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unto his future Church called the New Jerusalem, and through this Church unto all mankind; we therefore argue on the same ground with St. Paul, in his Epistle to the Hebrews, that as, (in our opinion and belief,) there is now a change in the dispensation of grace and truth afforded; there is, therefore, a change in the Priesthood also; and hence that there is no more occasion for the men of the Lord's New or future Church to apply for Ordination into the ministry of this Church, to any of the bishops or pastors of the former Christian Church, than there was for the apostles and primitive teachers in the first Christian Churches to apply to the Jewish rulers and high priests, for authority to preach the doctrines of the first period of the blessed Gospel :- for the two cases, in our view, are perfectly similar. * The men of the New Jerusalem Church, however, as well as the apostles and primitive pastors of the Christian Church, are enemies to all disorder and fanaticism ; and therefore have been careful to prescribe a solemn and orderly form of ordaining or inaugurating candidates into the ministry of this Church, after due and previous examination, the better to guard against folly and fanaticism.
We have no new Bible, however, to preach from ; nor do we need any. If we speak not according to the law and the prophets, and the records of the holy evangelists, we are willing to admit, that there is no true spiritual light in us.
The mere literal sense of the Holy Scriptures, however, is not always our guide or criterion of true doctrine ; for we believe, that, in many instances, “ The letter killeth,” while the spirit (or spiritual sense of the sacred pages) alone giveth life. Nevertheless we esteem the literal sense of the Scriptures as the holy place in the Lord's spiritual temple; but the spiritual sense we consider as the Holy of Holies! into which inmost and most sacred apartment, you, my beloved and esteemed brother, have been favoured to enter, by w a new and living way," consecrated by every attribute of God, and by every principle of reason and revelation.
And on this occasion it is peculiarly gratifying to us to be as. sured, from those who have the best right to know you, that the Church, in which you are now called to labour in the word and doctrine of your God and Saviour, have the fullest confidence in the purity of the motives which have influenced you to enter into the ministry of the Lord's New Church ; and we are equally well assured that you are not ignorant of the doctrines you are now called to preach.
You have this day (like Moses of old) chosen rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season."
Permit me then to address you, in the language of Paul to his beloved Timothy: 6 My son, be strong in the grace which is in Christ Jesus : endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ: study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth : follow after righteousness, faith, charity, and peace, with all those who call upon the LORD'out of a pure heart : but foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they only engender strife: and the servant of the LORD must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient : in meekness instructing those who oppose themselves, if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned, and hast been assured of, (rationally) knowing of whom thou hast learned them.”
Think not, however, to escape persecution, under some form or other : the servant cannot be above his master : the doctrines you are now called to preach are too rational for the mere fanatic, and too spiritual for the mere deist. Never forget, in all your preaching, to maintain, with Moses, that the LORD your God is One LORD :-One, not only in essence, but in person, also even Jesus Christ our Redeemer; and obedience to his holy precepts is of more esteem, in the sight of God, than whole burnt-offerings and sacrifices, and a surer passport to heavenly glory. I trust you will never forget the day that you were first commissioned to preach the everlasting Gospel-commissioned in the sacred name 'and words of your Saviour God: 6 Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature!” How brief and how simple was this primitive form of ordination ! No pomp and parade! no unmeaning words or ceremonies. In that golden age of the Church, the substance was more attended to than the shadow ; and the illumination and piety of the consecrator supplied the place of the gown and mitre.
And yet how astonishing the power and efficacy of this simple primitive ordination, conferred upon a few plain men, whereby they were enabled to go forth and overturn the most formidable fortresses of superstition and idolatry, and of planting in their place the holy banners of the cross ! Wonderful men! May you and I, my brother, imitate their piety and disinterested zeal, until, like them, we also “ finish our course with joy.”
And now may the Father of Mercies grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might, by his spirit, in the inner man ; that, being thereby rooted and grounded in love, you may be able to comprehend what is the breadth, length, depth, and height of the glorious plan of redeeming mercy.
And unto him who is able to do exceeding abundantly, above all that we can ask or think-unto him be glory, and honour, and blessing, in his New Church, now, henceforth, and for evermore, Amen.
ON THE ORDINATION OF MINISTERS
In the New Jerusalem Church. It has been asked by a correspondent, “ Whence does the New Church derive its ordination p” This important question will be answered, in a course of observations, proposed to be given in the succeeding numbers of this Repository; wherein the principles upon which the Old Church found their ordinations will be alluded to. It will be manifest, in the progress of the discussion, that the New Church can derive no power or benefit from any succession set up by the Old Church, as the two dispensations are in every respect wholly different from each other. 6 No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto un old garment ; for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse. Neither do men put new wine into old bottles ; else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.” Matt. ix. 16, 17.
As precursors to the observations which will be offered on the subject, we give, at present, the opinions of the leading churchmen of the day, at the separation of the English Church from that of Rome, in the time of Henry VIII, extracted from records to be found in Bishop Burnet's History of the Reformation. By these will appear the principles upon which that highly respectable Church founded their separate and independent establishment. It is, however, to be noted, that the New Church founds nothing upon the authority of these celebrated men, or any of the principles of the Old Church. She proceeds upon grounds peculiar to herself, drawn from the nature of the dispensation committed to her charge. These things are here adduced, chiefly as arguments ad hominem, to meet opposers on their own grounds, and to exhibit the principles on which men have acted in every age, under similar circumstances.
Bishop Burnet (Hist. Ref. b. iii. p. 289. A. D. 1540.) tells us that, upon the investigation of the several subjects of inquiry which arose in the religious discussions of the day, “ The method which they followed was this. First, the whole business they were to consider was divided into so many heads; which were proposed as queries, and these were given out to so many bishops and diyines : and, at a prefixed time, every one brought his opinion in writing, upon all the queries. So concerning the seven sacraments, the queries were given out to the two archbishops, the bishops of London, Rochester, and Carlisle, (though the last was not in the commission) and to the bishops of Duresm, [Durham] Hereford, and St. David's. For though the bishop of Winchester was in this commission, yet he did nothing in this particular; but I imagine that he was gone out of town, and that the bishop of Carlisle was appointed to supply his absence. The queries were also given to Dr. Thirleby, then bishop elect of Westminster, to Drs. Robertson, Day, Redmayn, Cox, Leighton, (though not in the commission) Symmonds, Tresham, Coren, (though not in the commission) Edgeworth, Oglethorp, Crayford, Wilson, and Robins. When their answers were given in, two were appointed to compare them, and draw an extract of the particulars in which they agreed or disagreed : which the one did in Latin, and the other in English ; only those who compared them, it seems, doing it for the archbishop of Canterbury, took no notice of his opinions, in the extract they made. And of these, the original answers of the two archbishops, the bishops of London, Rochester, and Carlisle, and these Doctors, Day, Robertson, Redmayn, Cox, Leighton, Symmonds, Tresham, Coren, Edgeworth, and Oglethorp, are yet extant: but the papers given in by the bishops of Duresm, Hereford, and St. David's, and the elect of Westminster, and Doctors Crayford, Wilson, and Robins, though they are mentioned
in the extracts made out of them, are lost. This the reader will find in the collection ; which though it be somewhat large, yet I thought such pieces were of too great importance not to be commuuicated to the world ; since it is perhaps as great an evidence of the ripeness of their proceedings, as can be shown.in any Church, or any age of it.”
We insert in the present number the answers to the 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th questions.
« The Resolutions of several Bishops and Divines, of some ques
tions concerning the Sacraments; by which it will appear with what maturity and care they proceeded in the Reformation, taken from the Originals, under their own hands."
Ex. MSS. D. Stillingfleet.
11th QUESTION. Whether a bishop hath authority to make a priest by the Scripture or no ? And whether any other but only a bishop may make a priest?
Archbishop of Canterbury. A bishop may make a priest by the Scripture, and so may princes and governors also, and that by the authority of God committed to them, and the people also by their election; for, as we read that bishops have done it, so Christian emperors and princes usually bave done it, and the people, before Christian princes were, commonly did elect their bishops and priests.
Archbishop of York. To the eleventh; that a bishop may make a priest, may be deduced of Scripture; for so much as they have all authority necessary for the ordering of Christ's Church, derived from the apostles, who made bishops and priests, and not without authority, as we have said before to the 9th question; and that any other than bishops or priests may make a priest, we neither find in Scripture nor out of Scripture.
Bishop of London. To the eleventh ; I think that a Bishop, duly appointed, hath authority, by Scripture, to make a bishop, and also a priest; be. cause Christ, being a bishop, did so make himself; and because alive, his apostles did the like.