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examined, to have done little more than beg the whole question in dispute.
He insists that Timothy and Titus were not sent to Ephesus and Crete in the character of Evangelists; that they had finished all the labours which belonged to them in this character, before they went thither; and that their principal duties in those places were of an higher kind, and appropriate to an higher office. Nay, he formally sets it down, in a long catalogue, as one of my
founded assertions," that I represent them as acting in that capacity in the Ephesian and Cretian churches. Has Dr. Bowden ever read that portion of the New Testament which is called the Second Epistle to Timothy? Does not the apostle Paul say to Timothy, in that Epistle, Do the work of an Evangelist? And was this written before he went to Ephesus? Truly, when this gentleman can permit himself, with so little ceremony, to contradict an inspired Apostle, I need not wonder that others fare so roughly in his hands. Nor will it afford any relief to his cause, to cavil about the meaning of the word evangelist. Whatever it then meant, or may now mean, it is certain that Paul applied it to Timothy, and that after he had been sent on his Ephesian mission. And if it were applied to Timothy, no good reason can be assigned why it may not, with equal propriety, be applied to Titus. In fact, if it be conceded that the former was an Evangelist, and acted as such, when the Epistles directed to him were written,
the friends of prelacy can have no interest in contending that the latter bore a different character; for the same reasoning, in substance, applies to both.
But Dr. Bowden still contends, that Timothy and Titus were Diocesan Bishops, because they were empowered to ordain others to the work of the Gospel Ministry? Shall we never have done with this begging of the whole question, in a manner so unworthy of logicians and divines? Suppose they were empowered to ordain? What then? Do we not consider Presbyters as invested with this power? And is it not the great object of Dr. Bowden's book to show that it was otherwise ? Why, then, does he attempt to impose upon his readers by taking the main point for granted? Let him first prove that, in the primitive church, none were permitted to ordain, but an order of minis. ters superior to Presbyters, and then his argument from the fact of Timothy and Titus having been invested with the ordaining power, will be conclusive ; but until he shall have established the former, which neither he, nor any other
has done, or can do, the latter will be considered, by every discerning reader, as worse than trifling.
Dr. Bowden and his friends also lay great stress on another point. They take for granted that there had been Elders (or Presbyters) ordained by the apostle Paul himself, both at Ephesus and Crete, before Timothy and Titus were sent to those places.: Assuming this as a fact, they say, these
Presbyters, on Presbyterian principles, must have been invested with the ordaining power ; but if this were so, why were others sent on so long a journey, to perform that which persons on the spot could have done as well? Here, again, every thing is taken for granted. Where did Dr. B. learn that there had been Presbyters fixed, either in Ephesus or Crete, before Timothy or Titus went thither? The sacred history says no such thing. With what face, then, can any man undertake to found his whole argument on a mere assumption? It is certain that the Epistle to Titus contains a direction to ordain Elders in every city. There were, therefore, some cities, at least, which were not furnished with the requisite number, and probably with none at all. But admitting that there were Elders already ordained both at Ephesus and Cretc, still the argument is good for nothing. That some portions of those churches were unfurnished with ininisters of any kind, and that they were all in a comparatively unorganized and immature state, is perfectly manifest from the whole strain of the Apostle's language concerning them. Was it unnatural, on Presbyterian principles, that in this state of things, special missionaries should be sent among them; men well known as possessing the entire confidence of the Apostle ; fully instructed in their duty; and qualified to travel from place to place, and set in order the things which were wanting? Might not many prudential considerațions have rendered it expedient to send such
eminent characters from a distance, rather than to select men of less distinguished and commanding reputation on the spot, to perform a service as delicate as it was arduous? In fact, this is precisely the course which has been, more than once, pursued, in Presbyterian churches, when they were in an unsettled state, without any one ever dreaming that it infringed the doctrine of ministerial parity; or that it implied any deficiency of power in those ministers who resided nearer the scene of action.
But Dr. Bowden further contends, that Timothy and Titus were empowered to ordain alone ; that is, that in the ordinations which they performed at Ephesus and Crete, there were no other ordainers joined with them; and hence he infers that the Presbyterian doctrine cannot be true, because our rules do not adınit of ordination by a single Presbyter. Here, once more, this dextrous disputant takes for granted the very thing to be proved. Who informed him that Timothy was the sole ordainer at Ephesus, and Titus at Crete ? The Epistles to those Evangelists do not say so.
Is he sure that they had not travelling companions, of equal power with themselves, who united with them in every ordination? Can he determine for what purpose Mark travelled with Timothy; and Zenas and Apollos with Titus? Or can he undertake to say that these persons never joined in setting apart søthers to the ministry? Dr. B. is confident there had been Presbyters ordained, both at Ephesus and Crete before these Evangelists went thither.
Now, if there were such Presbyters in those churches, will he venture to assert, that one or more of these were not always joined with Timothy and Titus in ordaining other Presbyters * ? In short, neither Dr. B. nor any other man, knows any thing about these matters; and yet he assumes facts, and argues upon them with as much confidence, as if he were perfectly acquainted with every minute particular.
This gentleman, however, still pleads, that directions about ordaining ministers, and regulating the affairs of the church, were given to Timothy and Titus alone; that we hear of no others joined with them in those instructions, and that we have no right to suppose there were such.. This plea does not deserve an answer; but it shall have one. Suppose one of our Presbyteries or Synods
* Dr. Bowden appears to think it strange that I suggest the possibility that some of the Presbyters of Ephesus and Crete might have been united with Timothy and Titus in their ordaining acts; when I had before represented it as utterly uncertain whether there were such Presbyters in existence, and as rather probable that there were not. But there is no inconsistency here. I only mean to show that Dr. B. does not know whether there were, or were not such Presbyters; and that he can gain nothing by either supposition. If there were noné such at Ephesus or Crete, before these Evangelists were sent, then a fundamental argument in favour of the prelatical character of Timothy and Titus is destroyed. If there were such, then they might have assisted, for aught we know, in every ordination : and then another boasted argument on the same side falls to the ground. Whichever supposition is adopted, it is equally fatal.