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except the Presbyterians and Independents; and a catalogue of all the Archbishoprics and Bishoprics of the Western Church may be seen in Wells's Treatise of Ancient and Modern Geography.* In addition to the works already referred to, the following deserve to be mentioned-Bilson's Perpetual Government of Christ's Church ;-Dr. Hickes's Divine Right of Episcopacy ;-Dr. Brett's Divine Right of Episcopacy;-Bishop Hall's Episcopacy by Divine Right ;-Bishop Taylor's Defence of Episcopacy ;-together with the very able critique on the late Dr. Campbell's Lectures in the AntiJacobin Review.
Those who wish to know what has been said on the other side of the question, may consult Beza De Triplici Episcopatu ;-Blondel's Apologia pro Sententia Hieronymi;-Baxter's Church History of Bishops ;-Neale’s History of the Puritans ;Clarkson on Episcopacy; or Lord Chancellor King's Enquiry into the Constitution, Discipline, &c. of the Primitive Church. In answer to this last, an Original Draught of the Primitive Church was written, which is a work of such merit, that it is said to have converted Lord King himself, who certainly preferred its author, Mr. Slater, in the Church.t
* P. 157, &c. The succession of Bishops in the ancient great Bishoprics may be seen in Eusebius, in Dr. Cave's Lives of the Fathers, or in Dr. Pagitt's Christianography,
† Another answer to it may be found in Bishop Smalridge's Sermons, fol. p. 107, 112.
Name.-The term Presbyterian comes from the Greek word nipos lutapos, which signifies Senior or Elder; and the Presbyterians are so called from their maintaining that the Government of the Church appointed in the New Testament was by Presbyteries, i. e. by associations of ministers and ruling elders, all possessed of equal powers, without any superiority among them, either in office or in order.
RISE, PROGRESS, &c.-Although the Presbyterians in general insist, that the Church was originally constituted according to their principles, yet their opponents as firmly believe that it is in vain
to look for the origin of their scheme of Church Government till after the Reformation.-Even Dr. Hill, who traces the origin of Presbyterianism to the practice of the Apostles, and affirms that there are no traces of Episcopacy in Scripture, or in the writings of the Apostolical Fathers, admits that this last form prevailed almost universally in the 2d century; and also that from that time to the era of the Reformation the order of Bishops, as distinct from, and superior to, Presbyters, "continued to exist almost in all parts of the Christian world, and was regarded with respect and submission, both by the clergy and the laity."* He then adds, that “the first reformers, who believed that the distinction between Bishops and Presbyters has no foundation in Scripture, and who wished to apply an effectual remedy to the abuses which appeared to them to have arisen, in the progress of human ambition, from the practice of investing Bishops with powers superior to Presbyters, did not consider the antiquity or universality of that practice as any reason for its being continued. Recurring to what they accounted the primitive Scripture model, they laid the foundation of Presbyterian Church Government in this principle, that all ministers are equal in rank and power; and they did not admit any official preference but that which is constituted by voluntary agreement for the sake of order."
* Theological Institutes, p. 167. Dr. Campbell also admits that, about the middle of the second century, a kind of Episcopacy had grown out of the original institution of perpetual Moderators. Lect, on Eccles. Hist. vol. i.
See above p. 281.
The reformers here alluded to were chiefly Calvin, who may be said to be the founder of Presbytery, having first established that form at Geneva about 1541,* and Messrs. John Knox and Andrew Melvil, who soon after introduced it into Scotland; where, from the first dawn of reformation till the revolution, there was a perpetual struggle of contending parties, whether their Church should be modelled according to the Episcopal or the Presbyterian form of Church Government. These men, together with Beza and some others, were violent reformers, and seem to have laid it down as a principle, that in new modelling their respective Churches, they could not recede too far from the Church of Rome, and hence they condemned Episcopacy as having no foundation in the word of God.t
* Some indeed tell us, that this platform of Church Go. vernment was first set up at Geneva, by Calvin's predecessors Farel and Viret, and afterwards adopted by him.
+ If Calvin himself, as well as most of his followers, rejected Episcopacy, on this ground, as, I believe, he is generally understood to have done, (see also Mosheim's Eccles. Hist. vol. iv. p. 392,) he can scarcely be allowed the praise of consistency, for he taught that “there is a threefold ministry commended unto us in Scripture, and whatever ministry was in the primitive Church, was distinguished into three orders; for, from the order of Presbyters, there was chosen pastors and doctors, the rest were to inspect manners and censures. The care of the poor was committed
From Geneva Presbyterianism was introduced among
the reformed in France, and into Holland, as well as into England and Scotland, in which last country it became the established form of Church Government at the Revolution in 1688.
The first Presbytery in England was set up at Wandsworth, in Surrey, in 1572,* some years before a Presbytery was heard of in Scotland; which first establishment was called the Order of Wandsworth by Field their minister : and under Cromwell, who was alike averse to Episcopacy and Presbyterianism, though he found it expedient to shew favour to the latter, the Church of England was delivered to the management of a set of commissioners, consisting partly of Presbyterians, and partly of Independents. But upon the restoration of Charles II. the Church resumed its ancient form of Episcopal Government; and upwards of 2000 of the clergy attached to Presbyterian discipline, relinquished their cures in consequence of the Act of Uniformity, which took place on St. Bartholomew's day 1662, by which, says Dr. M‘Laine, “the validity of Pres
to the Deacons. St. Hierom names five orders in the Church, viz. Bishops, Presbyters, Deacons, the Fideles or Faithful, and the Catechumeni, (three of these were of the Çlergy, the other two of the Laity.")--Calv. Inst. lib. iv.c. 4. s. I.
• Hence Fuller calls it the first-born of all Presbyteries in England. Cent. 16. p. 103.