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next bafis of the power and order of Epifcopacy," we are as well affured as we can be of any historical fact whatever, that TIMOTHY, TITUS, IG. NATIUS, POLYCARP, CLEMENS ROMANUS, and others, the immediate difciples of the Apostles, did exercise the Epifcopal office, for fubftance the fame as it is now exercised, in that branch of the Christian church established in this country. From which circumftance we feel ourselves warranted in concluding, that fuch was the government originally fettled in the church; because it is not to be fuppofed, that those who lived with the Apostles, who exercised the office they had received in the church by virtue of their appointment, and in fome measure under their fuperintendance, could deviate from the plan laid down by the Apostles, whom they confidered as acting under the immediate direction of the Holy Spirit. For if it can be fuppofed, that the immediate disciples of the Apostles did not know the minds of their teachers, or that their practice was not ftrictly conformable to it; or" if it is imaginable that the whole world fhould, immediately after the death of the Apostles, confpire together, to feek themselves, and not the things that are of JESUS CHRIST, to erect a government of their own defiring,
not ordained by CHRIST, not delivered by his Apostles; and to relinquish a divine foundation, and the Apoftolical fuperftructure, which, if it was at all, was a part of our Mafter's will;"* we may fuppose and imagine any thing; and there is no ground left, upon which any conclufive reasoning on this fubject can be built.
But "what need we,” faid a judicious writer, who had paid particular attention to this fubject, and whose writings have been frequently referred to as a standard of judgment in church matters; "what need we," faid he, "to feek for proofs, that the Apostles, who began their order of regiment by bishops, did it not but by Divine inftinct; when, without fuch direction, things of far lefs weight and moment they attempted not? PAUL and BARNABAS did not open their mouths unto the Gentiles, till the Spirit had faid, 'Separate me PAUL and BARNABAS for the work whereunto I have fent them.' The eunuch, by PHILIP, was neither baptized nor inftru&ted, before the angel of GOD was fent to give him notice, that so it pleased the MOST HIGH. In Afia, PAUL and the reft were filent, because the Spirit
*TAYLOR," Of the facred Order and Office of Episcopacy." Section 22.
forbad them to speak. When they intended to have seen Bythinia, they stayed their journey, the Spirit not giving them leave to go. Before TIMOTHY was employed in those Epifcopal affairs of the church, about which the Apostle PAUL used him, the HOLY GHOST gave special charge for his ordination; and prophetical intelligence, more than once, what fuccefs the fame would have. And fhall we think, that JAMES was made bishop of Jerufalem, EVODIUS bishop of the church of Antioch, the angels in the churches of Afia bishops; that bishops every where were appointed to take away factious contentions and fchifms; without fome like divine inftigation and direction of the HOLY GHOST? Wherefore let us not fear to be herein bold and peremptory; that if any thing in the church's regiment, furely the first inftitution of bishops was from heaven, was even of GOD; the HOLY GHOST was the author of it." HOOKER'S ECC. Pol. book vii. If we fay then, that in every church that was planted, the offices of bifhop, prieft, and deacon, answering to those of high-prieft, priest, and Levite, under the law, were to be found, we fhall fay no more than the hiftory of the primitive church will warrant. It being certain that the economy of the
Christian church correfponded as nearly to that of her elder fifter the Jewish church, as the different nature of their respective services would permit. Indeed, from the parallel fubfifting between the law and the Gospel, the one being confidered as the type or figure of the other, it was no uncommon thing for the primitive fathers, in fpeaking of the government of the Christian church, to argue from the distinctive offices in the Levitical priesthood, to a fimilar diftinction in the Christian. "CHRIST and his Apoftles, (fays the learned HICKES) who were the reformers of the Jewish oeconomy into the Chriftian church, did build with many of the old materials, and conformed their new house, as much as they could, after the platform of the old. This will appear from baptifm itself, which was a ceremony by which profelytes, both men, women, and children, were initiated into the Jewish church; which ceremony our SAVIOUR confecrated in the place of that of circumcifion, to be the facrament of initiation into his church, and a feal of the righteoufnefs of faith. So likewife the other facrament of the LORD's Supper was certainly of Jewish original, as
* SELDEN de jure, l. ii. c. 2.; de Synedr. l. i. c. 3.-LIGHTFOOT Hora Hebraicæ, p. 42.-HAMMOND on MATTH. iii. 1.-JACOB ALTINGIUS de Profelytis.
hath been fhewed by many learned men ;t and the correfpondence of the bishops, prefbyters, and deacons, to the high-priest, priests, and Levites, doth fhew, that the fubordination of the Christian hierarchy is taken from the Jewish church; as ST. JEROME obferves in his epiftle to EVAGRIUS, “what the high-priest, priests, and Levites were in the temple, that the bishops, presbyters, and deacons are in the church, according to the apoftolical conftitution taken from the Old Testament." "Et ut fciamus traditiones Apoftolicas fumptas de veteri Teftamento, quod AARON, et filii ejus, et Levitæ in templo fuerunt; hoc fibi epifcopi et prefbyteri et diaconi vendicent in ecclefia."
Thus, in correfpondence with the fame established. idea, St. CLEMENT, one of the first bishops, a fellow
† MEDE, I book, disc. 51, 6, 11.-GROT. Opufc. tom. iii. p. 510. CUDWORTH on the LORD's Supper.-THORNDIKE, C. 10.-Dr. TAYLOR'S "Great Exemplar;" p. 1; Discourse of Baptism.
The reader will find a masterly illuftration of the connection between the Jewish œconomy and Christian church, (a fubject ne ceffary to be underftood by all Chriftian divines, who, according to our SAVIOUR's defcription of the doctor “rightly instructed unto the kingdom of GOD;" fhould be like unto an houfholder," who bringeth out of his storehouse new things and old:") in the difcourse previous to the "Cafe of Baptism, by the very learned Dean of WORCESTER." See London Cafes, No. 15.