs to the church. Those func- tions which the Levitical priesthood represented are to be diffused throughout the general body of Christians, and cannot b~ appropriated or monopo- lized by anyone class. Yet a variety of spiritual gifts is requisite for the· building up of the body, and they are conferred on its members. By the congregation to which they belong, their gifts an~ endowments are perceived to be adapted to their exigences, and they ackno~ledge them accordingly. By so doing they do not confer any power upon them; they do not, strictly speaking, appoint them;
  • 102 mNISTBY. [CHAP. Ill.they simply acknowledge them 88 qualified for thework, and called by the Lord Himself to officiatein this capacity. But we see nothing in all thisthat necessarily constitutes them a distinct class.They are to the whole church what a particular organ is to the whole human body. To the eye,for instance, pertains the functions of seeing, but it cannot see apart from the body to which it belongs. So with the ear, the hand, the foot. They all have their several uses in the bodily economy, but they are not on this account in any manner diBtiMt from the body. So in like manner the use or function of tesching or preaching does not consti- tute a distinct grade or order in Christian churches.. We are well aware how difticult it will be formany of our readers to rest in our conclusion, that there may be a distinction in office which does not amount to a distinction in official order or cas~. By the distinct order or office of the clergy in the church we mean an order which perp~tfllll" itBelfby some special form of ordination or inaugu- ration, wherein the body of the church or the laity, as they are termed, have little or no share. That such an order of men, whether called priests, clergymen or ministers, )Vas designed to exist in the Christian church is what we venture to call in question; while at the same time we freely admit and strenuously maintain that there is a functional ministry which is to be discharged by those who, by the Holy Spirit, are called to and qualified for it.
  • DC. 15.] TO eLEBleAL SY8TElI:. 108§ 15. fie Clmcal Ba,tem 6apeciaZly out of pZaM among ProtutafIJ Non-Conform"". It may be deduced from all that has been said, that if any ecclesiastical institution or arrangement separates, or has a tendency to separate, the body,of believers into two distinct classes, and to assign to one claes a privilege or character which the other may not claim, theD is the design of the gospel not·answered, nor are some of its moat important truths practically recognized. To point out the many particulars in which this separation is effected in the Episcopal church, would be super1luous; for that church is avowedly governed by a priesthood ;·and cc the clergy" and "the laity n are distinguished by a broad line of demarcation. The prayer-book, in all its ritual, acknowledges the priest by its ·rubricks. Amongst Dissenters this is modified;·and indeed, as to any official canon of church government, the priest has altogether disappeared from their churches; but that the clergy and the laity are perfectly distinct amongst Dissenters·also is Dotonoua; and it is quite evident that ·the laborious education for the ministry, the call, ·the ordination, the imposition of hands, the garb,t the sole office of instructor, and divers other parti- ·cu1arities, constitute their ministers Cltfr!WmtJII,; and that cc the people," as all non-clerical believers · are called, are entirely separate in character · and action from the clergy. The minister, on the Sabbath-that day on which all the brethren ~ meet together - is the sole person that visibly
  • 104 KINISTBY. [ CHAP. nr.conducts the worship of God: no one but he$peaks; no one but he prays; and this is usuallythe case all the year round. If therefore thebrethren have indeed entered into the holiest ofall, they none of them may open their mouthsthere; but have chosen one individual to do forthe whole church, that which they cannot, or willnot, do for themselves. If the Dissenters sincerelywished to establish such 8, mode of proceeding intheir churches as, we may gather from the Scrip_..tures, was the practice in the first rera, and of whichthe general bearing is evident enough, though someof the particulars may still be uncertain, th~y would:allow at least a plurality of ministers, and indeedconcedo a liberty of ministry to all those who are- .gifted for the service. But such is not the case; oneman alone is charged with ministering to the spiri-.tual necessities of each congregation; whilst, how-"ever called and gifted for it by the blessed head ofthe Church Himself, no other member of the con-gregation is usually permitted to take any part init. Thus many who may be divinely called to thework, and might become able ministers of the-Gospel, are prevented by the false systems of menfrom exercising their gifts in the service of theLord, and for the edification of the Church.§ 16. Some oftke Evil Effects oftlle DiBtinction i~ 9.ue8tion• . The undoubted tendency of the existing arrange-ment is to beget inactivity amongst the people ;",b~cause they feel th~t ·they have·a spiritual delegate-
  • SEC. 16.J EFFECTS OF THE DISTINCTIOK. 105in whose hands are placed those large and respon-sible duties which are supposed to attach to theministerial office. Many there are who can thus:find a ready excuse for their own lack of zeal: the)"think their pastor carries the keys of the church,and to him, therefore, they consign their spiritualenergies, as if he were a general proxy for them andfor all others in their works of faith and labours oflove. What multitudes of church members mightbe numbered who take little or no personal interestin the well-being of the church, to say nothing oftheir own souls! How many are there who contentthemselves with the external acts of warship and aformal attendance on ordinances, leaving all the restto the minister. But with these evils are con-nected others also; for to this source may be tracedfrequent discontent amongst the members, andbitter sorrow to many a worthy and laboriouspastor. ·The study and preparation expected for thepulpit, the pastoral visits, the attention to the par-ticular spiritual cases of individuals, the schools, the·prayer-meetings, the churcb-meetings, the public..meetings, ~d all the rest of the complicated dutiesattached to the office, impose a weight and multi.plicity of cares on the shoulders of some pastors,which none but Atlantean shoulders could sustain;and yet if they neglect any part of these enormousduties, which a mistaken theory has apportioned tothem, they are in jeopardy of forfeiting the esteemof some of their flock, as they too often discover totheir no small discomfort and sorrow.
  • 106 GENERAL RESULTS. CHAPTER IV. GE:SEBAL RESULTS. WE have, in the foregoing pages, exhibited the most important passages usually cited as affording a war- rant for the institution of a priesthood or clergy,..comprising an order of men distinct from the so-·ailled laity. But to our own minds the proofs, from the inspired volume, of the intended existence of any.such class of men in the Christian church are utterly wanting, and we do not, therefore, hesitate to con- sider the whole sacerdotal order, as at present-established in Christendom, a stupendous fallacy, replete with tendencies of a most pernicious ch&- Tacter to the interests of the Lords kingdom. We.are constrained, by what we consider the strictest logical necessity, to deny the validity of the claims.set up in behalf of a separate clerical caste. There is a true ministry-not clergy-in the Lo~d8 church ·on the earth, consisting of those who, in accord. anee with the representative character ofthe ancient Levites, are poBBessed of the requisite endowments for exercising the pastoral office towards the lock. Every other f()rm of priesthood we are forced to regard not only as an anti-christian usurpation, but aa having the effect of an owmic hypertrophy in the Lords mystical body. By attracting to itself
  • GENEBAL BE8ULTS. 107an over-measure of vital power, it robs the otherportions of the system of their due share of spiritualVitality, and a paralysis of the members will be very~rtain to ensue. :But little discernment, indeed,is requisite in order to perceive that the broad line-of distinction held to exist between clergy and laity,acts disastrously upon the interior life ofthe church, by discharging the great mass of its members fromthat responsibility which properly pertains to everyone without exception. What is more evident thanthat the fact of an individual being salaried andset apart to preside over the spiritual interests of 8congregation, operates as a release to the bulk ofthe members from almost any duty but that ofpunctually paying their contributions and sittingdevoutly in their seats from Sabbath to Sabbath,receiving with quiet assent whatever is dealt outto them. The practical working of the system isprecisely such as to con·firm the drift of our theo-retical objections. It goes all along on the 88Sump-tion that the actual work essential to the buildingup of the church is to be performed, not by thebody collectively, but by a particular class acting asproxies for the rest. If we make the analogy ofthe human body the criterion in this matter, itwould be as if all its organs and viscera shouldunite in teeing the brain to perform. all, their func-tions for them, while they should enjoy an exemp-tion from their appropriate work. .Is it possible foranyone who is accessiBle to truth to avoid seeingthat this cannot be consistent with the true Divineorder P-that order which is 80 well expressed by
  • 108 GENERAL RESULTS. [OHAP. IV.] the apostle of the Gentiles,-Ufrom whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effec- tual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love." . This is the true model for a Christian. church. The precepts and intimations of the apostolic- epistles may serve at least as documentary evidence,. of a historical kind, as to the light in which this. matter was viewed in the primitive church. " God bath tempered the body together having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked; that there should be no schism in the body; but tllat tiB fJJembers should ltav(J tlte ame care one for anotlter.. (1 Cor. xii. 24, 25.) "Brethren, if a man be over- taken in a fault, ge, coltick are apiritUfJZ, restore Buck tin one in the spirit of meekne8s, considering thyself,lest thou also be tempted." (Gal. vi. 1, 2.) Who- ever was Rpiritual might feel this to have been a command to exercise the kindly office of restoring one who had unfortunately la{)sed from his upright.ness. Each was to bear the others burdens. Again.. .c Now, we exhort you, lwetltren, warn them thatare unruly, comfort the feeble-minded, support theweak, be patient toward all men.." (1 Thess. v.14.)Brethren are here exhorted to warn, comfort, andsupport each other-a very principal feature ofwhat is now considered aa the pastors peculiar:work. "Wherefore comfort yourselves together,and edify one anotlltJr, even as also ye do." (v. 11.)Passages of this nature might be largely multipli~
  • GENElU.L RESULTS. 109 but it is unnecessary. The gifts and services of the brethren are not to be superseded. The feeblest brother has as deep an interest in the general spiritual life of the congregation as the strongest. It is in fact the duty of every Christian to edify, warn, support, and comfort his brethren, as opportunities offer, and that on the ground of -a common concern in the spiritual well.being of the body. The early Christians, or those of the first century, never for a moment supposed that there was any priest remaining in the true service and worship of God, excepting Him only who had "entered in once into the holy place having obtained eternal redemption for us." They never thought that. the preachers and teachers pf the gospel were priests; that they had taken the place of the Sons of Aaron; that some of them were "lords" over others, some cc Right Reverend," others " Very Reverend," and all, from the greatest to the least, Reverend: they never imagined that the body of believers were to be divided into two classes, one called" the clergy," and the others" the laity;" that the clergy were to be paid by the laity; were to be men of education and leisure; un order of Ecclesiastics, dressed in sable garments, administer- ing to the "laity" grace and pardon. But the church very soon fell into oblivion of its privileges, and returned with avidity to those things which had been destroyed. In the second century, the teachers began to utter strange doc- trines as to the priestly functions of the Gospel
  • 110 GENEllAL llEBULT8. [CHAP. IV.] mini8try, and in the third century, the pontificab . heresy had made rapid advances to maturity. It would be no difficult matter to suggest a variety of causes that were operative in bringing- about this departure from the standard of primitive- simplicity and purity; but let it suffice to advert to one; to wit-that tendency to objectw6fUJ8B, which is inherent in the human mind; in other words, a craving for some visible object for the senses to rest on. The glory of Christ, in his priestly office, can be contemplated by faith alone. Hence our Lord pronounced a memorable blessing on those who should not be able to see, and yet should believe. This invisible glory is great beyond de- scription, in its clearness, beauty, and consolation to those who have been instructed by the Spirit of" Truth; but, to carnal minds, it is an abstract in-tangible doctrine without any semblanc~ of reality;.it affords no sort of satisfaction, comfort, or strengthto the soul of a mere nominal Christian, and can be88 little appreciated by him as any of the dry pro--positions of Euclid. But a visible priesthood, withpower and parade, officiating within holy rails, ataltars of gold or marble, and professing to representthe office of mediator by means of diven well-con-trived ceremonies, is food for the natural man, such88 bis palate does exceedingly relish. Hence priest-craft is congenial to men, so long as its arts of rapa-city and oppression do not render it an intolerableburden. Nothing but the Gospel, therefore, can save"mankind from this wide-spread and deadly evil. It is doubtless much more congenial to the in-
  • GENEBAL BESlTLTS. 111clination of the natural man to purchase exemptionfrom self-denying duties at the price of an annualsubscription for the support of a substitute, than to-go forward and discharge them in person, especiallywhen their discharge implies the maintenance of aspiritual state of mind. Accordingly, nothing ismore obvious than the air of easy unconcern withwhich, on the Sabbath, far too many occupy theirseats in the sanctuary, and pass on through theweek, devolving all care of the interests of thechurch on the spiritual stipendary who undertakesthe trust. This is undoubtedly a natural result ofthe system, and therefore, in speaking of it, we donot mean to reproach any to whom our remarkamay apply. They have been educated and havegrown up under the system; and a thousand in-fluences have been operating to prevent any SUB-picion of its being wrong. They accordingly actas is natural under the circumstances. While ahuman priesthood is recognized in the church, itwill not do for the office to remain a sinecure. Thepeople pay the priests for taking charge of theirsouls, and why should they do that work themselveswhich they bargain with another to do in theirstead P The fact is, the evil can never be reached but by striking at the fundamental error on which the whole rests,-to wit, a distinct priestly or clerical order. This is an institution which, in its present form, is to be traced back proximately to the cor- ruptions of the Roman Catholic church, that church, of which the spirit of hierarchy is the animating soul. That the great reformer, Luther, had a very
  • 112 GBNEllAL RESULTS. [OHAP. IV.]clear perception of tbis is evident from the follow-ing passage in his "Letter addressed to the Bohe-mian Brethren :"- •••• "Let that rock 8tand to you unshaken-that, in the New Testament, of priest externally anointed there is none, neither can be: but if there be any, they are maaka and idols,because they ha"e neither example nor prescription of this their vanity, nor any word in G08pel8 or Epistles of the Apostles; but they bave been erected and introduced by the mere invention of men, 88 Jeroboam did in Israel. }"or a priest, in the New Testament, is not made, but bom; Dot..()rdained, but raised up; and he is born, not by the nativity of the :flesh, but of the Spirit, that i8, of water and the Spirit in the laver of regeneration. . And all Christians are altogether priests, and all priests are Christians: and let it be anathema to aMert that there is any other priest than he who is 0..Christian ; for it will be 88serted without the word of God, on no authority but the sayings of mtn, or the antiquity of-custom, or the multitude of those who think 80 • • • • Chrilt was neither shaven nor anointed with oil to be made a priest; wherefore neither is it enough for any follower of Christ to be.anointed to become a priest, but he must have something far; which when he shall have, he wiD have no need ot··oil and shaving. So that you may see that the bishops erred whilst they make their ordinations 80 neces881-Y that, without these, they deny that anyone can become a priest, although he i8 most holy, aa Christ himselC; and again, that a priest may be made by them, although he be more wicked than Nero or 8ardanapalus. By which what elae do they tbarr -deny that Christ is a priest with his Chriatiaua1 (or whilat they discharge their abominable office, they make no one a pri~st unleu he first deny that he is a priest, and 80 by that very circumstance, whiYe they make a prie8t, they in truth remove him from the priesthood. • • • •• The min- .i8try of the word fa common to all ChriatiaDa; that ODe ,auage (I Pet. ii.) establishes it: Ye are 8 royal priesthood
  • GENERAL RESULTS. 113that ,e ma8how lorth the praile8 of him who bath ceDed youout of darkneas into his marvellous light. I beeeeoh you, whoare they that are oalled out of darkness into hia marvellous .light? Are they only anointed and ordained priests! or arethey not all Christians? But Peter not only gi Vel them theliberty, but oommands them to declare the praises of God,which certaioly is nothing else than to preach the word ofGod • • • • • Aa there is no other showing forth of the praisesof God in the ministry of the Word than that common to all, 80 there is no other priesthood than a spiritual one, al80 com- mon to all, which Peter hath here desoribed•••••• There- fore it bath now been suftloiently confirmed most strongly and clearly, that the ministry of the Word is the ohief office in the ohurch, altogether unique, and yet common to all (JA.riitw,,,,,. Dot only by the right but also of co~mand; wherefore the priesthood also must needs be both excellent and common; 80 that against these divine lightenings of Gods word, of what avail are infinite fathers, innumerable councils, everlasting usage8, and the multitude of the whole world?" This is bravely said, though it has seldom foundan echo in later days, nor are we by any means con-fident that the heroic Wirtemberger always wroteon this subject in the same strain. But that isimmaterial. He saw then what we see now, thatthe priesthood of th~ Romish Church is the grandelement of its power. And though the institutionexists in all Protestant Churches in a modified andmitigated form, yet it is to that source that itsorigin is to be traced; and it is next to impossibleto divest it of its inherent tendencies towards theevils of hierarchy and the other forms of abuse towhich we have adverted. . While frankly avowing these sentiments weare perfectly aware of the light in which they will I
  • 114 GENERAL RESULTS. [CHAP. IV.] be viewed by the majority of ohurchmen. They will look upon it as requiring nearly as much hardi- hood to deny a visible clergy in the church, as to deny the existence of the church itself. They will feel that a sad havoc is made of all their traditionary. and cherished associations in connection with the church, the ministry, the Sabbath, the worship. of God, and, indeed, everything sacred; and they will be prompted to put the question, whether we really mean fJ.uite so much as our words would Beem to import. Assuredly we do; and we will thank any man to designate the point at which, if our pre- mises are sound, we can consistently stop short of our present position. If there is no human priesthood to be recognized in the Lords church, what authority is there for a clergy? We find it not, and therefore state our conclusion~ without reserve. No hesitation have we in saying that in 8 true and pure state of the church on earth, no other than the spiritual priesthood and the ministry or service of believers will be known, and what that is has been sufficiently unfolded in our previous remarks. That a multitude of questions should be started as to the sequences of such a theory 8S we have now announced we can readily anticipate. Who shall propagate the doctrines of Christianity? Who shall copduct worship, and how shall it be done P What will be the use of a pulpit if there be no regularly inducted clergymen to fill it P That, in all these respects, the adoption of our views would work great changes in the existing order of things there
  • GENERAL RESULTS. 115is no shadow of doubt. But we do not feel ourselvesOD this account precluded from advocating importantprinciples. We hold that it is never too early togive utterance to reformatory truths. Though notat once acted upon, they are still working as a secretleaven in the minds of men, and in due time theywill bring fortb. their legitimate fruits. The trained and professional preacher, beingsupported for this very work, has time to devotehimself to the careful preparation of his discourses,to elaborate them in 8 finished style, and bydegrees to conform them to the most admired models of composition, and thus to serve up to his audience an intellectual treat set off in all the graces of eloquence. The cODsequence is, that the mind of the heare~, being accustomed to this kind of pulpit entertainment, comes at length to nauseate the more plain and homely style of extemporaneous di8cou~e among brethren. And yet who is not conscious that this kind of communication takes n deeper hold of the thoughts and affections, and exercises more efficient con- trol over the inner man, than the most studied oratorical displays. It is not the highly finished and elaborate discourses which usually do the most good. They excite admiration, it is true, but they seldom move the inner springs of action. They play round the head, but they reach not the heart. The plain and even homely utterances of a good man will commend themselves, by 8 certain unction, to every kindred mind, and the absence of literary or rhetorical qualities will not be felt.
  • 116 GENERAL RESULTS. [ORAP. IV.J Whatever goes to make the worship on earthmost akin to the worship in heaven, ought to be theobject aimed at by the Lords people, in conductingtheir sabbath service. The more nearly it answersto our Lords definition of worship, the grE~ter willbe that resemblance. "God is a Spirit and theythat worship him must worship Him in spirit andin truth." Ano,ther very important inferen(.e from our pre-mises here forces itself upon us. How manycongregations are kept back, and drag along a feebleexistence, from an impre88ion of the almost indis-pensable necessity of a minister not only to theirwell-being but to their being at all. We neednot indeed be surprised at this; for a clergy willbe sure to teach the absolute .necessity of its ownorder to the welfare of the church, and in this wayto lay the spell of inertia upon the mass of the laity.But it is easy to perceive what the result has been,and continues to be. Dependence upon an order ofteachers and leaders professing to be divinely com-missioned, and the fear of ttenching upon the sanc-tity of their prerogatives, have tended to paralyzeexertion on the part of the members, and to inureand reconcile them to a low state and a slow pro-gress, in spiritual things. It is a positive disad-vantage that men should have a hired functionaryto do their thinking for them. The peopleactually need, for their own spiritual health, thatintellectual and spiritual exercise from which theirministers now relieve them. Adult Bible classesare to a great extent conducted on this plan,
  • GE:REBAL RESULTS. 117 and nothing is more evident than their tendency to develop, among the members generally, the various qualificatioDs necessary to sustain the system. So would it be in the services of the Sabbath; and we think it unquestionable that each congregation has a claim upon the energies and gifts of all its members. We see no other method by which the little bands of believers, scattered over the country, can ever be prompted to arouse themselves from that torpid condition into which they are so prone to fall, than by being weaned from reliance on a pro- fessional ministry, and thrown upon their own re- sources; and how can this be done without dis- carding in toto the prevailing system of a clergy or a prie8thood existing fIB (J tliatitnct oraw of mtm , The noiseless and unobtrusive insemination of Christian doctrine and practice within the range of ~h ones personal influence, potent as it is, is Dot the sole ground of reliance in the propagation of religion. The press is a powerful executive instru- ment of the present age, by means of which the furtherance of the Lords kingdom on the earth is largely to be effected. Here, then, is a channel through which united efforts can be made to tell. upon the progress of truth and righteousness. And let us observe that, while the employment of lay missionaries and colporteurs in great numbers and on a large scale is not without its good results, this system of operation is, by too many, allowed to serve as a virtual discharge from the duty of direct personal efforts. The proper state of things
  • 118 GENERAL RESULTS. [CHAP. IV.]will not be reached till everyone who is aliveto his own responsibilities as a christian, shallfeel himself constrained to become a missionaryto his neighbou~, instead of the work being doneto his hands by proxy. The apathy which hasheretofore 80 widely prevailed, is no doubt refer-able to the same general cause to which we havetraced 80 many of the evHso that have aiBictedthe church. The obligations of personal "dutyhave been commuted on the principle of clericalsubstitution. But we are reminded that we cannot inde-finitely.extend our thoughts even upon the momen-tous theme before us. We have given utteranceto our sentiments with all frankness and freedom,and in full view of the consequences. We havebeen all along aware of the enstrangement of con-fidence, of the alienated sympathy, which the de- claration of such sentiments will not fail to en- counter in the minds of many of our brethren. That they will at first strike them as the very ex- treme of destructive radicalism, is more than pro- bable. Nevertheless, we have spoken advisedly; and however we may deprecate the unfavourable judgment of those whose good opinion we covet, we are prepared to encounter it, if fidelity to truth makes it inevitable. We have no denunciations to utter against the general body of those who now fill the sacred office; many of whom, it cannot be doubted, entered it with the most upright inten- tions, and continue to administer it conscientiously with faithfulness and diligence.
  • GENE1U.L BEBU LTB. 119 But this does not destroy the force of our reason-ing. In respect to our maiD. position-the utterantagonism of a priestly or clerical caste to boththe spirit and letter of the Christian dispensation- we are firm and immovable. Would that every member of the Lords church fully appreciated his birthright, and acted under the consciousness of the high privileges involved in it. Regarding it no longer as an exclusive prerogative confined to 8 certain order, and fixing his thoughts, not upon the shadow but upon the substance, let every Christian realize that, whatever is embraced within the functions of the priestly and the royal office, pertains truly to him under Christ. Every one without exception is a king and a priest, so far as he is truly a Christian. It is not alone in conse- crated ranks that we are to look for the priests of the Lords heritage. Wherever we find a person that is meek, gentle, guileless, truthful and wise- whose spirit is deeply leavened with faith and charity-whose conduct in fact is that of a disciple of Christ-such an one, although never ordained by human hands, we may truly acknowledge as a " priest" unto God. ~ PrJnted by E. Couchman & Co., 10, Throgmorton Street, London. --. ... _---- ..~
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