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or elders, and deacons, on the commission, which Jesus Christ gives to his apostles; and I am prepared for all the consequences of this admission. For by every rule of interpretation, I must apply every word of the commission to the apostles; because it addresses them only. But let none he alarmed at this declaration : nothing is jeopardized rather, indeed, all is secured by it. .
In the presence of the apostles alone, he pronounced these words; 6. All authority in heaven and on earth is given to me; go you therefore and convert all the nations, haptizing them into the name of the Father and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all the things which I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you ale ways, even to the conclusion of this state," or to the end of the age or world.
This commission created plenipotentiaries : it reared up ambassadors, and gave to the apostles the same power of erecting the church, which God gave to Moses for raising the tahernacle in the wilderness. They had all the authority of Christ to set up what orders they pleased. They created both bishops and deacons; and as they had a di vine right to do so, so those created by them have a divine right to officiate in the duties of those offices. A true interpretation of the promise, “ I am with you," will go far to confirm the declaration, that they neither had, nor could have successors in office. Of this, however, again
Meanwhile, it may be objected that Paul was an apostle, and ac ted without this commission. He had, indeed, a special commission, and the qualifications of an apostle. He had seen and heard the Lord.. For to this end the Lord appeared to him. But as respected time, he acknowledged he was born rather two late to be an apostle he was " born out of due time.” 'How, then, could any of them have succes sors at this day !
'The gentleman mentioned some two persons in the Old Testament. They could have no successors in office, according to the argument on hand. It was absolutely impossible that Moses could have a successor. His office and commission were really from God, and strictly peculiar to himself. He brought the Jews out of Egypt, and erected the tabernacle ; this was his peculiar office, which, in its very nature, expired when once its duties were fulfilled. The commission of Joshua, in like manner, was also peculiar to himself, and could not possibly descend to a successor. When he led Israel across the Jordan, and divided the land by lot amongst them, his works and office naturally expired. So when the apostles preached the gospel, revealed the whole will of Jesus Christ, and erected his church and all its proper officers and duties, their work was done, and they, like Moses and Joshua, be. ing officers, extraordinary, could have no successors.-[Time expired.]
Half past 10 o'block A, M. BISHOP PURCELI, rises.
Here is, beloved friends, as plain and logical a case for argumentation, and as fair an opportunity afforded for refutation, as ever the annals of controversy exhibited. The first argument of my friend amounts to this, viz: That for reasons he has given, the Greek church aas superior claims upon our attention to the Roman.
I have quoted councils, general and particular laws, usages, appeals,, the authority of Greek and Latin fathers, that is to say, the most authentic testimony of the first ages, to show that with Rome was the primacy of all the churches. This, at once, upsets a}that he has said.
He says the first seven councils were Greek; and that therefore the Greek church had the preeminence. But, I ask, who convoked those councils? Who approved them? Who sanctioned their canons, and gave throughout the entire church the force of law to their decisions ? Who guarded them against errors, and set them right when they were going, or had gone astray? It was the pope. I have already said, that Sylvester, bishop of Rome, aware of the danger that menaced the faith in the east, convoked the great council of Nice that the emperor Constantine, the ruler of the east and west, of Rome and of Constantinople, the man, consequently, upon whom as chief magistrate of the Roman empire it devolved, afforded the necessary facilities to the various bishops to come to the council. Again, who presided as legate of the pope ? Osius of Cordova, in Spain, a western man, assisted, as is and has been customary, by two inferior ecclesiastics.
The jealous Greeks beheld all this, and surely they would not have permitted Rome thus to assume the supremacy, if her right to it had not been universally admitted since the days of her founder St. Peter. Is it not the most splendid proof of the correctness of my argument? The strongest evidence that could be desired of the discomfiture of my adversary?
I thought to have seen a more powerful display of logic from the strong and disciplined mind of my friend Mr. C.; but I attributed the porerty of his argument to indisposition on his part, or to the weakness of his cause.
Well, another reason is stated, to prove the supremacy of the Greek ehurch, viz. : that the questions discussed in these councils were of Greek origin. Is it then to be wondered at, that as almost every error in the old church originated in the East, it should be there corrected ? that the remedy should be applied where the disease existed ?
The Greeks were at all times a curious, inquisitive, restless people. The passion for disputation displayed in the schools of the philosophers was, as by contagion, communicated to many of the professors of christianity. But the manner in which it operated upon the one and the other was essentially different. With the philosopher such questions were objects of understanding only, subjects of speculation; whereon the ingenuity of a minute mind might employ or waste itself. But with the christian they were matters of truth and falsehood, of belief or disbelief, and he felt assured that his eternal interests would be influenced if not decided by his choice. As soon as the copious language of Greece was vaguely applied to the definition of spiritual things, and the explanation of heavenly mysteries, the field of contention seemed to be removed from earth to air, where the foot found nothing stable (nothing like the rock of Rome-new and striking proof of its necessity) to rest upon; where arguments were easily eluded, and where the space, in which to fly and rally, was infinite. Add to this the nature and genius of the disputants; for the origin of these disputes may be traced without any exception to the restless imaginations of the East. The violent temperament of the orientals, as it was highly adapted to the reception of religious impressions, and admitted ibem with fervor and earnestness, intermingled, so closely, passion with piety, as scarcely to conceive them separable. The natural ardor of their feelings was not abated by the natural subtilty of their understanding, which was sharpened in the schools of Egypt; and when this latter began to be occupied by inquiries in which the former were so deeply engaged, it was to be expected that many extravagances would follow. Vid. Waddington, p. 92.
Yet, because it was in the east that the heresies in the ancient day of the church commenced, and in the east the councils met to correct those heresies, the Greek church must therefore have been the mother church! Such is my friend's argument! and it is now plain, that a feebler, a more inconclusive, and a more irrational one, he could scarcely have advanced before this enlightened assembly. But what is still more remarkable, did not these very councils, these Greek councils, establish by their own acts, and these of the most solemn and authentic character, the supremacy of the Roman see? Did they not solicit the pope's approbation of their decrees, and acknowledge that without his sanction their proceedings were void of effect?
He says that the emperor presided. I have already answered that the emperor did not preside. He distinctly acknowledged the spiritual to be independent of the temporal power, he alleged that he pretended to no right to preside. He knew that God never told the emperors, his predecessors, to preside over the deliberations of his church. The constitution of that church had been established three hundred years before Constantine became a proselyte to christianity. It is unheard of that a temporal monarch ever presided over the deliberations of the church, or ruled in ecclesiastical matters. At least we catholics submit to no such dictation—such a confusion of things divine and humansuch an anomaly! I am sorry it is allowed in England. In that country even a woman may be, for a woman has been, the head of the church, as in the instance of queen Elizabeth ; nay, a little child, as in the case of Edward. It is contrary to reason, to scripture, to human rights and divine ordinances, that such as these should presume in any situations, to give or withhold authority to the ministry, to preach the gospel of Christ, or to dispense the mysteries of God. It outrages every feeling of sanctity, it degrades, it vilifies the priesthood, to see bishops and archbishops kneeling at the feet of women and boys, and praying them to grant a license to preach.
My friend has charged me with making professions of respect for Episcopalians and Episcopal methodists, &c., but do I suppress the truth, and do I fail to censure them where they too are wrong. My friend has gratuitously presented himself before this assembly as the champion of Protestantism; and I have shown that he is, if at all, but little less opposed than I am to the denominations I have named, on the vital point of orders and a called and sent ministry. He would amuse them with an equivocal defence of their principles to-day, and then present them with his own views in theology-with Campbellism, baptized Protestantism,“[Here the moderators called Bishop Purcell to order.]
My friend, learnedly, (and I give him credit for it,) showed how it came that there were so many errors and questionable doctrines in the Greek church. I have stated the causes, humanly speaking, of the errors. It is then, an undisputed fact, that they were more numerous in the Greek than in the Roman church; that the Roman church was
comparatively free from them. But he has plainıy misconceived the
Grég. Nazianzen, Carmen de Canon. Script.
that there are only three-one of James, one of Peter, and one of John." So much for the fourth age. Does not my friend say his prayers ? Does not every Protestant unite viin every Catholic in saying, “I believe in the holy Catholic church,” as we are taught in the apostles' creed? Speaking of this most ancient formula of faith, composed, as it is believed, by the apostles themselves, before they separated for the great work of preaching to all nations, that it may be for ever a bond of union and an abridgment of sound apostolic belief, Waddington says, p. 46. “The creed which was first adopted, and that perhaps in the very earliest age, by the church of Rome, was that which is now called the apostles' creed ; and it was the general opinion from the fourth century downwards, that it was actually the production of those blessed persons assembled for that purpose; our evidence is not sufficient to establish that fact, and some writers very confidently reject it. But there is reasonable ground for our assurance that the form of faith, which we still repeat and inculcate, was in ase and power in the very early propagation of our religion."* Now will the gentleman tell us that the word Catholic—was unknown to antiquity ?
You will perceive, my friends, that until the very minute Mr. Campbell speaks, I know not what he is going to say. You will not won der that following him, my discourse should be desultory and rambling I am here under every disadvantage to which a speaker can be subject. Obliged to leave the beaten highway and follow him through the thickets into which, he finds it useful to plunge so frequently.
I have at this moment in my hand, a copy of the New Testament, a beautiful edition, published in Glasgow, a Presbyterian city, and also an edition of Robert Etienne. Behold (displaying them) the title “ Catholic,” prefixed in both, to these epistles.
I have now established the fact that Catholic was the ancient name of the church-that no other than the Roman Catholic was entitled to that name—that the Roman Catholic church is the Catholic church of all ages, that in all ages it has had a head. For we may call the pope by any narne we please, the name is nothing. It is the station, and the incumbent thereof, that it is important to ascertain, and the noonday is not clearer than that both existed from the very origin of the christian religion in Rome.
He argues against the supremacy of Rome from the circumstance that all the ecclesiastical words are Greek.
This is not at all surprising. There was not a particle of the Scriptures originally written in Latin. Surely my friend must be hard pressed for want of argument, when he grasps at such a floating, improba. ble, airy one as that! Words are hut the signs of ideas. But he af. firms that all the epistles are written to Greek cities. Was then none of these epistles written to Rome! And was Rome a Greek city ? Does not Paul surpass himself-does he not reason most deeply in that epistle? Does he not style the Romans the “Called of Jesus Christ; the beloved of God ?" Does he not say, Ist ch. v. 3, "I give thanks to my God, through Jesus Christ, for you all, because your faith is spoken of in the whole world” ? Is it not in that epistle that
* A note to Waddington on this subject, contains the following remark: “Ignatius, Justin, and Irenæus, make no mention of it, but they o asiwwaiiy repeat some words, contained in it, which is held as a proof that they knew it by heart."