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ters are confounded one with another, they are uniformly distinguished from the deacons, the second order of the priesthood. Whatever be the title by which the clergy of the first order is called, you are in no danger of mistaking them for the second.

Clement of Rome, who wrote about A. D. 96, is our first authority. His epistle addressed to the Corinthians, is the earliest and most authentic of all the writings of the apostolical fathers. It was held in such esteem by the early Christians, that it was publicly read in their religious assemblies, in the same manner as the apostolical epistles.56 And, by ecclesiastical writers generally, nothing that is not divine is admitted to be of higher authority. This revered father recognizes but two orders of the priesthood, bishops and deacons, ἐπισκοπόυς καὶ διακόνους. It gives not the least intimation of an individual bishop at Corinth, uniformly speaking of the presbyters of that church whom the Corinthians had rejected, as belonging to the highest order. "The apostles preaching in countries and cities, appointed the first fruits of their labors to be bishops and deacons, having proved them by the Spirit."57 These are the two orders of the ministry, as originally appointed by the apostles. "It were a grievous sin," he proceeds to say, "to reject those who have faithfully fulfilled the duties of their Episcopal office, and immediately adds, "blessed are those presbyters, who have finished their course and entered upon their reward,”58 i. e., blessed are those presbyters who have thus faithfully performed the duties of

56 Euseb., Eccl. Hist., Lib. 3, c. 13.

57 Κατὰ χώρας ὖν καὶ πόλεις κηρύσσοντες καθίςανον τὰς ἀπαρχὰς αὐτῶν, δοκιμάσαντες τῷ πνεύματι, εἰς ἐπισκόπες καὶ διακόνες τῶν μελλόντων πιςεύειν.—Epist. ad Cor., § 42, p. 57.

58 ́Αμαρτία γὰρ ἐ μικρὰ ἡμῖν ἔξαι, ἐὰν τὸς ἀμέμπτως καὶ ὁσίως προσενέγκοντας τὰ δῶρα τῆς ἐπισκοπῆς ἀποβάλωμεν. Μακάριοι οἱ προοδοιπορήσαντες πρεσβύτεροι, οἵτινες ἔγκαρπον καὶ τελείαν ἔσχον τὴν ἀνάλυσιν.-Epist. ad Cor., § 44, p. 58.

their Episcopal office; bishops and presbyters being used interchangeably as descriptive of the same order. This passage establishes the identity of bishops and presbyters in the opinion of this venerable author, who may be understood to express the prevailing opinion both at Rome and at Corinth. The epistle proceeds on the evident assumption, that the ministerial office, and the relations between pastor and people, were the same in both. He is remonstrating with the Corinthians for expelling certain presbyters from their bishopric, ἀπο τῆς ἐπισκοπῆς. "Clement himself," says Riddle, was not even aware of the distinction between bishops and presbyters-terms which in fact he uses as synonymous.

"59

66

Polycarp is our next witness. This father was familiar with those who had seen our Lord. He was the disciple of John the apostle, and is supposed by many to be the angel of the church at Smyrna, in Rev. 2: 8. Such was the respect in which the epistle was held by the primitive Christians, that it was publicly read in their churches until the fourth century. This valuable relic of antiquity, the date of which is usually assigned to the year 140, harmonizes in a remarkable degree with that of Clement, in recognizing but two orders of the clergy.60 The first it denominates presbyters. Bishops are not once named in all the epistle. These presbyters are represented to have been the inspectors and rulers of the church, to administer discipline, and to exercise the functions of the highest officer of the church. Nor is there the least intimation that any one has authority superior to these.

As the author of the epistle, and apparently the presiding elder, the оεσtós of the church, he opens the letter with

59 Christ. Antiq., p. 5. Comp. Waddington's Church Hist., p. 35. Campbell's Lectures, p. 72.

60 Διὸ δέον ἀπέχεσθαι ἀπὸ πάντων τούτων ὑποτασσομένους τοῖς πρεσβυτέροις καὶ διακόνοις ὡς Θεῷ καὶ Χριστῷ.

Ad. Phil., c. 6.

the usual Christian salutation to the church whom he addresses, coupled with that of his fellow-presbyters. "Polycarp and the presbyters with him, to the church of God dwelling at Philippi, mercy to you, and peace be multiplied from God Almighty, and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.” Paul in his salutation addresses the bishops and deacons of this church. Polycarp in his, speaks only of presbyters and deacons. If there were three orders of clergy at Philippi, the omission of one by the apostle, and another by this apostolical father is unaccountable. The advice of Polycarp to the church "to be subject to the presbyters and deacons," becomes particularly irrelevant and improper, on the supposition, that the government of the church was vested in a bishop. The conclusion, therefore, is inevitable, that bishop and presbyter are still used interchangeably, and both Paul and Polycarp speak of the same class of persons. Clement and Polycarp were contemporaries and survivors of the apostles. They resided the one at Rome, the other in Asia Minor, and represent different bodies of the Christian church, remote from each other, and widely different in language, in government, and in national peculiarities. The ecclesiastical polity of these four churches may fairly be assumed as an example of the usage of others at this time..

From all that we can gather from their writings, no office existed in the churches either of Rome, Corinth, Smyrna, or Philippi, superior to that of presbyter; nor is there any indication of diversity of order, degree, ordination, or power, between the several presbyters or bishops of those churches; save that of senior or moderator, the лоɛστά of their body.

It also particularly noticeable, that Polycarp specifies the qualifications necessary both for deacons,61 and for presbyters; 62 and, like Paul, the apostle, on a similar

61 Ep., c. 5.

62 Ep., c. 6.

occasion, Tit. 1: 5-9, makes no mention of what is proper in the conduct and character of a bishop...

Justin Martyr, the Christian philosopher, who suffered martyrdom A. D. 165, two years before Polycarp, offers further confirmation of these views of the subject. Never himself holding any clerical office, his relations to the church, his learning, his candor, his piety, and his death, all concur to render him an unexceptionable witness. In his description of public worship, after mentioning prayers and the fraternal salutation, he says, "There is brought to him who presides over the brethren, τῷ προεστῶτι τῶν ἀδελφῶν, bread and a cup of water, and wine, and he taking them offers up praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and the Holy Ghost, and renders thanks for these, his gifts. At the close of his petition and thanksgivings, all the people present say Amen; which, in the Hebrew language, signifies may it be so. And he who presides, having given thanks, and the whole assembly having expressed their assent, they who are called among us deacons, διάκονοι, distribute the bread, and the wine, and water to each of those who are present, to partake of that which has been blessed. Also they carry to those who are not present." 63

His testimony, in the passage above cited, is that two

633 Αδελφοὶ κοινὰς εὐχὰς ποιησόμενοι ὑπέρ τε ἑαυτῶν καὶ τοῦ φωτισθέντος καὶ ἄλλων πανταχοῦ πάντων εὐτόνως. ἀλλήλους φιλήματι ἀσπαζόμεθα παυσάμενοι τῶν εὐχῶν. ἔπειτα προσφέρεται τῷ προεστῶτιτῶν ἀδελφῶν ἄρτος καὶ ποτήριον ὕδατος καὶ κράματος, καὶ οὗτος λαβὼν, αἶνον καὶ δόξαν τῷ πατρὶ τῶν ὅλων, διὰ τοῦ ὀνόματος τοῦ υἱοῦ καὶ τοῦ πνεύματος τοῦ ἁγίου, ἀναπέμπει καί εὐχαριστίαν ὑπὲρ τοῦ κατηξιῶσθαι τούτων παρ αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ πολὺ ποιεῖται. οὐ συντελέσαντος τὰς εὐχὰς καὶ τὴν εὐχαριστίαν, πᾶς ὁ παρὼν λαὸς ἐπευφημεῖ λέγων, ̓Αμην.— εὐχαριστήσαντος δὲ τοῦ προεστῶτος, καὶ ἐπευφημήσαντος παντὸς τοῦ λαοῦ, οἱ καλούμενοι παὺ ἡμῖνδιάκονοι,διδόασιν ἑκάστω τῶν παρόντων μεταλαβεῖν.

—Apol., 1, c. 65, p. 82.

orders only officiated in their public worship and in their celebration of the eucharist. Soon after this, he again describes their mode of public worship, and of communion, and specifies the same officiating officers, the president of the brethren, and the deacons.64 Nothing occurs, either in the narrative, or in the distinctive epithet, to indicate any higher order or office than that of the officiating presbyter who conducted their worship and administered the sacrament; or if you call him bishop, he is still of the same order, distinguished clearly from the deacons, but differing in no wise from the order of presbyters.

Upon the import of this goeσrós, of Justin, about which so much is said, the following remarks of Milton are worthy of particular consideration:-"Now for the word. лоεστós, it is more likely that Timothy never knew the word in that sense. It was the vanity of those next succeeding times not to content themselves with the simplicity of Scripture phrase, but must make a new lexicon to name themselves by; one will be called л008σrós, or antistes, a word of precedence; another would be termed a gnostic, as Clemens; a third, sacerdos, or priest, and talks of altars ; which was a plain sign that their doctrine began to change, for which they must change their expressions. But that place of Justin Martyr serves rather to convince the author, than to make for him, where the name προεστὼς τῶν ἀδελφῶν, the president or pastor of the brethren (for to what end is he their president but to teach them?) cannot be limited to signify a prelatical bishop, but rather communicates that Greek appellation to every ordinary presbyter; for there he tells what the Christians had wont to do in their several congregations, to read and expound, to pray and administer, all which he says the лоεστós, or antistes, did. Are these the offices only of a bishop, or shall we think that every congregation where these things were done, which he attri

64 Apol., 1, c. 67, p. 83.

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