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"shops" The same writer, in the very section from which the above extract is taken, more than once remarks, that the Papists, and the English Episcopalians are equally in error in asserting the divine right of prelacy. He speaks of his having written two works on the Origin and Power of Bishops, which were particularly intended to oppose the notions of certain high-Churchmen in England. He declares, that it is notorious and unquestionable that Jerome contended zealously for the primitive equality of Bishops and Presbyters. And he also asserts, that the office of Deacon was, in process of time, perverted from that guardianship of the poor which it was expressly intended to subserve by the Apostles.
The same Divine, in his able and learned Preface to Bingham's Origines Ecclesiasticæ, adverting to Bingham's high-Church opinions, makes the following declarations. "But when he asserts, fur"ther on, that the order of Bishops was instituted "by the Apostles, he will have very few to join him, "excepting the Roman Catholics, and the high"toned Episcopalians in England. For there is "not only no vestige of such a thing to be found in Scripture; but the very contrary is plainly in"timated there, viz. that Presbyters and Bishops แ were the same thing in the Apostolic age." He then goes on to show that the Fathers teach no
* I. F. Buddæi Isagoge Historico-Theologica, &c. Lib. 11. Cap. v. § 11.
thing contrary to this; and by a number of quotations from Ignatius, Clemens Alexandrinus, Irenæus, and Tertullian, evidently establishes his point.
I have reserved for separate consideration, the testimony of the Synod of Dort; not only because the proceedings of that venerable assembly hold a most important station in the history of the Christian Church; but also because they have been misunderstood and misrepresented by my opponents, in a manner so extraordinary as to demand particular notice. Mr. How, especially, has allowed himself to speak on this subject in a way for which I really feel at a loss to form an adequate apology. To suppose that it has never fallen in his way to obtain correct information respecting it, is the most favourable construction which the case seems to admit.
It is generally known, that the Synod of Dort sat in the years 1618 and 1619; that it was convened for the purpose of considering and deciding on the heresy of Arminius; that it was composed of delegates from the greater part of the Protestant Churches of Europe; that King James I. sent five delegates from the Church of England, to deliberate and vote in the Synod; and that of these delegates one was, at that time, a Bishop, and two others were, soon after their return home, raised to that dignity. It is also well known, that the Synod, after long and solemn deliberation, formally condemned the doctrines of Arminius, and adopted
those of Calvin; and that the English delegates concurred, with one voice, both in the condemnation of the former, and in the adoption of the Ìatter.
In speaking of the proceedings of this Synod, in my seventh Letter, having no temptation to conceal or disguise the truth, I was careful to state, that "Bishop Carleton, and the other English delegates expressed their opinion, in the Synod, VERY FULLY in favour of the Episcopal form of government." This, however, does not satisfy Mr. How. He professes to quote my sentence, but adroitly leaves out the words "very fully," and then exclaims" See, Sir, how you mis-state? They de"clared the divine right of Episcopacy. Is there no difference between the two modes of expres "sion? You seem to have been aware of the ne "cessity of concealing the true state of the case "from your readers; thus,entitling yourself to the "credit, at least, of caution as an advocate, whatever may be thought of your candour as a man. Passing by the indelicate suggestion which this passage contains, as beneath a reply, I would only ask, where is the "mis-statement?" To say that they expressed an opinion very fully in favour of Episcopacy," is surely a mode of speaking suffici ently strong to cover the fact, even as Mr. How states it. Whatever" difference" there may be in the two modes of expression, there is certainly no inconsistency between them.
Mr. How seems desirous of impressing on the minds of his readers, that the English delegates had been warmly solicited by the Dutch to attend their Synod; and complied with their solicitation, rather as a matter of courtesy, than of strict ecclesiastical order. He says, "The English Bishops "being invited to attend, thought it would be wrong "to refuse the invitation; especially as it was their "ardent wish to promote union and harmony "among protestants." Now it happens that the solicitation was all on the other side. The fact is, that the states of Holland at first intended to form the Synod of Dort of delegates from their own Churches only and it was at the express solicitation of King James, (whose request was communicated and seconded by Maurice, Prince of Orange,) that eminent Divines deputed from England, and other reformed countries, were admitted to sit and deliberate in that assembly. Had Mr. How been acquainted with this fact, he could not possibly have penned the above cited paragraph.
I had produced, in my seventh Letter, the conduct of the English delegates to the Synod of Dort, in accepting seats in that assembly, as an implied recognition of the Presbyterian Church of Holland, as a true Church; and of all the ministers of the continent who composed the Synod, (though
See the Dedication of the Acts of the Synod of Dort. Topla dy's Works, Vol. 11. p. 253 Christian Observer, Vol. 111. p. 632. Bishop Hall's Works, Vol. 111. p. 15.
none of them had received Episcopal ordination,) as true ministers of Christ.And in this judgment the Episcopal historian Collier, concurs. Dr. Bowden, however, is of opinion, that the conduct of the English delegates does by no means admit of such a construction. Mr. How goes further, and even ventures to affirm, that the history of the English delegation to the Synod of Dort, instead of affording the least countenance to the Presbyterian doctrine of parity, rather shows that the most respectable delegates to that Synod, from the different Reformed Churches, really believed in the doctrine of Prelacy by divine right; lamented their want of diocesan Bishops; and ascribed their want of this ecclesiastical regimen only to necessity. Nay he declares, that to attempt to construe the attendance of the English delegates as I have done, "is "as puerile as it is disingenuous." Nothing more is necessary than this simple statement to show Mr. How's entire want of acquaintance with the history of that Synod, and the import of its transactions; which, indeed, he betrays in almost every sentence he has written on the subject.-Let me request your attention to the following particulars.
The ministers of the Dutch Church had it in their power, at the time of the Reformation, to retain diocesan Episcopacy, if they had thought it either scriptural or expedient. The people, for a number of centuries, had been accustomed to this kind of ecclesiastical government. The magistrates made no objection to its continuance. And