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readily abandoned. The tradition of the elders,' has been too long pressed into the service of the Episcopacy ; there has been 100 conscious a sense of the weakness of the scriptural proof, to renounce heartily, entirely,

and forever, all reliance on other proof than the new testament. The “ Answer" would have lacked a very material seature which we expected to find in it, if there had been no inclination manifested, to plunge into this abyss of traditional history, where light and darkness struggle together, and no wish to recall the testimony of uninspired antiquity, to the service of prelacy. Accordingly, we were prepared for the following declaration, which we quote entire, from pp. 3 and 4, of the Answer :

• Because the author of the tract rested the claims of episcopacy finally on scripture-because he fills a high office in the church-and because the tract is issued by so prominent an episcopal institution as the “Press,” the reviewer seems to think, that episcopalians are now to abandon all arguments not drawn directly from the holy volume. Not at all. The author of the tract, in his sermon at the consecration of the four bishops, in October, 1832, advocated episcopacy, besides on other grounds, on that of there being several grades of office in the priesthoods of all religions, false as well as true, and in all civil magistracies and other official structures,—and, in his late Charge, he adverted to the evidence in its favor contained in the Fathers. And the

Press," at the time it issued the tract, issued also with it, in the “Works on Episcopacy,” those of Dr. Bowden and Dr. Cooke, which embrace the argument at large. There is no reason, therefore, for thinking, that, however a single writer may use selected arguments in a single publication, either he or other episcopalians will (or should) narlow the ground they have usually occupied. The Fathers are consulted on this subject, because the fabric of the ministry which they describe forms an historical basis for interpreting scripture. And general practice, in regard to distinct grades among officers, throws a heavier burden of disproof on those whose interpretations are adverse to episcopacy : this latter topic we shall again notice before we close.'

This passage, so far from insisting, as the Tract had done, that no argument was worth taking into the account, except the scriptural proof, refers distinctly to the following points, which we beg leave to call “ extraneous considerations," as proof of Episcopacy. (1.) The fact, that there are several grades of office in the priesthood of all religions ;" (2.) That the same thing occurs “in all civil magistracies, and other official structures;” (3.) The evidence of the fathers; and, (4.) “ Other grounds," which the author informs us he had insisted on, in an ordination sermon, in 1832. And in this very passage, he makes the following remarkable statement, which we propose soon to notice further: “ The fathers are consulted on the subject, because the fabric of the minis

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try which they describe, forms an historical basis for interpreting scripture."

Slight circumstances often show strong inclinations, and habits of mind. How strong a hold this reference to other " considerations” than the scriptures, has taken upon the mind of the author of the Tract, and how reluctant he was to part with the “extraneous” argument from the fathers, is shown by the fact, that he again recurs to it in the “Answer," and presents it at much greater length. Thus on pp. 18, 19, at the very close of the Answer, we are presented with the following recurrence to the argument from other considerations than the scriptures :

One word more concerning the “ burden of proof,” as contrasted with the “presumptive argument." The tract claimed no presumption in its favor, in seeking for the scriptural proofs of episcopacy. We doa presumption founded on common sense, as indicated by common practice. Set aside parity and episcopacy, and then look at other systems of office, both religious and civil, and you find several grades of officers. In the Patriarchal church, there was the distinction of "

high-priests” and “ priest.” In the Jewish church, (common sense being, in this case unquestionably, divinely approved, there were the high-priest, priests, and levites. Among Pagans and Mahomedans, there are various grades in the office deemed sacred. Civil governments have usually governors, a president, princes, a king, an emperor, &c., as the heads of the general, or state, or provincial magistracies. In armies and navies, there is always a chief. If the reviewer should claim exceptions, we reply they are exceptions only, and very few in number. The general rule is with us. That general rule, next to universal, is, that among officers, there is a difference of power, of rights, of rank, of grade, call it what you will. And this general rule gives a presumption that such will also be the case in the christian church. We go to scripture then with the presumptive argument fully against parity. If we should find in scripture neither imparity nor parity, still common sense decides for the former. If we find the tone of scripture doubtful, on this point, imparity has the advantage, common sense turning the scale. If we find there intimations, less than positive injunctions, in favor of imparity, common sense, besides the respect due to scripture, decides for our interpretation of them. And if any thing in scripture is supposed to prove or to justify parity, it must be very explicit, to overturn the suggestion of common sense. The " presumptive argument,” then, is clearly with us, and the "" burden of proof” lies on parity. Let the reviewer peruse the tract again, bearing in mind the principles laid down in this paragraph, and he will, we trust, think better of it.'

These observations, it will be remembered, are made by the same writer, and in connection with the same subject, as the declaration,

NO ARGUMENT IS WORTH TAKING INTO THE ACCOUNT, that has not a palpable bearing on the clear and naked topic, -the scriptural evidence of Episcopacy.

that "

Now, against the principles of interpretation here stated, and which the Tract led us to suppose were abandoned, we enter our decided and soleind protest. The question,--the only question in the case, is, Whether Episcopacy " has the authority of scripture?” (Tract, p. 3.) The affirmation is, that is it bas not, “it is not necessarily binding.” (p. 3.) The principle of interpretation, which in the Answer is introduced, to guide us in this inquiry, is, that “ the fathers are consulted on the subject, because the fabric of the ministry which they describe, forms an bistorical basis for interpreting scripture.” (Answer, p. 3.) In order to understand the bearing of this rule of interpretation, it is necessary to know what

A“basis" is defined to be the foundation of a thing; that on which a thing stands or lies; that on which it rests; the ground-work or first principle; that which supports.” Webster. An' historical basis” must mean, therefore, that the opinions, or facts of history, that is, in this case, the testimony of the fathers, constitute the foundation, the ground-work, or first principle, of the interpretation of the bible; or that on which such an interpretation rests, or by which it is supported. It would seem to follow, therefore, that, unless we first become acquainted with this “ historical basis,” we are wholly in the dark about the proper interpretation of the bible, and that our interpretation is destitute of any true support and authority. To this principle of interpretation, in this case, and in all others, the objections are obvious and numerous. (1.) Our first objection lies against the supposed necessity of having any such previously ascertained basis, in order to a just interpretation of the oracles of God. We object wholly to the doctrine, that the scriptures are to be interpreted by bistorical facts to be developed long after the book was written. The great mass of men are wholly incompetent to enter into any such “historical” inquiry; but the great mass of men are not ungualified to understand the general drift and tenor of the new testament. (2.) The statement is, that “the fabric of the ministry which they describe,” is to be the basis of such interpretation. But who knows what the fabric of the ministry which they describe, is ? It is to be remembered, that the question is not respecting the ministry in the fourth century and onwards. But the inquiry,—and the only one of material value in any supposition,--pertains to the fathers previous to that period. And there every thing is unsettled. Prelacy claims the fathers in that unknown age. The papacy claims the fathers there. Presbyterianism claims the fathers there. Congregationalism and Independency too, claim them there. Every thing is unsettled and chaotic. And this is the very point which has been the interminable subject of contention in this whole inquiry, and from which we hoped we had escaped, by the principles laid down in the Tract. Yet the position now advanced, would lead us again into all the difficulties, and controversies, and jostling elements, and contradictory statements, which have always attended the appeal to the fathers. If we are to wait until we have ascertained the fabric of the ministry." which these fathers describe, before we have a “ basis” for interpreting scripture, we may close the new testament in despair. (3.) This canon of interpretation is contrary to the rule which Dr. Onderdonk has himself laid down in the Tract itself. (p. 3.) In that instance, the authority of the scriptures was declared to be ample, and final. And throughout the Tract, there is a manifest indication of a belief, that the bible is susceptible of interpretation, on the acknowledged rules of language, and the principles of common sense. We hailed such a manifestation, not only as auspicious to the cause of truth in regard to the claiins of Episcopacy, but because it evinced the spirit to which the church must come,-of a direct, unqualified, and final appeal to the word of God,—to determine religious doctrine. To that standard, we mean to adhere. And, as far as in us lies, we intend to hold it up to the view of men, and to insist on the great truth from which nothing shall ever divert us, and from which we fervently pray the church may never be diverted, that we are not to look for the discovery of truth, by ascertaining first an “historical basis,” or, a set of instruments by which we are to measure and adjust the proportions of truth which we find in the revelation of God. Without any design to disparage or undervalue the fathers, whom we sincerely reverence, as having been holy, bold, and venerable men ; without any blindness, as we believe, to the living luster of that piety which led many of them to the stake; without any apprehension, that their testimony, when examined, would be found to be on the side of Episcopacy,—for it remains yet to be seen, that the fathers of the first two centuries ever dreamed of the pride and domination which subsequently crept into the church, and assumed the form of prelacy and popery: without any thing to influence us, so far as we know, from any of these " extraneous sources, we intend to do all in our power to extend and perpetuate the doctrine, that the ultimate appeal in all religious inquiry, is to be the bible, and the bible only. “The bible," said Chillingworth,“ is the religion of the Protestants." We rejoice, to hear this sentiment echoed from the assistant bishop of Pennsylvania. And without meaning to insinuate, that this sentiment is not as honestly acted on by Episcopalians, as by any other denomination of christians, we may add, that we deem the first sentence of the Tract worthy to be written in letters of gold, on the posts of every Episcopal sanctuary, and over every altar, and on the cover of every “Book of Common Prayer." The cluim of Episcopacy to be of divine institution, and therefore obligatory on the church, rests fundamentally on the one question, -Has it the authority of

scripture? If it has not, it is not necessarily binding.” (4.) Our fourib objection to this rule of interpretation is, that it is, substantially, that on which rests the papal hierarchy. We do not know, that the papist would wish to express his principles of interpretation in stronger language, than that “the fathers are consulted on this subject, because the fabric of the ministry which they describe, forms an historical basis for interpreting scripture.” To us it seems, that this would express all that they ask; and as we doubt not, that Dr. Onderdonk would shrink from any approximation to the papacy, quite as firmly as ourselves, we deem it necessary merely to suggest the consideration, to render the objection at once satisfactoI to his own mind.

We object, also, to the principle of interpretation advanced on p. 18, of the Answer, which we have already quoted. The fact there assumed, is, that various orders of men are observable in civil governments, etc.; and hence, that there is presumptive evidence, that such orders are to be found in the scriptures. We are not ignorant of the purpose for which this fact is adduced. It is to show, that the “ burden of proof” does not lie so entirely on the Episcopalian, as we had affirmed in the review. We admit, to some extent, the modifying force of the circumstances, so far as the “ burden of proof” is concerned. But it merely lightens the burden; it does not remove it. Presumption, in such a case, is not proof. When the fact affirmed relates to a doctrine of the bible, it is not sufficient to say, that that fact occurred elsewhere, and therefore it must occur in the bible. It is still the business of the Episcopalian, to prove bis affirmation from the new testament itself, that bishops are superior to other ministers of the gospel, in ministerial power and rights. This is his affirmation ; this is the point which he urges; this is to be made out from the bible only; and assuredly the fact, that there are dukes, and earls, and emperors, and admirals, and nabobs, forms, at best, a very slight presumption in favor of the affirmation, that the ministry of the gospel consists of three orders.' But our objections may be further stated. So far as the presumption goes, it is not particularly in favor of Episcopacy, as consisting in THREE orders of the clergy. For, (1.) The fact is not, that there are three orders observable every where. It is, that there are many orders and ranks of civil officers and of men. (2.) The presumption drawn from what has taken place, would be rather in favor of despotism, and the papacy. (3.) The presumption is equally met by the doctrine of Presbyterianism, as by prelacy. Presbyterians hold equally to a division of their community into various ranks,-into bishops, and elders, and deacons, and people. The presumption, drawn from the fact, that civil society is thus broken up, is as really in their favor, as in favor of Episcopacy. (4.) The Con

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