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From the epistle to the Trallians. cording to the will of God.” S. 4." It is therefore necessary, that as ye
“I cried whilst I was among you; I do, so without your bishop you should spake with a loud voice; attend to do nothing ; also be ye subject to your the bishop, and to the presbytery, and presbyters, as to the apostles of Jesus to the deacons. S. 7. Christ our hope ; in whom if we From the epistle to the Smyrneans. walk, we shall be found in him. The “See that ye all follow your bishop, deacons also, as being the ministers of as Jesus Christ, the Father; and the the mysteries of Jesus Christ, must by presbytery, as the apostles. And reveall means please all.” S. 2.-" He rence the deacons, as the command of that is within the altar is pure ; but he God. Let no man do any thing of what that is without, that is, that does any belongs to the church, separately from thing without the bishop, and presbyters, the bishop. Let that eucharist be lookand deacons, is not pure in his con- ed upon as well established, which is science.” S. 7.
either offered by the bishop, or by From the epistle to the Philadel- him to whom the bishop bas given his phians. The proem.“ Ignatius, who consent. Wheresoever the bishop shall is also called Theophorus, to the church appear, there let the people also be ; of God the Father, and our Lord Je- as where Jesus Christ is, there is the sus Christ, which is at Philadelphia, in catholick church. It is not lawful Asia; which has obtained mercy, being without the bishop, neither to baptize, fixed in the concord of God, and re- nor to celebrate the holy communion ; joicing evermore in the passion of our but whatsoever he shall approve of, Lord, and being fulfilled in all mercy that is also pleasing unto God; that through his resurrection : wbich also so whatever is done, may be sure and I salute in the blood of Jesus Christ, well done." S. 8.- It is a good which is our eternal and undefiled joy; thing to have a due regard both to God especially if they are at unity with and the bishop; be that honours the the bishop, and presbyters who are with bishop, shall be honoured of God." him, and the deacons appointed ac- S. 9. cording to the mind of Jesus Christ; From the epistle to St. Polycarp, whom he has settled according to his bishop of the church at Smyrna. Speakown will in all firmness by his Holy ing to the church through Polycarp, Spirit.”. “ For as many as are of God, Ignatius says, “ Hearken unto the biand of Jesus Christ, are also with their shop, that God also may hearken unto bishop. And as many as sball with re. you. My soul be security for them pentance return into the unity of the that submit to their bishop, with their church, even these shall also be the presbyters, and deacons. And may my servants of God, that they may live portion be together with theirs in according to Jesus Christ. Be not God.” S. 6.* deceived, brethren : if any one fol- From the foregoing statement, it lows him that makes a schism in the appears that, during the life of the church, he shall not inherit the kingdom apostles, the three orders of the minisof God.” S. 3.-" Therefore let it try, bishop, presbyter, and deacon, be your endeavour to partake all of existed in the church, as they do at the same boly eucharist. For there is this day. It likewise appears to be but one flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ; a little inconsistent, to disbelieve one and one cup, in the unity of his blood; of the most distinctive characteristicks one altar; as also there is one bishop, of an author's writings, when those together with his presbytery, and the deacons my fellow servants; that so * Archbishop Wake's translation of the wbatsoever ye do, ye may do it ac- Apostolical Fathers.
writings are acknowledged to be ge- alike directed to make no temporal puine, and to deny a matter of fact of provision for their journey, and to which he must be allowed to be a abide in the same house, in which competent witness. It is not treating they should first receive a heartý the holy martyr with the respect due welcome ; they were both authorizto his character, for one party to culled to act in bis name, and as his from his writings what will suit their representatives, and were charged to tum, and reject the rest ; for another warn the people of the fatal conseto take part of wbat the first refused, quences of rejecting their embassy, and others something else that will by shaking off the dust of their feet as serve their purpose, and to set down a testimony against them.
Tbe acall they do not approve, as good for count of this mission, and the direcnothing. What then would become tions given on this interesting occasion, of the integrity of his works, of his afford matter for much useful reflecfaith, of his truth, of his testimony to tion, adapted to the occasion, on which the matter of fact for which he died ! we are now convened. As the smaller epistles are acknow- In the first place, we learn that the ledged by the learned of all denomi- twelve apostles and seventy disciples nations, to be the genuine writings of were sent. They did not undertake Ignatius, we should, to be consistent, the embassy in their own name, or on believe in the deity of Jesus Christ, their own responsibility. They did and in the apostolical origin of Episco- not run, before they were sent. They pacy, as well as in the testimony did not presume to preach the gospel, which he bears to the genuineness of till they were divinely commissioned; the scriptures, because each of them is nor to act as the representatives of the most explicitly declared in his writ- Lord Jesus, till they were invested ings.
with proper authority. They were called, sometime previous, to be apos
tles and disciples, but waited for a SERMON.-No. XX.
special warrant, before engaging di
rectly in the work of the ministry. DELIVERED AT PORTSMOUTH, NEW HAMP- There were many who believed at
SHIRE, BEFORE THE SEVENTH BIEN. this time in Christ, and heard bim NIAL CONVENTION OF THE EASTERN gladly; but out of this number, twelve DIOCESE, SEPTEMBER 25, 1822.
only were chosen to be apostles, and Luke ix. 6.- And they departed and seventy to be special messengers or
went through the towns, preaching heralds, to proclaim the advent of his the gospel, and healing every where. heavenly kingdom.
Hence we derive a plain rule of In this and the succeeding chapter, action for our guidance in conducting we have an account of the mission of the affairs of the church, at the prethe twelve, who were called apostles, sent day. In laying the foundations and of the seventy, who were called and framing the original constitution disciples, to preach the gospel. In of his spiritual kingdom, Christ prothe charges given, and in the powers ceeded according to rules of order; delegated to each of them by our and, with an eye to the future condiblessed Lord, there is a strong resem- tion of his church, pursued such a blance. The import of their respec- course as would, if followed, be most tive directions, is indeed, nearly the conducive to its prosperity. If, then, the same ;
so are the consequences observance of rules of order and regustated as attending the reception orlarity was needful, while the great rejection of their mission. They were Head of the church himself was on
earth, it has become much more só, requisite qualifications, and that the since his departure. As a kingdom, the sanction of this authority must be nechurch must have a particular organiza- cessary to a regular investiture with tion; as a government, it must have office ? To me,
this conclusion appears an appropriate discipline ; as a socie- too plain and obvious to stand in need ty, composed of true believers, it must of any laboured arguments. It is a be constituted of regular officers and self-evident proposition, that regular suitable agents to administer its con- authority is necessary to the well being cerns; and as a body, of wbich Christ of the church ; for its interests cannot is the head, its various members must be promoted, nor the rights and privi. bave their distinct spheres of action. leges of individual members be main. All good men are not called to the tained without it: the conclusion, ministry, or to superintend the con- therefore, appears to be irresistible, cerns of the church. Its prosperity, that wherever certain qualifications like that of all other publick institu- are specified, there must be discretions, depends, under the will of God, tionary powers, lodged in some suitaon the wisdom and discretion with ble person or persons to decide upon which its internal concerns are manag.
them. These considerations afford ed. Its divine Head has never pro strong ground for the belief that Christ mised to crown with success measures left not his kingdom without a regular dictated by the spirit of anarchy, or organization, and a regular form of devised in the councils of folly or government for the administration of madness. On the contrary, describ- its concerns. ing the qualifications of those who are But the sacred oracles do not leave to take the lead in its affairs, he says us to the mere deductions of reason, on that they must be “wise as serpents this subject. Not only the fact is asand harmless as doves.” Two impor- serted in them, that certain offices tant qualifications are here distinctly were ordained by God for the governmarked out, as necessary to those who ment of the church, but the requisite are to occupy distinguished stations in qualifications are described, together the church, viz. wisdom and integrity. with the source of authority, and the And who is to be judge in this case ? mode of conveying it. Tbus St. Paul Is each individual to decide on his own writes in 1 Corinthians xii. 23, God qualifications ? and is every one who hath set in the church, first fancies himself to be wise, just, and apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdiy prudent, therefore authorized to assume teachers. In the same chapter, the the functions of the sacred ministry, church is compared to the human and invest bimself with ecclesiastical body, as exhibiting the same symmeauthority? Does not the very specifi- try and harmony in all its parts, and is eation of certain qualifications, parti. represented, at the same time, as havcularly those which are of a very ing been thus constituted by its divine delicate nature, and of which the indi. Head. Again, the same apostle in his vidual himself is least capable of judg- address to the elders (or priests) of ing, plainly imply the existence of the church of Ephesus, as recorded in some regular tribunal, by which ques Acts xx. 28, speaks of their appoint. tions of this description are to be de- ment to office as having been made by cided ? If uncommon wisdom and divine authority. • Take heed to the unimpeachable morals are stated as flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath essential qualifications for an office, made you overseers.” If we under. does it not follow, as a necessary con- stand the apostle bere to mean merely sequence, that authority must be lodg- that the Holy Ghost bad designated ed somewhere to examine as to the those persons to office, it must be taken for granted that the office already exist- to their hearers the fact, that the king, ed; and such an appointment, made dom of God was come nigh unto them. by the Holy Spirit, must be a sanction St. Luke informs us also ihat at a forto the office, equivalent to divine in. mer period, Jesus “ went throughout stitution. And finally, all those pas- every city and village, preaching and sages, directing provision to be made showing the glad tidings of the king. for the support of the ministry, plain- dom of God," Luke viii. 1 ; or ac. ly imply that the office already exist- cording to the idiom of the original, ed, and that it received divine favour evangelizing the kingdom of God. The and approbation. In addition to pro- same form of expression occurs again vision for its maintenance and perpe- in the epistle to Romans, x. 15, where tuity, the qualifications for it are ex. St. Paul quotes an ancient prophecy, plicitly stated. The scriptures teach “How beautiful are the feet of them io this effect, that “No man taketh that preach the gospel of peace, and this power to himself, but he that is bring glad tidings of good things !" called of God, as was Aaron :" and or, that evangelize peace
and evangelize the superintendents of the church are good things. instructed, in the selection of suitable These expressions help to cor candidates, to have regard to their rect ideas of the nature of the message, moral characters as well as to their which the apostles were sent to deliver. aptness to leach. And the mode of The tidings to be published were investing men with the office, after cheerful and pleasant. It was not their qualifications bad been duly test- their message which subjected them ed, was by the laying on of hands. to ill treatment, so much as the ape
Thus clear are the scriptures on parent inconsistency between their these points, and thus powerful and personal appearance and their high incontrovertible are the arguments in pretensions. What then must have favour of a gospel ministry of divine been the peculiar character, the proappointment.
minent feature of their preaching ? It II. When duly qualified, these mes- certainly would not have consisted in sengers were sent to preach the gospel; moral essays, or in delineating a sysor, as in the original, to evangelize. tem of theology, or in alarming apWherever they went, they evangelized, peals to the passions of the multitude, i. e. proclaimed good tidings. It was or in attempts to excite terrifick emo
. the characteristick feature of the Chris. tions. But their object was to antian embassy, that it was a proclaina- nounce a simple fact, and to prepare tion of good tidings from God to man, a the minds and hearts of men for the communication of joyful news from accomplishment of an important event; heaven to earth. When the angel it was, to carry tidings which would first announced the birth of Christ, to excite a lively interest, and to commuthe shepherds on the plains of Bethle- nicate intelligence which would be hem, he announced it, as “ gond tidings received with joy. They were to an. of great joy which should be to all nounce to the expecting Jews that people.” The heavenly host, like. " the kingdom of God was come nigh wise, which descended on this joyful unto them," and in confirmation of occasion, exclaimed, on beholding the the truth of the declaration, they were development of the glorious plan of to heal diseases, and to cast out devils! salvation, “ Glory to God in the high- This to the Jews was most welcome est, and on earth peace, good will intelligence, intelligence in which were towards men.” Our Saviour himself centered their highest hopes of tem. likewise, in commissioning bis first poral and eternal felicity. It was not messengers, directed them to announce the design of this mission to proclaim
Jesus to be the Messiah. This was a jecting it; and on several occasions, discovery to be gradually made by reasoned and proved from the holy evidence to be afterward presented; scriptures, that Jesus was the Christ, but a full disclosure was not to be or the Messiah. After having promade, till after his resurrection. His claimed the tidings, and made converts spiritual kingdom on earth was not in to the belief of them, they instructed fact to be fully organized and estab- the disciples or converts in the doclished, till the great expiatory sacri- trines, the discipline, and the prefice was about to be offered on the cepts of Christ's spiritual kingdom. cross for the sins of the whole world; But from the reasons now given, the when he publickly announced him- inference must be plain, that to evan. self to be the Messiah, the king of the gelize, or to preach the gospel, or to Jews. After his resurrection, when do the work of an evangelist, is not to he had obtained a victory over sin and inculcate hard sayings, cr to dispense death, he directly commissioned the paradoxes; nor is it to dazzle by apostles, to preach the gospel to every eloquence, to confound by metaphysicreature; which commission, according cal subtleties, or to brandish the weato St. Matthew, was conveyed in the pons of polemnick theology. The chief following words, “All power is given duty of Christian ministers consists, unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye after the work of evangelizing is ac. therefore, and teach (or disciple] all na- complished, in instruction and disci. tions, baptizing them in the name of the pline. They are to enlighten the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy ignorant, to confirm the wavering, to Ghost ; teaching them to observe all reclaim the wandering, and to nourisha things whatsoever I have commanded the faithful disciples of Christ. In one you: and lo, I am with you always, even word, they are to“ feed the [evangelizunto the end of the world.” Or, accordo ed) flock, over which the Holy Ghost ing to St. Mark, thus: “Go ye into hath made them overseers ;" to water, all the world, and preach the gospel to nourish, and cherish the plants, which every creature.
He that believeth have been placed under their immeand is baptized, shall be saved; but be diate care, in the vineyard of the Lord. that believeth not shall be damned." III. These messengers were authorizBoth of which commissions are of the ed, as representatives of Christ, to treat same import. The apostles were with men,to act in bis behalf, and 10 authorized by them to evangelize all speak in his name. This idea is almost nations, or proclaim to every creature explicitly asserted in the instructions the good news of the advent and es- given on this occasion. He that heareth tablishment of Christ's kingdom ; in- you, heareth me, and he that despiseth viting everyone to flock to it and you, despiseth me, and he that despiseth become meinbers of it by receiving the me despiseth him that sent me. initiatory right of baptism, with the this nothing can be plainer, than that promise that all who complied and the ministers of Christ are to act as his obeyed, should be saved, and the representatives; and that those who threat that all who disbelieved, should hear them, bear Christ, and those who be damned.
despise them, or treat the office with It is by no means to be supposed contempt, are guilty of despising Christ that the apostles confined themselves and despising God. A similar view after the establishment of the church of the elevated nature of their station to a mere annunciation of the advent is given by St. Paul in his second episof the kingdom of God. They un- tle to the Corinthians, v, 20. doubtedly enlarged on the importance ambassadors for Christ, as though God of receiving it, and the danger of re- did beseech you by us: we therefore 47
ADVOCATE, VOL. II.
66 We are