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phesy deceits, he is an honest man, but an imprudent one. He speaks the truth, and his family suffers for it. It is a painful and perilous trial, to place the most conscientious minister continually in a situation, where he inust either seem ungrateful to his most liberal friend on earth, or unfaithful to his Father in heaven. Again, when any matter of dispute arises in the society, if one wealthy Diotrephes, who loveth to have the pre-eminence, shall carry his point in triumph over another, the congregation is either rent by -open discord, or secret. jealousies disturb the pure spirit of Christian charity: or lastly a swarm flies off from the contentious hive, and endless divisions and subdivisions are the consequences; »: In the Church of England the bishop is the apex of a pyramid. Aided by learned and wise advisers around him, and removed from the con
tagion of those insensible biases, which the mind i receives from neighbourhood and competition, he is an adequate, he is the best judge of all dió cesan matters exclusively submitted to his cogni. - zánce. In affairs, where legal knowledge and open investigation are required, the law takes its course in ecclesiastical courts. The bishops are supports of the throne: no Bishop, no King. By admission to the court, they are guarantees for the decorum of its manners.: By mingling in the supreme assembly of the nation, they watch, with ealous eyes, all laws that might be inimical to
-right faith or to pure morality. By being num-bered with the highest ranks in society, and by *partaking of their honours and titles of respect,
they add dignity to the national religion. The "mitre reflects the lustra of the coronet. ...
With reference to the two inferior orders of the church, gradations in this profession, as in all others, are expedient. A deacon is usually a very young man. He cannot pronounce the absolution, or consecrate the bread and wine in the eucharist ; and some experience, some tried gravity, might seem, in reason, requisite to the perform
ance of these extra-solemn offices. Persons are i admitted to deacons' orders at the age of twenty
three ; to priests' orders, one year later ; and this, : after a new and stricter examination, relative to : their talents and morals; an ordinance which pro· vides, that the minister, during the first year of his' ecclesiastical life, shall establish the salutary habits of weaning his mind from secular pursuits ; of retaining his academical information ; and of establishing a character for gravity, piety, morality, application, and knowledge, which shall be a pledge for his behaviour throughout the whole of , life*. .:. It has been objected by the Independents to the : Church of England, that the people do not choose ' their own pastors ;, which has been called their
unalienable right. The pretended instances are 6 *My owo-Sermon in the Reasonableness of the Church.
those of Matthias and the seven deacons ; but Matthias was chosen by God: and only one hun: dred and twenty of the congregation, who must; at least have consisted of five hundred (i Cor. xv. 6), were present: and as the Seventy, and the. eleven Apostles, must have made eighty-one of: these, no power can be inferred as residing in the: laity to elect without the help of church officers. ! In the choice of the seven deacons (who were not properly intrusted with cure of souls), the people were guided and limited by the Apostles; the number was confined to seven; and the company out of which they were to be chosen, as well as their qualifications, were moreover distinctly pointed out.
The Apostles, the foundation of the church, were chosen by Christ, previous to the forming of a congregation : neither did the Apostles consult the people in regard to whom they should ordain : they created early converts to be bishops and ministers of those who should hereafter believe *. Did St. Paul commit the choice of bishops and dear cons, 'in Ephesus and Crete, to the people ? No-; but to Timothy and Titus. St. Paul even cau. tioned Timothy against popular election : election by persons having itching ears. It is probable that Titus received a similar cantion : since election would not be incautiously placed in the hands of Creu tans, described by St. Paul as liars and.evil beasts.
Sleateros Aús. to Sir P. King, p. 90; Crem. ad Corinth: Ep. i. .ii
It must be remembered that it is ordination, and not nomination, that makes a bishop or € congregational priest. It is, therefore, nothing, that the King in England, and other countries, nominates the one, and lay patrons the other, since, if an improper person is nominated, a bir shop ought to suffer any extremity sooner than: yield compliancé. Kings and emperors interfered to prevent the broils and bloodshed which attended the popular election of bishops': and lay patronage is coeval with established Christianity itself, as it encouraged the building and endowing of churches. In Independent congregations, the popular election is the call; and the laying on of hands is designed only to make it public. : :, ,' ny ."T : God, who is the God of peace and order, could never direct pastors to be elected by popular choice; a mode of appointment which would split the church into ten thousand fractions: for, if the people have án únalienable right to elect, each disappointed minority, without end, in contested elections, has likewise an unalienable right to elect. In Dr. Seaman's church mentioned by Sherlock, the small number of thirty electors, after prayer, fasting, and sermons, were unable to agree. But suppose the pastor even unanimously elected, and living twenty years among the people, in this period one half of the electors die; and a new, congregation have a right, an un. alienable right, to a fresh election,, Take this principle in conjunction with the independence of
congregations on each other, the absence of alį general jurisdiction or bond of connexion, and what system can be conceived more destructive to Christian unity* ?
As the ancient Independents and Presbyterians, together with a large body of the church ministers, were doctrinal Puritans, or, in other terms, Calyinists; and as a considerable number of religious descendants of each of these classes, together with some other sects, exist at this time in England, professing the same tenets, we now seem to have arrived at the proper part of our work for examining the quinquarticular controversy.
* It is worthy of remark, that Calvin himself was by no means consistent in his professed attachment to Presbyterianism. In the fourth book of his Institutes, ch. iv. & 1, after stating that although the episcopal canons contain some things not to be assented to; nevertheless he adds, “cautione totam suam oeconomiam composuerunt, ad unicam illam veram Dei normam, ut facile videas nihil fere hâc parte habuisse à verbo Dei alienum."-"Quemadmodum tradidimus triplices ministros nobis commendari in Scriptura, ita quicquid mipis.. trorum habuit vetus ecclesia, in tres ordines distinxit. Nam ex ordine Presbyterorum partim eligebantar pastores ac doce tores ; reliqua pars censuræ morum et correctionibus præerat. Diaconis commissa erat cura pauperum, et eleemosynarum dis. pensatio. Itaque Hieronimus ubi quinque proposuit ecclesia ordines, enumerat episcopos, presbyteros, diaconos, fidelesi, catechumenos, &c." See the whole section, where it is plain that the two latter are not ecclesiastical offices. 1 .o