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came up the sacrifice of the Mass ; without “ which they thought the names of Priest and Al“ tar were insignificant." - Irenicum. p. ii. chap. vi. It is also well known that Archbishop Cranmer, Bishop Ridley, and several other eminently pious reformers of the Church of England, made zealous opposition to the use of the word Altur, and the whole system of phraseology connected with it, as a Popish affectation of conformity to the Temple service of the Jews; as utterly unsupported by scripture; and as highly mischievous in its tendency.
No less opposed to this principle is the opinion of Dr. Haweis, an Episcopal Divine, expressed in his Ecclesiastical History. “ If, says he, the unfound. " ed idea, that Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, “ were to succeed to the High Priest, Priests, and “ Levites, were true, we must surely have found
some intimation of it in the Epistle to the He< brews. That men of research," he adds, “ should “ broach such puerilities is surprising."
Dr. Mosheim*, in his account of the corruptions which began to creep into the Church, in the second century, makes the following remarks. “ Christian Doctors had the good fortune to per"" suade the people, that the ministers of the
* It is generally known that Dr. Mosheim was a Lutheran divine, and one of the most learned men of the 18th century. of the work from which this quotation is made, Bishop Warburton expressed himself in the following terms~" Mosheim's " Compendium is excellent--the method admirable-in short, it is the
only one deserving the name of an ecclesiastical history."
« Christian Church succeeded to the character,
rights, and privileges of the Jewish priesthood ; " and this persuasion was
a new source both of “ honors and profits to the sacred order. This “notion was propagated with industry sometime “ after the reign of Adrian, when the second de“struction of Jerusalem had extinguished among " the Jews all hopes of seeing their government " restored to its former lustre, and their country
arising out of ruins. And accordingly the Bi“ shops considered themselves as invested with a “ rank and character similar to those of the High “ Priest among the Jews, while the Presbyters
represented the Priests, and the Deacons the “ Levites. It is, indeed, highly probable, that
they. who first introduced this absurd comparison ss of offices so entirely distinct, did it rather through
ignorance and error, than through artifice or de* sign. The notion, however, once introduced, - produced its natural effects ; and these effects
But admitting, for a moment, that the Levitical priesthoud is a proper model for the Christian Min nistry ; what is the consequence? It follows inevitably, that as there was but one High Priest over the Jewish Church, so there ought to be but one Bishop over the Christian Church.
So far, then, as the argument has any force, it goes to the establishment, not of diocesan episcopacy, but of a Pope, as the sole vicar of Jesus Christ upon earth, and as the proper head of the Church. In fact,
the whole argument is borrowed from the Papists*, who have made the only rational and legitimate use of it: and, indeed, if the general principle be adınitted, I see not how it is possible, in any consistency with the analogy contended for, to stop short of one Universal Bishop.
It is evident, then, that this fancied analogy between the Levitical priesthood, and the Christian ministry, is not only destitute of all support from Scripture, but is positively discountenanced and precluded by the New Testament; that if admitted, it would serve the cause of popery, and not that kind of prelacy for which the Church of England, and those of the same sect in this country, contend; and that it is connected with errors, and with a system of language directly cal
* I am aware that hints of the least affinity between Episcopacy and Popery, are highly offensive to the friends of the former, and have been indignantly repelled. I take no pleasure in gia ving offence; but as the fact in question is certain, however seriously it may be denied ; and as it is impossible to do justice to the cause of truth without stating it, I hope to be excused. I have said, that this argument is borrowed from the Papists, No one will understand my meaning to be, that the argument was not invented or propagated until Popery had become fullgrown and mature. The contrary is admitted. The Papacy had a beginning, as well as a completion. It arose so gradually that even candid men will always dispute about the principal dates in its rise, progress, and establisbment. My meaning is, that the artful parallel between the Jewish Priesthood and the Christian ministry, was one of the means early employed by ambitious clergymen to increase their power ; and has been always used by the Romish Church as pne of the supports of her superstitious system,
culated to lead men away from the simplicity of the Gospel.
II. Another argument urged by Episcopal wri . crs in favor of their system, is" That we ac
tually find three distinct orders of Gospel minis“ters appointed by Christ, or under his authority, “ viz. Apostles, the Seventy Disciples, and Deacons ; “ and that these correspond with the diocesan Bi
shops, the Presbyters, and the Deacons of their u Church."
This argument may appear plausible to those who have looked only at the surface of the subject ; but the slightest examination will evince that it is altogether fallacious and nugatory.
Who were the Seventy Disciples? They were a set of men sent out on the same errand with the twelve Apostles, and, for aught that appears, were vested with the same powers. They were both commanded to go forth and proclaim, that the kingdom of heaven was at hand; they were both endowed with the power of working miracles; and no hint is given that the former were inferior to the latter. (Compare Matth. X. with Luke x.) The truth is, the first commission even of the twelve Apostles was limited and temporary. They were directed not to go into the way of the Gentiles, but only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. This commission terminated at the death of Christ; and was, after his resurrection, formally renewed, and made unlimited both with respect to time and
place. But the Seventy Disciples had no such renewal and extension of their commission. They are mentioned but once in the history of our Lord's ministry by the Evangelists; and after his resurrection, not a syllable is said respecting them. Now as the Jewish dispensation did not give place to the Christian until after the death of Christ, it will inevitably follow that the Seventy Disciples were never, strictly speaking, ministers of the Christian Church at all; but only temporary missionaries, and that under the Old Testament dispensation.
The force of this reasoning can only be evaded by supposing, that the first commission given to the Seventy Disciples was unlimited both with respect to its duration and objects. If this were so, then they were superior to the twelve Apostles, whose first commission is acknowledged to have been limited and temporary. But if this were the case, what becomes of the correspondence between their office, and that of Presbyters, whom Epis. copalians constantly represent as inferior to Bishops ? On the other hand, if the commission of the Seventy were temporary, and not afterwards renewed, then it will follow, that when our Lord ascended to heaven, he left but one order of mi. nisters in his Church, which is precisely the fact for which Presbyterians contend. Nay, if the commission of the Seventy were even allowed to be unlimitted as to time, yet it was obviously conhned to preaching the Gospel among the Jews,