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asserted, that another Book, drawn up and published by the same high authority, in 1542, taught, in the most explicit terms, a similar doctrine. To this Dr. Bowden replies that he has examined Collier, who undertakes to give an abstract of both these books, and that he does not find in him " a

syllable of what I have quoted, but much to the "contrary." My authorities are Calamy's Defence of moderate Nonconformity, p. 91. and Neal's History of the Puritans; in both which the writers profess to quote the very words of the Books in question: And whether a direct and positive statement, by authors of undoubted character, does not more than countervail the silence of a writer, who, as Episcopalians themselves acknowledge, is not to be depended on, let every impartial reader decide.

Now when it is considered, that those venerable Reformers unquestionably drew up and published the Books which have been just mentioned: When we find Professor Raignolds, one of the most learned and pious Episcopal Divines of his day, and who lived within about half a century after Cranmer and his associates, expressly asserting that they did not place Prelacy on the footing of divine right*: When we find Bishop Stillingfleet, in his Irenicum, and several other eminent Episcopal Divines, strongly asserting the same thing, not as their opinion merely, but as a fact: And when we find Dr. White, of Pennsylvania, now

* See my former Letters, p. 251.

Bishop of the Episcopal Church in that State, declaring, after the best examination that he had been able to give the subject, that those illustrious Divines did not establish or defend Prelacy as a matter of divine right*-When these things are considered, I presume every impartial judge will admit, that they form a mass of evidence incompa rably more weighty than the opinions of Dr. Bowden and Mr. How, with the partial and prejudiced Collier to aid them.

I asserted, that, about the year 1547, in an assembly of Divines called by Edward VI. archbishop Cranmer, in answer to a question respecting the office of Bishops and Presbyters, replied, " Bishops and Priests were at one time, and were not two things, but one office in the beginning of Christ's Religion." And that two other Bishops, together with Dr. Redmayn, and Dr. Cox, delivered a similar opinion in still stronger terms; and that several of them quoted Jerome as a decisive authority in support of their opinion.

To this, Dr. Bowden replies, in the first place, that he can see nothing in Cranmer's answer inconsistent with Episcopal pre-eminence. Indeed! Were any one to ask Dr. B. himself, as King Ed ward did that assembly, "Whether Bishops or Priests were first; and if the Priests were first, whether the Priests made the Bishops?" would

The Case of the Episcopal Churches in the United State's Considered. 12mo. Philad. 1782. U

he answer as Cranmer did; that Bishops and Priests were not two things in the beginning of Christ's religion, but one and the same office? Could he lay his hand on his heart, and say that he would consider such an answer as agreeable to his principles? The archbishop not only declares that the names of Bishop and Priest were interchangeably applied; but that they were one thing, or one office in the beginning of Christ's religion.— The Bishop of London's answer, in the same assembly, is in a similar strain. "I think," says he, "the Bishops were first; and yet I think it is not "of importance whether the Priest then made the "Bishop, or the Bishop the Priest; considering (after the sentence of St. Jerome) that in the "beginning of the Church there was none (or if it

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were, very small) difference between a Bishop "and a Priest, especially touching the significa"tion." The man who can say that this answer only asserts the indiscriminate application of names in the primitive Church, must have a strange method of interpreting language.

Dr. B.'s second objection to my argument drawn from this answer, is, that the assembly, in which Cranmer, and his associates delivered these opinions, was not called in 1547, but seven years before, in the reign of Henry VIII. when the minds of the Reformers, just emerging from the darkness of Popery, were unsettled and immature. He asserts, that, afterwards, on further inquiry, they entertain

ed a different opinion. In this representation also Mr. How concurs.

It is certain that Stilling fleet, with the original manuscripts relating to this subject in his hand, declares that this assembly was called by Edward VI. about the year 1547. It is certain that Bishop Burnet quotes the very same manuscripts, under the name of Bishop Stillingfeet's. And it is

equally certain that the former does not charge the latter with mistake in his date. I readily grant, however, that when the several passages of these two writers are carefully compared, it is not easy to decide on the correct date, with absolute certainty*. But at whatever period this assembly was called, Bishop Burnet speaks of the answers which its members gave in the following strong terms of approbation. "This paper the reader will find in "the collection, of which, though it be somewhat "large, yet I thought such pieces were of too great "importance not to be communicated 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 itf."

Both Dr. Bowden and Mr. How assert that Archbishop Cranmer published a Catechism in 1548,

* Dr. Bowden undoubtedly mistakes when he dates this assembly in 1538, and assigns as a reason that a certain Paper is signed by Fox, Bishop of Hereford, who died that year. Dr. B. is here confounding two very different things, as he will instantly sec by comparing several passages in Burnet, Vol. 1. p. 248. 289. Collection XXI. Addenda V.

Hist. Ref. 1. p. 289.

and a Sermon, about the same time, in both which they assure us he delivered doctrines as highly Episcopal as any thing can be." Dr. Bowden has given a short extract from the latter of these publications, and took care, no doubt, to select the strongest and most decisive passage he could find. But, strange to tell! this passage affords no proof that the Archbishop believed in the divine institution of Prelacy at all. It speaks of the ministry of the word being derived from the Apostles by the imposition of hands. And do not many Presbyterians speak the same language? It speaks of the Apostles making Bishops and Priests. And does not every Presbyterian grant that there were many Presbyters in the Apostles' days who had no pastoral charge, and who were, of course, no Bishops? Is Dr. B. unable to understand this? or does he close his eyes against it? I take for granted that all Cranmer's "high-church notions," as Mr. How calls them, if candidly examined, would be found to be of a similar kind.

Dr. Bowden admits that in the 13th year of the reign of Elizabeth, there was an act passed which admitted into the Church of England, those who had received ordination in the foreign Reformed Churches, on their subscribing the articles of faith. Now as there was no other, strictly speaking, than Presbyterian ordination in any of the foreign Reformed Churches, it is manifest that this was a great national acknowledgment of the validity of

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