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our Vestry, and the Independents’ Committee ? No such thing. They have nothing to do with spiritual matters. Their business relates solely to temporal things. They cannot “admonish, rebuke, suspend, or exclude from the sacraments those who are found to deserve the censures of the Church," as your Ruling Elders can. Their business is totally different from this; and, therefore, you have misrepresented the matter altogether.

Spiritual matters belong entirely to spiritual men. layman, in any degree, the power of the keys, and so far you make him a spiritual man. We find nothing of this mixture in the Scriptures. The keys were given, in the first instance, to the Apostles, and by them to Presbyters or Bishops; but not a word is there said of laymen with spiritual authority.

The necessity of having laymen to take care of the temporalities of a Church is obvious. There was, therefore, no reason for the Apostles' saying a word about the matter; every Church would take care of such things in their own way. It is one of those many circumstances of expediency, which common sense and common prudence would be left to regulate. But in every instance in which spiritual power is communicated, we find an order of men formed by the reception of it, and a name given to that order; but we do not find the name Ruling Elder in any part of the New Testament.

You next observe, that I acknowledge there were such officers in the Jewish Synagogue. But what of that? I proved in my twelfth letter, alınost to demonstration, that the jewish Synagogue was no Church.

A Church, I observed, is a society of divine institution; but the Synagogue was of human institution, and, consequently, all its officers were so. Then your ruling Elders, if they were like the Elders of the Synagogue, are of human institution. If you will put them upon this footing, we shall have no dispute with you; yet we shall think that you do wrong in giving them any degree of spiritual power. But that is your affair, not ours. You may justify it as well as you can. But,' you say,

we have better evidence.' You certainly need it. The New Testament makes express mention of such Elders.' It is unaccountable, if this be true, that almost the whole Christian world, from the days of the Apostles, should not be able to see those Elders, of whom express mention is made in the New Testament. There is,' you say, 'undoubtedly a reference to them in 1 Tim. v, 17.? Undoubtedly! Whai ! when most Christians not only doubt of them, but positively deny that they ever had an existence in the primitive Church? But these words, express,' 'undoubtedly, have their use. They make up in 'positiveness what is wanting in proof, which, with many readers, goes a great way.

But let us hear the text. Let the Elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. On these words you say, Every man of plain, good sense, who had never heard of any controversy


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on the subject, would conclude, on reading this passage, that when it was written, there were two kinds of Elders,' [that happens to be the very point to be determined] 'one whose duty it was to labour in the word and doctrine, and another who did not thus labour, but only ruled in the Church.'

Now, Sir, I hope you will allow that there is a great deal of plain good sense in the Christian world, and yet by far the greater part is against you. I hope you will allow that Igna. tius, Irenæus, Tertullian, Clemens of Alexandria, Origen, Eusebius, Chrysostom, Jerome, and many other eminent writers, who have enumerated the orders of the Church repeatedly, and yet have not a glance towards ruling Elders; I hope you will allow that these men had plain good sense. I hope you will allow that Baxter, Vines, and the greater part of the English Presbyterian divines in their day, besides numbers of foreign Presbyterians, who have distinguished themselves by their writings, and yet were professed enemies to ruling Elders, were men of plain good sense. I hope you will allow that there are many divines of plain good sense in the Church of England; and in the Latin, Greek, and other Churches, which do not allow of your lay Elders. But perhaps you think that the plain good sense of your few, is of a superior quality to the plain good sense of our many.

To confirm your interpretation of the text in question, you quote Dr. Whitaker, 'a zealous and learned episcopal divine, and Professor of Divinity in the University of Cambridge. What was Whitaker zealous for ? Certainly not for episcopacy ; for you quote him against it. He was indeed zealous for the most rigid species of Calvinism that ever was conceived; as appears from his being the chief promoter of the Lambeth Articles. Learned he undoubtedly was; but an Episcopalian he never was, although a minister of the Church of England ; for it is not every one that wears her garb that adopts her principles, either as to doctrine or government. But it is no matter what he was; we have nothing to do with him, but with his reasoning. Let us try it.

He says, as quoted by you, 'If all who rule well, be worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine, it is plain there were some who did not so labour ; for if all had been of this description, the meaning would have been absurd: but the word especially points out a difference. If I should say, that all who study well at the University are worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the study of theology, I must either mean that all do not apply themselves to the study of theology, or I should speak nonsense.' Now, Sir, if I judge right, this kind of reasoning will never answer your purpose; for Whitaker leaves the point to be proved wholly untouched. The point to be proved is, that those who ruled well, and those who laboured in the word and doctrine, held distinct offices. St. Paul's words do not necessarily imply



it. Those who ruled well might, for any thing you can prove to the contrary, have been ordained to preach also; and might, in consequence, have frequently preached; but they were not laborious in preaching: This is the distinction marked by the word especially'; a distinction 'not of office, but of industry in the same office. Some Elders were inore concerned in ruling, others in preaching); but it is miserable logic to infer from this, that those who ruled well’ had not also a right to preach ; as miserable logic as it would be to infer that those who preached had not right to rule. The word especially' will not warrant either conclusion. It undoubtedly implies a difference, but not in the powers conferred, bút solely in their application. When Whitaker then infers a distinction of office, it is a mere begging of the question. He ought to have proved that the word especially necessarily implies a distinction of office; but this he does not prove by the comparison on which he so much relies. His inference in the comparison is not logical. He observes, “If I should say, that all who study well at the University are worthy of double honour, especially those who labour in the study of theology, I might either mean that all do not apply themselves to the study of theology, or I should speak nonsense." But I conceive that there is no nonsense in this ; the inference does not result from the premise ; for all might be studying

e theology; but some are laborious in the study of it, while others are not; and this sufficiently marks the distinction. As in the text, all Presbyters might be preachers, but some distinguished themselves most by ruling ; while others distinguished themselves by their painful labour in preaching. The words of the text go no further than this, nor does the case which Whitaker puts go a tittle further. Suppose I were to say, Let the students of Columbia College who study well be accounted worthy of double honour, especially those who are laborious in the study of the mathematics. Could you infer from these words, that all the students did not study the mathematics ? Could you establish two orders of students; one laboriously studying the mathematics, but nothing else; the other pursuing, and well too, the usual studies of a college, except the mathematics? You certainly could not; all you can fairly and logically establish is a difference necessarily implied in the word especially'; 'but it goes no further than a difference in the degree of application, and by no means extends so far as to imply a difference in the branches of study. This can be determined in no way but by testimony. Apply to this source of information, and immediately you find it to be a fact, that all the students in Columbia College do study the mathematics, and that some labour more in this study than others, and are, therefore, in a special manner,

worthy of double honour. Now, this is precisely the mode that ought to be taken to determine whether Ruling Elders are implied in the text under consideration ; for the words alone will never do it. We must first establish the fact that there

VOL. II.--8

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was such a distinction in the Eldership, and then we shall have no difficulty in determining the sense of the text-it will no longer be a matter of dispute.

Now, that there was no distinction of lay and preaching Elders I thus prove from the New Testament.

1. The word presbytery is used but once in St. Paul's Epis. tles, and no where else in the New Testament to signify an ecclesiastical council. The Apostle says to Timothy-Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the Presbytery. Lay Elders are evidently excluded from this Presbytery; unless you will say, that the lay part of it laid on their hands at the same time with the pastors. But this, I am well satisfied, you will not venture to assert. Then the point is settled, unless we can find this officer in some other passage of Scripture. And it settles another point also, that your presbytery, in which there are laymen, and the presbytery of the Scripture, in which there are uone, are very different things. So that you are unscriptural in the grand distinctive mark of your Church, about which you talk so much, and on which you rely so much. But this by the way. Is there then any other passage of Scripture which countenances Lay Elders ? Not one. We read of Elders at Jerusalem ; but not a hint that there was a distinction in the office. Paul and Barnabas ordained Elders in every city, but nothing is said of their ordaining Lay Elders. The Apostles sometimes called themselves Elders; but I hope they were much more than Lay Elders. St. Paul summoned to Miletus the Elders of Ephesus, and as they are also styled Bishops, Lay Elders are effectually shut out from their company. Where then shall we find this strange amphibious creature, a Lay Elder ? No where, unless we can draw him out of two passages which you quote. The first is-Having then gifts, differing according to the grace given to us ; whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; or ministry, let us wait on our ministering; or he that teacheth, on teaching; or he that exhorteth, on exhortation ; he that giveth; let him do it with simplicity; HR THAT RULETH, with diligence ; he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness. With this passage you connect the following God hath set some in the Church, first Apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healing, helps, GOVERNMENTs, and diversities of tongues. These passages, like every thing else, you quote, and say, settle the matter at once. We have now found the office we are in search of. "This office, by whatever name it may be called, and however its character may be disguised by ingenuity, is, to all intents and purposes, the same with that which Presbyterians distinguish by the title of Ruling Elders.'

He that ruleth (let him do it) with diligence! Does the Apostle say, let the layman that ruleth, do it with diligence ? Nothing like it. He is evidently speaking of different gifts and graces

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of the Holy Ghost ; but not of different offices. These gifts and graces, in the Apostles' times, were coinmon to all ranks of believers; to the people, as well as to the pastors; to the women as well as to the men. But all offices were not. This is too evident to be denied. Joel, speaking of the erection of Christ's kingdom, says-I will pour out my SPIRIT on all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and upon the servants and handmaids in those days will I pour out my SPIRIT. Did not the four daughters of Philip prophesy? Does not St. Paul say, Every woman praying or prophesying bare headed, dishonoureth her head? If then prophesying were a gift of the Holy Ghost, common to both men and women, how can you confine it to a particular office in the Church ?

Again: teaching, helping, exhorting, were also common to both men and women. Priscilla instructed and taught Apollos the way of the LORD more perfectly. And St. Paul calls her his helper in Christ. And thé Apostle exhorts the Thessalonians to edify one another, to warn them that are unruly, to comfort the feeble minded, to support the weak. If then it be evident that all these things were common to the first Christians, both to men and women, how is it possible that any one possessing the least understanding can consider them as so many distinct offices, instead of so many distinct graces of the Holy Spirit ? If they were distinct offices, then we must have seven in the Church instead of three, and laymen may hold them, and even women. Is this correct ?

' But what shall we say with respect to government ? Is not that a distinct office in the Church, and does not a distinct office imply a distinct 'officer ?! I answer, no. All Pastors, whatever their rank was, held the power of government. The Apostles were governors, Presbyters were governors, and Deacons, in an inferior degree, were governors. All pastors, whether fixed or itinerant, were styled shepherds, watchmen, overseers, rulers, and guides. To infer, therefore, that government proves an order of Lay Elders, is as great an instance of assumption as can possibly be produced; as great as if I were to say-prophesying, working miracles, discerning spirits, diversities of tongues, interpreting tongues, gifts of healing, exhorting, helping, constituted so many distinct offices and officers in the Church. And as this is contrary to matter of fact, as has been fully shown, it never can be admitted, that when ruling and governing are mentioned, they imply a lay-officer to assist the pastor, the watchman, the overseer, the ruler of the flock. Nothing but direct, positive proof can obtain credit for such an officer, when there are so many powerful arguments against his having existed.

Another argument which I used in my eighth letter against your Ruling Elder is, that it is altogether inadmissible that two officers so essentially different as a ruling and a preaching Elder, should invariably be confounded under one common

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