A. B. (Alonzo Bowen) Chapin.

A view of the organization and order of the primitive church: containing a Scriptural plan of the Apostolic church; with a historical outline of the church to the end of the second century: to which is added, the Apostolic succession, connecting it with the church of the present day online

. (page 32 of 32)
Online LibraryA. B. (Alonzo Bowen) ChapinA view of the organization and order of the primitive church: containing a Scriptural plan of the Apostolic church; with a historical outline of the church to the end of the second century: to which is added, the Apostolic succession, connecting it with the church of the present day → online text (page 32 of 32)
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cember, 1559. Though I despair of satisfying the incrednlity of one who
can doubt aAer he has examined the docnments to which I have jeferred,
yet I owe it to myself to prove to your readers the trnth of my statement,
and the utter futility of any ot^gection which can be brought against it.

** The matter in dispute is, whether Parker received, or did not receive,
consecration on the 17th of December ; but the following facts are, and
must be admitted on both sides : 1st. That the Queen having given the
royal assent to the election of Parker, by the Dean and Chapter of Canter-
bury, sent, on September 9, a mandate to six prelates to confirm and con-
secrate the Archbishop elect, and that they demurred, excusing, as would
appear from what followed, their disobedience, by formal exceptions on
points of law. 2d. That on the 6th of December, she issued a second
commission to seven Bishops, ordering them, or any four of them, to per-
form that office, with the addition of a sanatory clause, in which she sup-
plied, by her supreme authority, all legal or ecclesiastical defects, on ac-
count of the urgency of the time, and the necessity of the thing ; ' tem-
poris ratione et rerum necessitate id prostulante ;* words which prove how
much the Queen had this consecration at heart ; and certainly not without
reason, for at that time, with the exception of JUandaff, there was not a
diocese provided with a Bishop, nor, as the law then stood, could any such
provision be made without a consecrated Archbishop, to confirm and con-
secrate the Bishops elect. 3d. That four out of the seven Bishops named
in the commission, (they had been deprived or disgraced under Queen
Mary, but had now come forward to ofl*er their services, and solicit prefer-
ment in the new Church,) having obtained a favorable opinion from six
counsel learned in the law, undertook to execute the commission, and
confirmed Parker's election on the 9th of December.

*' Now, these facts being indisputable, what, I ask, should prevent the
consecration from taking place 1 The Queen required it ; Parker, as ap-
pears from his subsequent conduct, had no objection to the ceremony, and
the commissioners were ready to perform it, or rather under an obligation
to do so ; for by the 25th of Henry VIII., revived in the last Parliament,
they were compelled, under the penalty of premunire, to proceed to the
consecration within twenty days after the date of tbe commission. Most
certainly all these preliminary facts lead to the presumption that the conse-
cration did actually take place about the time assigned to it, the 17th of
December, a day falling within the Umits I have just mentioned.

" In the next place, I must solicit the attention of your readers to certain
indisputable facts, subsequent to that period. These are - «lst. That on
the 18th (and the date is remarkable) the Queen sent to Parker no fewer
tkan six writs addressed to him. Under the new style of Matthew, Arch-
bishop of Canterbury, and primate and metropolitan of all England, and
directing him to proceed to the confirmation and consecration of six Bishops
elect, for six difierent Sees* This was the first time during the six months
Ifhich had elapsed since his election, that any such writ had been directed
to him. What, then, could have happened, just before the 18th, to entitle
him to this new style, and to enable him to confirm and consecrate Bishops,
which he could not do before ? The obvious answer is, that he himself
bad been consecrated on the 17th. 2d. That on the 21st, he consecrated
four new Bishops, on the 21st of January five others, two more on the 2d,
and two on the 24th of March. Can we suppose that so much importance



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APPENDIX. 407

would be attaobed to eonsecration given by him, if he bad received no con-
secration himself 1 or, that the new Church would have been left so long
without Bishops at all, if it had not been thought necessary that he, who
was by law to consecrate the others, should previously receive that rite 1
3d. That afterward, at the same time with the new prelates, he obtained
the restoration of his temporab'ties, a restoration which was never made
till after consecration. 4th. That he not only presided at the convocation,
but sat in successive Parliaments, which privilege was never allowed to
any but consecrated Bishops. In my judgment, the comparison of these
facts, with those that preceded the 17th of December, forms so strong a
case, that I should not hesitate to pronounce in favor of the consecration,
even if all direct and positive evidence respecting it had perished.

" But there exists such evidence in abundance. That Parker was con-
secrated on the 17th of December, is asserted, Ist, by Camden, (i. 49,)
2d, by Grodwin, (De Prees. p. 219,) 3d, by the Archbishop himself in hia
work, (De Antiquitate Brittannicas Ecclesiffi,) published in 1572, three
years before his death, or, if that book be denied to be his, in his diary, in
which occurs the following entry in his own hand : * 17lh Dec Ann. 1559,
consecratus sum in Archepiscopum Cantuariensem. Hue ! Hue ! Domine
Deus, in quae tempora servasti me !' (Strype's Parker, App. 15.) And,
4tb, by the Arch-episcopal Register, a record which details the whole pro-
ceeding, with the namcis of the Bishops, of the Chaplains, and of the
official witnesses. In truth, it descends to so many minute particulars, that
I think, Mr. Editor, it must be the model after which are composed the
descriptions of consecrations, ordinations, and dedications, which we have
the pleasure of perusing in your pages. In one respect only must it yield
the superiority to them. It names not either the organist or the singers.

" Now to this mass of evidence, direct and indirect, what does your cor-
respondent oppose 1 That Harding and Stapleton, and the more ancient
Catholic controvertists, denied that Parker was a Bishop 1 That is, indeed,
true ; but I always understood that their objections (which is certainly the
case with respect to the two passages quoted in your last number) referred
to the validity, not to the fart of his consecration ; and if Dr. Milner has
chanced to assert to the contrary, I fear that he wrote it hastily, and with-
out consideration. I am not aware of any open denial of the fact, till
about fifty years afterward, when the tale of the foolery supposed to have
been played at the Nag*s Head, was first pubUshed. In refutation of that
story, Protestant writers appealed to the Register ; their opponents dis-
puted its authority; and the consequence Was, that in 1614, Archbishop
Abbot invited Colleton, the Archpriest, with two or three other Catholic
missionaries, to Lambeth, and submitted the Register to their inspection,
in presence of six of his own Episcopal colleagues. The details may be
seen in Dodd, ii. 277, or in Godwin, p. 219.

** Your correspondent assures us that the Register contains * so many in-
accuracies and points at variance with the history of the times, as mani-
festly prove a forgery.* Were it so, there still remains sufficient evidence
of the fact. But what induces T. H. to make this assertion 1 Has he
examined into all the circumstances of the case 1 Or does he only take
for granted the validity of the several objections which Dodd, without ex-
pressing any opinon of his own, has collected from diflferent controvertists 1
However that may be, T have no hesitation in saying, that all those objec-
tions are founded on misconception or ignorance ; that the Register agrees
in every particular with what we know of the history of the times ; and
that there exists not the semblance of a reason for pronouncing it a forgery.'*



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408 APPENDIX.

Among the authorities quoted in this volume, is IgnnHtta, Biihop tf An-
tioch. He is important, both for the early date and fullness of his wri-
tings ; and it has been found the easiest way to dispose of him is, to deny
the authenticity and genuineness of his epistles. It is agreed, that Igna-
tius was Bishop of Antioch, a distinguished man and Christian, sentenced
to death by Trajan, and was sent to Rome to die, A. D. 107, or 116 ; on
his way, he wrote several efHStles to several different Churches. It is also
agreed, that we have two c<^es of seven epistles purporting to have been
written by Ignatius— ^that the longer copy teaches Ariaoism, the shorter,
the Divinity of Christ^ — that Eusebius had, when he wrote, A. D. 305, the
same number of epistles, having the same directions as those we possess.

Now Eusebius's copy taught doctrines he ap{nroved. If, then, we can
determine his sentiments in regard to the Trinity, we can determine which
bis copy was. This we may learn by reference to his works ; for in his
history he describes those as heretics who denied the divinity of Christ.
(Hist. i. 2 ; iii. 27, 37.) The conclusion is, therefore, irresistible, that the
copy he possessed, A. D. 325, taught the doctrine of the Trinity. Ignn-
tins is also quoted by Athanasius, A. D. 330, by Jerome, A. D. 370, in
Chrysostom, 398, (Serm. de uno. legis.,) Theodoret, 423, (Dial. Prim.,)
without intimating a want of orthodoxy* It is true, then, that Ignatius
wrote seven epistles to seven Churches — that they taught the doctrine of the
Trinity — that the shorter copy is the same as that of EMsebiuSf Athana-
sius, Jerome, and other orthtxlox men of that age, inthas respect.

But this conclusion has been assailed with great violence. The oppo-
nents are of two classes; (1,) the Arian and Socmian, who finds his no-
tions of the Trinity contradicted by that copy which has by far the greatest
claim to authenticity ; and (2) the anti-Episcopalian, who finds his views
of the existence and authority of Bishops in that primitive age, controvert-
ed by them. Yet there are many non-Episcopalians who speak diflier-
ently. Moshkim says : " The seven shorter epistles are, by most writers,
accounted genuine. ... To this opinion, I cheerfully accede." Dr.
MvRDOcK says : " Moderate men, of various sects, especially Lutherans,
are disposed to admit the genuineness of the epistles in their shorter form,
but to regard them as interpolated and altered." This is the opinion of
the leading Grerman historians ; as Nearder, (AUgm. Gesch. Christ. Rel.
I., B. iH., Abth. 1107,) and J. E. C. Schmidt, (Handb. Christ. Kirch. I.,
Theil. § § 47, 119.) J. C. I. Giesler (Text-Book, Ecc. Hist. Div. I. § 33)
places them among the genuine writings. The prevailing opinion among
sound scholars now is, that the seven shorter epistles of Ignatius are genuine^
but interpolated. But if these epistles are interpolated, can we quote them
as authority 1 Certainly not, until we have ascertained the true text. Nor
is this a difficult task, as has been shown by Schmidt, (Christ. Kirch. I.,
§ 47. Versuch uber gedop. Kecens. Briefe Ign. in Henckes Mag. Relig.
Bd. ni. S. 91.) Thus, ifwe compare the two copies, and reject from each,
things not contained in the other, what remains will be genuine. That is,
where they agree in phraseology, there is no reason to suspect either has
been altered, and this may be set down as the certain text. Where the
longer merely expands the idea of the shorter, the text of ihe shorter is
the highly probable text. Where the only difference is, that the longer
changes the language of the shorter, teaching another doctrine, the text of
the shorter is the probable text. Finally, when either contains passages not
in the other, that must be regarded as probably spurious. In this volume,
Ignatius is never quoted as authority, except from tte» certain text.



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Online LibraryA. B. (Alonzo Bowen) ChapinA view of the organization and order of the primitive church: containing a Scriptural plan of the Apostolic church; with a historical outline of the church to the end of the second century: to which is added, the Apostolic succession, connecting it with the church of the present day → online text (page 32 of 32)