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familiarly known, but having no resemblance to a modern diocesan bishop. The term, bishop, occurs but five times in the New Testament; and, in each instance, in such a connection as to be easily identified with that of presbyter. The former is derived from the Greek language, the latter has a Jewish origin. Accordingly, it is worthy of notice, that the apostles, when addressing Jewish Christians, use the term presbyter; but in their addresses to Gentile converts, they adopt the term bishop, as less obnoxious to those who spoke the Greek language.7
2. A presbyter is required to possess the same qualifications as a bishop.
The apostle has specified at length the qualifications, both for a bishop and a presbyter, which, for the sake of comparison, are here set in opposite columns.
For a bishop, 1 Tim. 3: 2—7. A bishop must be blameless, the husband of one wife, one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity. For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God? Vs. 2, 4, 5.
Vigilant, váhov, circumνηφάλιον, spect, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach. Vs. 2.
For a presbyter, Tit. 1 : 6—10.
If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children, (who are) not accused of riot, or unruly. V.6.
A lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate, holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort, and to convince the gainsayers. Vs. 8, 9.
7 Rothe, Anfänge, 1, 218, 219. Neander, Apost. Kirch., 1, 178, 179. Shoene, Geschichtsforschungen, 1, 247-249. Comp. Bishop Croft, in Smyth's Apost. Succ., p. 159.
Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre, but patient, enεiz, gentle, not soon angry, not a brawler, not covetous, not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride, he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must have a good report of them which are without, lest he fall into reproach, and the snare of the devil. Vs. 3, 6, 7.
A bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God, not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre. V. 7.
The qualifications are identical throughout. Is a blameless, sober, virtuous life, a meek and quiet spirit, required of a bishop? so is it of a presbyter. Whatever is needful for the one, is equally essential for the other. If, then, there be this wide and perpetual distinction between the two, which Episcopacy claims, how extraordinary that the apostle, when stating the qualifications of a humble presbyter, should not abate an iota from those which are requisite for the high office of a bishop. How strong the presumption, rather how irresistible the conviction, that this dignitary of the church was totally unknown in these days of primitive, republican simplicity; and that the bishop of the apostolic churches was neither more nor less than a plain, simple presbyter, the pastor of any church over which he may have been duly constituted. The conclusion, therefore, is irresistible, that, in the case before us, the author is only designating the same office by different names, of similar import. Such is the decision of the great Jerome, the most learned of the Latin fathers. "In both epistles," referring to these now under consideration, "whether bishops or presbyters are to be elected (for with the ancients, bishops and presbyters must have been the same,
the one being descriptive of rank and the other of age) they are required to be the husbands of one wife.” 8
3. The duties of a presbyter are the same as those of a bishop.
As bishops and presbyters are called by the same names, and required to possess the same qualifications, so they are summoned to discharge the same official duties. Their duties, severally and equally, were to rule, to counsel and instruct, to administer the ordinances, and to ordain.
(a) Both exercised the same authority over the church. If bishops were known in the apostolical churches, as a distinct order, the right of government confessedly belonged to them. We have, therefore, only to show that presbyters exercised the same right. This exercise of authority is denoted in the New Testament by several terms, each of which is distinctly applied to presbyters.
(a) Such is yεouaι, to lead, to guide, &c. In Heb. 13: 7 and 17, this term occurs. Remember them that have the rule over you, τῶν ἡγουμένων ὑμῶν. Obey them that have rule over you, τοις ἡγουμένοις υμῶν. The first exhortation to the Hebrews the apostle enforces by an immediate reference to their deceased pastors; and the second, to those who still survived to watch for their souls.. Is the reference here to a diocesan bishop, or to those presbyters who regularly performed to these Hebrews the duties of a presbyter?
(8) Another term, expressive of authority over the church is, notστηui, to preside, to rule. Xenophon uses this verb to express the act of leading or ruling an ancient
8 In utraque epistola sive episcopi sive presbyteri (quanquam apud veteres iidem episcopi et presbyteri fuerint quia illud nomen dignitatis est, hoc aetatis) jubentur monogami in clerum eligi.-Ep. 83, ad Oceanum, Tom. 4, p. 648.
chorus and an army.9 Paul the apostle uses the same to express the authority which the presbyters exercised as rulers of the church.
"We beseech you, brethren, to know them which labor among you and are over you, лöσταμέvoνç, in the Lord.” 1 Thess. 5: 12. Prelates of the church these presbyters cannot be, for there are several, it appears, in this single city, a circumstance totally incompatible with the organization of diocesan Episcopacy. The whole, taken together, is descriptive, not of a bishop in his see, but of a presbyter, a pastor, in the faithful discharge of his parochial duties. Again, "Let the elders, presbyters, that rule well, be accounted worthy of double honor,” δι καλῶς προισιῶτες лQεоẞÚTEQOL. 1 Tim. 5: 17. Here are presbyters ruling over the church of Ephesus, where, according to the Episcopal theory, Timothy, as bishop, has established the seat of his apostolical see.
(7) Another term of frequent occurrence, in writers both sacred and profane of approved authority, is noμalvw, to feed, metaphorically, to cherish, to provide for, to rule, to govern. It expresses the office, and comprehends all the duties of a shepherd. This term the apostle uses in his exhortation to the presbyters of Ephesus at Miletus. "Take heed to yourselves, and to all the flock over which the Holy Ghost hath made you bishops, to feed, лoμalvεiv, the church of God." This term, beyond all question, expresses the power of government, both in classic and hellenistic Greek. Both this and youuevos above mentioned, are used in the same passage to express the government of Christ, the chief Shepherd, over his people Israel. "Thou, Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not
9 Οὐδὲν ὅμοιον ἐστι χοροῦ τε καὶ στρατεύματος προεστάναι. "Between the taking the lead of a chorus and the command of an army," both expressed by лоεntávaι, "there is no analogy."-Mem., 3, 4, 5.
the least among the princes of Juda, for out of thee shall come a governor, youuevos, who shall rule, nouarãi, my people Israel." Without further illustration, which might easily be extended, we have sufficient evidence, from what has been said, that the presbyters were invested with all the authority to guide, govern, and provide for the church, which the bishop himself could exercise. The very same terms which express the highest power of government, and which are applied to the office even of the great Head of the church, are used to express the authority of presbyters, and to set forth the power with which they are invested to rule and feed the church. No intimation is given of any higher power in any minister of Christ; neither have we terms to express any superior authority. The conclusion. therefore is, that they "are invested with the highest power of government known in the church."
(b) Presbyters are the authorized counsellors of the church; and, in connection with the apostles, constitute the highest court of appeal for the settlement of controversies in the church.
About the year 45 or 50, a spirited controversy arose at Antioch, which threatened to rend the church, and to subvert the gospel which Paul and Barnabas had begun successfully to preach to the Gentiles. It was of the utmost importance that this dispute should be immediately and finally settled. For this purpose, a delegation, consisting of Paul, and Barnabas, and others, were sent from the church at Antioch, on an embassy to Jerusalem, to submit the subject under discussion to the decision of the church, with the apostles and presbyters. This delegation was kindly received by the church at Jerusalem, with their appropriate officers, the apostles, teachers, and elders, to whom the whole subject of the dissension at Antioch was submitted. Peter, John and James were, at this time, at Jerusalem, and, with Paul, Barnabas and Titus,