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APOSTOLIC ORIGIN OF EPISCOPACY
¥n a series of Letters,
ADDRESSED TO THE REV. DR. MILLER, ONE OF THE PASTORS OF THE UNITED
PRESBYTERIAN CHURCHES IN THE CITY OF NEW-YORK,
A. D. 1808.
BY THE REV. JOHN BOWDEN, D. D.,
PROFESSOR OF MORAL PHILOSOPHY, LOGIC, AND BELLES LETTRES,
IN COLUMBIA COLLEGE.
AUDI ALTERAM PARTEM.
This republication of the works of Drs. Bowden and Cooke, was suggested by the appearance of a new edition of the Rev.. Dr. Miller's “ Letters concerning the Constitution and Order of the Christian Ministry,” which had occasioned the strictures of the above-named authors. To this new edition, Dr. M. prefixed a “ Preliminary Letter," which, although containing nearly fifty octavo pages, throws no other new light on his argument than such as may flow from an effort to enlist in its favour the passions and prejudices, rather than the sober conviction of the understandings, of his readers. On some of the assertions, denunciations, and sophisms, with which the “Preliminary Letter” abounds, it may be proper here to say a few words.
The present writer has no recollection of ever having seen any thing so very like the denial of salvation to high-churchmen, so called, as in this portion of Dr. Miller's writings. Addressing his Presbyterian brethren, he uses these words: “So far from being doubtful whether you may be saved out of the Episcopal Church, my deep conviction is that the danger is all the other way;" that is, that being in the Episcopal Church is exposure to the danger of not being saved. The Doctor proceeds, however, to qualify this semi-anathema in favour of a portion of the Episcopal Church, of which he takes great pains to bespeak the good-will—" that there is REAL DANGER* -not in being found in an Episcopal Church as such; for there, I have no doubt, there may be as ardent piety, and as precious, well-founded hopes, as in the Presbyterian or any other : but REAL DANGER in being found in an ecclesiastical inclosure in which the high-church doctrine, with all its usual spirit, and accompanying errors, form the prevalent
Here, and in the same words below, the emphatic capitals are the Doctor's own; expressive, no doubt, of his “deep conviction'a of the awful magnitude of the danger.