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from the Prayer Book. To do this in detail would cause this paper to exceed by far the limits marked for it. The question we are considering shall therefore be briefly answered at this point, by calling attention to the three following facts.

1. The Clergy are certainly called priests, in the Prayer Book. 2. They are intentionally called priests.

The term evidently is not applied in such a manner as to indicate that it is used vaguely or accidentally. It is used some eighty-eight times in the Prayer Book in conjunction with, and in contradistinction to the term “minister.” Now wherever a purely sacerdotal function is implied the term "priest" is generally used in preference to "minister" which affords proof that it is used intentionally. A further corroboration of this is afforded from the annals of the Savoy Conference.

The Puritan party wished entirely to discard the word “priest,” and retain simply the word “minister." To their request the Bishops replied: "It is not reasonable that the word 'minister' should be only used in the Liturgy. For since some parts of the Liturgy may be performed by none under the order of a priest, viz., Absolution and Consecration, it is fit that some such word as 'priest' should be used for these offices, and not 'minister,' which signifies at large every one that ministers in that holy office of what order soever he be." (Cardwell's Documentary Annals, Ch. vii. prop. ii.)

3. The clergy are not only called "priests" in the Prayer Book, and intentionally so called; but they are called such, when the word "priest" was known to bear a purely sacerdotal meaning. The proof of this rests on the simple fact, that the compilers of the Prayer Book apply the same term to the clergy, which the translators of the English Bible used to designate the sacerdotal order of the Jewish Church. The conclusion seems unquestionable therefore, that in the opinion of the compilers of the Prayer Book, the clergy were regarded as "priests," in the same sense as the Jewish priests.

It might be interesting to answer the question proposed by this paper, from the testimony of the Fathers and of the ancient Liturgies. The limits of our space, however, forbid investigation in this direction. One statement shall suffice here. So early even as the first century, there are undoubted traces that the clergy were regarded as priests ; and by the second century the evidence is all that could be desired.

Some of the leading objections to the use of the term "priest” shall now be briefly glanced at. It is objected to,

1. Because associated with Judaism.

This objection rests on the popular notion that the Jewish Church was entirely scattered to the winds when the Christian Church was founded. This, like so many more of the theological creations of the popular mind, vanishes before the test of accurate scholarship. This objection resting as it does on a false foundation may therefore be dismissed.

2. It is objected that the word "priest" is associated with the Roman doctrine of the mass and the priestly tyranny of the Roman Church. When it is shown that these are the necessary concomitants of the doctrine of a human ministerial priesthood, it will be time to consider this objection. Let it suffice to say, that the clergy were called "priests" centuries before the doctrine of the mass and the tyranny of priests were heard of.

3. It is objected that a human priesthood is unnecessary and derogatory to CHRIST'S Priesthood.

If it is unnecessary and derogatory that CHRIST should be represented in one aspect of His character, why not in all? Why not unnecessary and derogatory to Him to be represented in His regal, judicial, or pastoral character? If He permits men to represent Him as King, Judge, Pastor, Prophet, or Teacher, why not as Priest? Is the office of priest more sacred or peculiar to Him than that of King or Judge? Why then may He not be represented in His character as Priest, as well as in that of Judge or King?

4. It is objected that for men to regard themselves as priests is a frightful assumption of power.

If so, is it not equally a frightful assumption of power for men to regard themselves as kings or judges of men, seeing that there is only one true King and Judge of us all? Moreover, if it is an unwarrantable assumption of power for sinful men to pretend to act as priests, why not equally so for the Jewish priests, who were only men like ourselves? The fact that they acted as priests before CHRIST, does not alter the fact that they did act as priests, though sinful men like ourselves. They of course were not priests absolutely, only relatively, subordinately, ministerially, and that is all that is claimed for the clergy.

5. It is objected that the clergy are not priests, for they are nowhere called iepeîs in the New Testament, the strictly sacerdotal title. This objection claims full attention and shall therefore be dealt with more in detail.

a. It must not be forgotten that it is always perilous to base an argument on a purely negative foundation. It might be answered in reply to this objection, that it is nowhere denied in the New Testament that the clergy are iepeîs, which would be just as unsatisfactory as a basis of argument, as the objection now under consideration, both possessing only a negative value.

The priests of the patriarchal age are nowhere called “Cohen,” the Hebrew sacerdotal title applied generally to the Levitical priests; yet no one would deny that there were priests before Aaron's time.

b. The titles of the New Testament hierarchy are used without strict regard to rule and order. Hence the difficulty of proving Episcopacy, by arguments based simply on an appeal to titles. Sometimes bishops are called presbyters: at other times Apostles are called presbyters: at other times, again, the laity are called presbyters. CHRIST Himself is called an Apostle, and even a deacon.1 It is evident, therefore, that the question of orders cannot be settled by an appeal to the argument of titles, but to the argument of ministrations.

c. Though the clergy are not called iepeîs in its simple form, yet in a compound form it is applied to the New Testament ministry, e. g. Rom. xv. 16, where S. Paul speaks of himself as iepovpyouvra, literally "ministering as a priest"-the gospel of GOD. Now iepovpYoûvτa is a compound of iepeùs and another sacerdotal word. In the same verse S. Paul calls himself Meтovρyov, "minister," a recognised sacerdotal word applied to our LORD in a marked sacerdotal sense in Heb. viii. 2, “minister of the Sanctuary." In Acts xiii. 2, the same word in its verbal form is used, "And as they ministered, AeroVPYourTwv, unto the LORD."


d. As all 'God's people are called iepeîs, (Rev. i. 6; v. 10,) the clergy are at least iepeîs in the sense in which the rest of God's people When it is remembered that the Jewish nation were called "a kingdom of priests," who, notwithstanding, were ministered to by a distinct sacerdotal order, and when it is remembered also that Christians are called "priests," who, notwithstanding, are ministered to by a distinct ecclesiastical order, one is tempted to suspect that the clergy must occupy much the same sacerdotal relation to a sacerdotal people as the Jewish priests to a sacerdotal nation.

e. If iepeîs is not applied to the clergy in the New Testament, it is in the Old Testament as prophetic of the New. For example in

1 διάκονον. See Romans xv. 8.

Isa. lxvi. 21, “And I will also take of them for priests and for Levites saith the LORD.” Also Isa. lxi. 6, "But ye shall be named the priests of the LORD; men shall call you the ministers of our God." Malachi ii. 7, "For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts."

The following reasons may be suggested to account for the omission of iepeîs, as applied to the clergy:

1. It is natural that the introduction of a new dispensation should be accompanied by the introduction of a new, or at least, modified nomenclature. "The priesthood being changed," (not abolished) is it a matter of surprise that titles of those who are its new earthly administrators should also be changed, though some titles should be retained to show its connection with the old dispensation? Hence (e. g.) the sabbath is spoken of as the "LORD's Day," GOD's people as the "Church," both new titles employed under a new covenant.

2. The term iepeùs might be discontinued to prevent the appearance of antagonism to the Jewish hierarchy.

3. To signify that the Aaronic order of priests had ceased, not the priestly order itself, but simply its Aaronic form.

4. To prevent confusion of persons. If the New Testament clergy were generally called iepeîs, how could they be distinguished from the Jewish iepeîs, especially in written documents?

Let us hear now the conclusion of the whole matter. The clergy are not priests

1. Absolutely, but ministerially.

2. They are not priests after the order peculiar to Aaron.

3. They are not priests as sacrificers of the mass.

But they are priests

1. As sharing a priesthood in common with all GOD's people.

2. They are priests, as "ordained for men in things pertaining to GOD;" as exercising a "ministry of reconciliation;" as offering "gifts and sacrifices," in much the same sense as the Jewish priests offered their great memorial and typical sacrifice, the Paschal Lamb.

3. They are priests in the judgment of the early Church.

4. And, what to us as clergy, is very important, they are priests in the judgment of the Church of England.

Are not these then good grounds of justification for calling the clergy priests? In the face of them, is it wise, just, or kind, to stigmatize

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or violently to oppose those who may adopt the title? Other titles may be used in preference, and New Testament usage pleaded in justification. But let it be borne in mind that other titles are also open to objection. If "presbyter" be preferred it becomes a misnomer when applied to a clergyman who has just passed his twenty-fourth year. And if "minister" be preferred that too is open to objection, being the sacerdotal title applied to our LORD, as “ minister of the sanctuary.” It is, moreover, in another sense, a vague term equally applicable to the members of a cabinet, to a magistrate, or to a king, who are God's ministers as well as the clergy.

Let both parties in the great sacerdotal controversy bear well in mind that the character and virtue of their ministerial acts depend, not upon what they are called, but upon what they actually are in GOD's sight. If the clergy are not priests, then no priestly virtue attaches to their ministerial acts, whatever they may designate themselves. And on the other hand, if the clergy are priests, then the refusal to designate themselves such, will not make null and void the priestly character and virtue of their ministerial acts. Let each party derive satisfaction from this fact. Let each party respect the other's convictions. "Let every man be fully persuaded in his mind."


"Pulsum supernis sedibus."

FROM Eden's bright abode expelled,

For ages long in darkness held,

In ignorance of the heavenly way,

The human race from GOD did stray.

But Heaven's King, GOD's own Son given,

To show to man the way to Heaven,
The exiles back to GOD to bring,
Himself becomes an exiled King.

Poor wandering souls He deigns to lead,
To pilgrims gives the strength they need;
Himself the way by whom we wend
Our way unto Himself the end.

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