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Having disposed of the see of Jerusalem, which had been gratuitously conferred on James, we proceed to the argument in favour of Diocesan Episcopacy, from the epistles addressed, in the book of the Revelation, to the seven churches of Asia. We give it in the words of Cyprian. And as it may possibly amuse the reader, while it convinces him that we were correct in saying that Archbishop Potter is one of the real authors under the signatures of Cyprian, &c. we shall put his Grace of Canterbury side by side with our Albany .friend.
CYPRIAN. “ In the three first chapters of the Revelations of St. John, we find absolute demonstration of the existence of the Episcopal dignity and au
thority, at the time in which " St. John, in the three this work was written. In first chapters of his Revela- these chapters, St. John gives tion, has given us a lively de- us a description of the seven scription of seven bishops Bishops, who superintended who presided in the seven the interests of the church in principal cities of the pro-con- the seven principal cities in sular Asia. Our Lord is there the Pro-Consular Asia. Our introduced, sending seven Lord is represented as sending epistles to the seven churches seven Epistles to the seven of these cities, directed to the churches of these cities, diseven angels of the churches, rected to the seven angels of whom he calls the seven stars the churches, whom he calls in right hand. Now if it the seven stars in his right appears that the seven angels hand.” From all the circum
CYPRIAN. were so many single persons stances that are mentioned, it invested with supreme autho- undeniably appears that these rity in the seven churches, seven angels were so many there can be no reason to single persons, invested with doubt, whether they were the supreme authority in the bishops of these churches ; a churches ; that is to say, they bishop being nothing else but were the bishops of those one who has chief authority churches. in the church.
it manifestly ap“ Let us examine in the pears, that these seven angels first place, whether the seven of the churches, whom the angels were so many single Lord calls the “ seven stars" persons ? And first of all, it in his right hand, were single is manifest they were not the persons. They were not the. whole church or collective whole church or collective body of Christians in their body of Christians. This is several cities ; because the proved incontestably from churches are represented by
these considerations. The seven candlesticks, which are
whole Churches, or collective all along distinguished from body of Christians, are reprethe seven stars, which are em
sented by seven candleblems of the angels. Neither sticks,” which are distinguishwere they any select number ed from the "
seven stars," or body of men : For they are
that are emblems of the Anconstantly mentioned as sin- gels, the Bishops. They are gle persons ; the angel of the constantly mentioned in the
66 The Anchurch of Ephesus, the angel singular number. of the church of Smyrna, and gel of the Church of Epheso the rest."
sus"--" the Angel of the Church of Smyrna," and so of the rest.
Accordingly, both he and And in the epistle to Thyatira all the rest are constantly ad- it is said, " I know thy works.' dressed to in the singular “ I have a few things against number ; I know thy works, thee.” “ Remember how thou I have a few things against hast heard.” 6. Thou hast thee, remember how thou hast kept the word of my pa
CYPRIAN. heard, thou hast kept the word tience." This is the style of my patience, and so in the which is used when the Angel rest, where our Lord speaks to or Bishop of the Church is them in particular : But when addressed.what he writes equally con- But when what is said relates cerns the people, he changes to the people, the style is alhis style, and speaks in the tered, the plural number is plural : The devil shall cast then used. •6 The devil shall some of you into prison. Thou cast some of you into prihast not denied my faith when son.” Antipas my faithful martyr was slain among you. I will
" I will reward every one of reward every one of you ac- you according to your works. cording to your
works. That That which ye have, hold fast which ye have, hold fast till till I come.” And this variI come.
Which variation of ation in the number, proves the number, is a plain argu- that some parts of these Episment that some parts of these tles relate to the whole Church, Epistles relate to the whole and others only to the Angels. churches, and others only to the persons of the angels."
“ But there is one thing yet But what places this subject behind, which will put this beyond all reasonable doubt is matter beyond dispute : name- this circumstance: The titles ly, that the titles of angels and of Angels and stars are constars are constantly applied in stantly applied in the book of this book of Revelation to sin- Revelation to single men, and gle men: Our Lord is called never to a society or number of the Morning Star, and the men. Our Lord is called the Sun, and the apostles are call" morning star and the sun," ed twelve stars, and twelve an- and the twelve Apostles are gels; but there is not one ex- called “twelve stars," and ample where these titles are “ twelve Angels." given to any society or number of men. So that if we will al
It is evident, therefore, that low the divine author of this the seven stars or Angels in the book to speak in this place, as book of Revelation, are single he does in all others, the angels: persons.
CYPRIAN. of the seven churches can be none but single persons.
“ The next thing to be made That these persons possessout is, that these single per-ed supreme authority in the sons were men of chief autho- Churches, is also demonstrarity in their several churches. ted from these considerations. And we might safely conclude they were so, though we had no other proof of it, because our Lord has directed to them the Epistles, which he designed These Epistles are addressed for the use of their churches. to them alone. But there are several other arguments,
that the angels were men of eminent station and authority: For The Churches are called whereas the churches are on- candlesticks, and they the ly called candlesticks, the an- stars which give light to the gels are resembled to stars, candlesticks. which give light to the candlesticks."
“They are praised for all the The seven angels are praisgood, and blamed for all the ed for all the good which they evil which happened in their had done, and blamed for all churches. The angel of Ephe- the evil which happened in the sus is commended, because he Churches. The Angel of could not bear them that were Ephesus is commended beevil, and had tried those who cause “he could not bear them called themselves Apostles, and that were evil, and had tried were not so ; which seems to those who called themselves imply, that he had judicially Apostles, and were not so," convicted them to be impostors. which seems to imply that he And the angel of Pergamos had convicted them of impos-is reproved for having them ture. The Angel of Pergawho hold the doctrine of Ba- mos is reproved for having laam; that is, the Nicolaitans, them“ who hold the doctrine who allowed themselves to of Balaam, and he is severely
CYPRIAN. commit fornication, and to eat threatened unless he repentthings sacrificed to idols ; and ed.” This shows that he poshe is severely threatened, un-sessed authority to correct less he repented: which shows these disorders, or he could he had authority to correct not justly be menaced with these disorders, otherwise he punishment for permitting could not justly have been them. The Angel of Thyatira punished for them. The same also is blamed for suffering may be said of the angel of“ Jezebel,” who called herself Thyatira, who is blamed for a prophetess, to teach and sesuffering Jezebel, who called duce the people. And the Anherself a prophetess, to teach gel of Sardis is commanded and seduce the people. And“ to be
be watchful, and to the angel of Sardis is com- strengthen those who are ready manded to be watchful, and to to die,” otherwise our Lord strengthen those who are ready threatens to come on him “ to die; otherwise our. Lord a thief; at an hour which he threatens to come on him, as a should not know." thief, at an hour which he should not know."
The writers under review, having a great contempt for all reasoning from names, promised to intrench themselves within scriptural facts. One of their facts they find in the history of the 5 stars” or “angels” of the seven churches. Yet if the reader shall attentively inspect their argument, which we have placed before him in its full strength, he will perceive that it rests entirely upon their interpretation of two names.
These are angel” and “ star:” which, in the symbolical language of the scripture, are as really names of office, as bishop, presbyter, deacon, are in its alphabetical or common language. The aspect of Vol. III.