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“ It is evident unto all men, diligently reading “ holy scripture, and ancient authors, that from the “ apostles time there have been these orders of mi. " nisters in Christ's church, bishops, priests and dea~ cons : Which offices were evermore had in such “ reverend estimation, that no man might presume “ to execute any of them, except he were first cal“ led, tricd, .examined, and known to have such " qualities as were requisite for the same ; and also “ by public prayer, with imposition of hands, were ap“ proved, and admitted thereunto by lawful authority. " And therefore, to the intent, that these orders “ may be continued, and reverently used and esteem. "ed in the Church of England ; no man shall be "accounted, or taken to be a lawful bishop, priest or “ deacon in the Church of England, or suffered to “ execute any of the said functions, except he be called, “ tried, examined, and admitted thereunto, accord“ing to the form hereafter following, or hath had for. “ merly Episcopal consecration or ordination.” Had Dr. Cainpbell introduced into his lecture, this preface, as well as her twenty-third article, he could not have easily brought his pupils to believe, even on his word, that the Church of England “has not " presumed to delineate the essentials of a Christian “ ministry, or to say any thing, which could be “ construed to exclude those, who are governed in - a different manner from that in which she herself *6 is governed."*
* See vol. I. p. 94.-where Dr. Campbell has evidently borrowed from
It was equally unfair in the learned Professor, not to tell his youthful audience, in explaining to them the doctrine of the Church of England, that at the time when her thirty-nine articles were drawn up, the word congregation made use of in the twenty-third article, had precisely the same signification as the word church, and was used with the fame latitude. Indeed the two terms were at that time considered so perfe&ly synonymous, that in the translations of the bible then used, Christ is called the “ Head of the “congregation, which is his body;" and is mentioned as saying to Peter " On this rock I will build “ my congregation.” To the same purpose we are told, that forty years after the drawing up of the thirty-nine articles, the word congregation was used in the canonical prayer before sermons, lectures and homilies, in which they were directed “ to pray for “ the whole congregation of Christian people dispers. "ed throughout the whole world.”# Hence it is evident, that the meaning of the article in question is plainly this—" It is not lawful,” that is-by the law of God, for “ any man to take upon him the “ office of public preaching or ministering the sa"craments in the congregation,” or “ church of
Mr. Anderson of Dunbarton, who affirms—" that the 19th and 23d articles " of the Church of England are conceived in such general words, on purpose " that they might not be thought to exclude other churches that differ from them in "point of government.” P-38 of the work already mentioned.
See Brett’s Divine right of Epifcopacy, Er.
“ Christ, before he be thus lawfully called and sent "S to execute the fame. And those we ought to w judge lawfully called and sent,” according to the haw of God, which be chosen " and called to this “ work, by men who have thus public authority “ given unto them in the congregation," or church of Chrift, “ to call and send ministers into the Lord's u vineyard.” The lawfulness of such public authosity must mean its conformity to the laws of God, because the bishops and clergy assembled in convocation, who were the compilers of the articles, not being civil judges, had no right to declare what was lawful, by the laws of the land, or any temporal ftarutes, but only what they deemed to be lawful, according to the laws of God, laid down in scripture for the spiritual government of his church. And as the twenty-third article is sufficient to shew the neceflity of such a lawful commission, so the thirty-sixth article plainly declares that the persons invested with fuch commillion, are the bishops, priests and deacons, who are duly consecrated and ordered, according to the rites of the book referred to in that article; and in which book the Church of England, by her prayers to Almighty God, acknowledges her belief that every one of these orders was appointed by his Holy Spirit, and therefore was certainly of divine inftitu. tion. Surely then we may now leave it with our readers to determine on what ground Dr. Campbell could be justified in saying, that the Church of En
gland has « avoided limiting th
has a6 avoided limiting the Christian ministry “to one particular model.”
Whether he has done justice to his own church in assigning the same doctrine and conduct to her, is a point which we are not called upon to decide, al. though we cannot help taking notice of the unnatural association, which he endeavours to establish between the doctrine of the Church of England, and that of the Westminster Confcffion of Faith, the authors of which, at the very time of compiling it, entertained such a mortal enmity against that church, that they had sworn in their folemn league and covenant, to “ endeavour without respect of persons, the extir. “pation of prelacy, with all ecclesiastical officers de
pending on that hierarchy.” It cannot be difficult to perceive, how far this conduct in the authors is entitled to the praise of “ moderation,” which our Lecturer bestows on the doctrine of his Westminster confefsion, “ which,” he says, “ is of equal "authority with us, as the thirty-nine articles are of “ in England ;” and then after quoting the following words from the xxvth chapter of it, . -- Un“ to the catholic visible church, Christ has given “the ministry, oracles and ordinances of God, for “ the gathering and perfecting of the saints in this “ life, to the end of the world;" he immediately addsm" And this is all that is said on the sub"ject.” We should suppose however that something more is said on the subject, when in the xxyith chapter of the same confession, we find these words." There be only two facraments ordained “ by Christ our Lord, neither of which may be dif. “ pensed by any but by a minister of the word lawful“ ly ordained.” And if we wish to know how, in their judgment, a minister of the word is lawfully ordained, we are referred by a very sensible and spi. rited reviewer of Dr. Campbell's lectures, to the form of presbyterial church government, agreed upon by the assembly of divines at Westminster, and of equal authority with the Confession of Faith, where we shall find it decreed—that “ every minister of “ the word be ordained by imposition of hands, and “ prayer, with fasting, by those preaching presbyters " to whom it doth belong.”+
The Church of England however is well able to defend the doctrine of her own articles and liturgy.With the Westminster Confcllion of Faith we have at present no concern, farther than to take notice of Dr. Campbell's very partial appeal to its decision. But there is another point, which he brings forward, as particularly applicable to those of the Episcopal persuasion in this country, and to which it behoves us therefore to direct our attention, with a view to defend ourselves from the imputation of in. consistency, in a matter of such importance. It is stated in the following words" I shall add to these 6 the doctrine of the Episcopal reformed church of • Scotland, contained in a confession of faith rati
+ See the Anti-Jacobin Review for May, 1801.p. 21.