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ever was treated with neglect, due homage to the bishop was never forgotten. Not such was the fact in the days of St. Paul; therefore, not such was the order which he had instituted.
2. Another presumption, if, indeed, it deserve not a higher name, against the episcopal construction of the New Testament facts, is, that one at least, of the two powers said to be vested exclusively in prelates, is clearly attributed to presbyters. We mean the power of government.
There are three terms employed in the New Testament to express the authority which is to be exercised in the Christian church, and they are all applied to presbyters. These terms are,
1. vysopas—To take the lead.
3. Toppaiva-To act the part, to fulfill the duties of a shepherd.
Every power which Christ hath deputed to his officers, is conveyed by one or other of these terms.
For the greater precision we shall show, first, that they do express the power of government; and then, that each of them is applied to presbyters.
1. ΗΓΕΟΜΛΙ. . To take the lead-signifies to 4 rule.” Math. ïi. 6. Thou, Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the PRINCES (MyEMoon) of Juda ; for out of thee shall come a GOVERNOUR (youuevos) that shall RULE my people Israel. The force
of the term, then, cannot be questioned. It is applied to presbyters.
Heb. xii. 7. Remember them which have THE RULE OVER you. (TWE Bryoumevwv ymwr your rulers.) The apostle is speaking of their deceased pastors; for he immediately adds, who have spoken unto you the word of God; whose faith follow, considering the End, the issue or termination, of their conversation. Again,
V. 17. Obey them that have the rule over you, (5015 byouuu svors quwv) for they watch for your souls as they that must give account.
That these 6 rulers” were presbyters, is evident from a single consideration; the apostle attributes the power of “ ruling,” to those deceased pastors who had preached the gospel to the Hebrew converts; and those living ones who “ watched for their souls ;” which are undeniably the functions of presbyters; therefore Paul recognizes in presbyters, all the power of government expressed by the first term-rulers.
2. ΠΡΟΙΣΤΗΜΙ, or ΠΡΟΙΣΤΑΜΑΙ. Το stand or place before--to preside—to rule. 1 Tim. iii. 4. A Bishop must be one that RULETH WELL (xahws ISOLOTU jevov) his own house. The same in v. 5. 12.*
The power expressed by this term also, is applied to Presbyters.
1 Thess. v. 12. We beseech you, brethren, to know
* For other references see Raphelii Annot. Phil. in N. T. ad locum, & Schleusneri Novum Lexicon in N. T.
them which labour among you, and ARE OVER YOU (T9010 Faperous) in the Lord.
It is a description of ordinary faithful pastors; not of prelates, for there were several at Thessalonica; and diocesan Episcopacy admits of but one in a city. The whole description taken together, supposes the exercise of functions, and an intimacy of intercourse, among the people, which a prelate cannot possibly observe in his diocese ; but which is exactly characteristic of the Presbyter. However, to put the matter out of all doubt, Paul charges Timothy, 1 Eph. v. 17. Let the elders that RULE WELL, (ós radWS FROECTWTES) be accounted worthy of double honour, &c.
Presbyters they are, Episcopacy herself being judge: for this is one of the passages which she quotes to prove their inferiority in the church of Ephesus, to bishop Timothy. The apostle, then, here formally attributes to presbyters the power of “ ruling," which we humbly conceive to be much the same with the power of “ government.”
3. DOIMAINA2. To exercise the office of a shepherd; hence, to provide for the safety and comfort of any one—to direct, to controul, to go
This term being more comprehensive than either of the former two, we crave the reader's indulgence to a minuter proof of the last mentioned acceptation, viz. to “ govern.”
As early as the days of Homer, this word and
its relatives were in familiar use, to designate not only authority, but the highest authority in the commonwealth. Thence that frequent Homeric phrase “the shepherd of the people,” for their “king.” No one who is in the least conversant with that pre-eminent poet will ask for examples ; but lest we should be contradicted by such as are not, and yet wish to pass for “ Greek scholars," we subjoin a few ; though at the hazard of being again reproved by Mr. Hobart for our “ ostentation.” -Δρυαντα σε ΠΟΙΜΕΝΑ λαων. .
II. A. 263. “ Dryas the SHEPHERD of the people”—which the scholiast interprets by Βασιλεα οχλων και
66 the KING of multitudes."
-πειθονςο σε ΠΟΙΜΕΝΙ λαων Σκηπτουχοι βασιλης.
Il. B. 85. 6. The sceptred kings yielded to the SHEPHERD of the people.”—Where the scholiast again explains • shepherd” by “ king.” Baoides.
In the same poet,“ shepherd” is used interchangeably with other terms descriptive of the military chiefs of Greece.
Αιαν διογενες, Τελαμώνιε, ΚΟΙΡΑΝΕ λαων. Il. I. 640. Οίτινες ΗΓΕΜΟΝΕΣ Δαναών και ΚΟΙΡΑΝΟΙ ησαν. ΙΙ. Β. 487.
Those who are elsewhere called “ shepherds,” are here named “leaders” and “princes :" the former being interpreted “ kings” by the scholiast, as he had already interpreted “shepherds.”
In the same way does he translate the latter, in his annotation upon v. 204, of the book last cited. So that by the great master of Grecian language and literature, the three terms, IIosunu, Hyefiwy, Koigavos, i. e.“ shepherd,” « leader,” “prince," are interchangeably used of the same rank, and are all explained by the Greek commentator, Baoineus, i. e. “ king.” Instances might easily be multiplied, but we forbear. We have the rather appealed to Homer, because he depicts that same state of society in which a great portion of the scriptures was written; and alludes to those same objects from which they have borrowed much of their imagery, and many of their terms.
Proceed we now to the septuagint version of the Old Testament, which was completed between two and three centuries before Christ. 2 Kings, v. 2. in our version, 2 Sam. v. 2. The Lord said unto thee, viz. David, thou shalt FEED (FOSLLAVEIS, shalt act as a shepherd to) my people Israel, and thou shalt be a CAPTAIN (souple vou) over Israel.
Precisely the same sort of example is to be found in Ch. vii. 7, 1 Chron. ii. 2. xvii. 6; also Ps. xlviii. 14. Death shall Feed upon (FOIuaven, shall have the rule over) them.
The New Testament is equally decisive. Math. ii. 6. Thou, Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least
among the princes of Juda; for out of thee shall come a GOVERNOUR (úyouuevos) that shall rule