Charles Chauncy.

The Appeal to the public answered in behalf of the non-Episcopal churches in America : containing remarks on what Dr. Thomas Bradbury Chandler has advanced, on the four following points : the original and nature of the Episcopal office, reasons for sending bishops to America ; the plan on which it i online

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Online LibraryCharles ChauncyThe Appeal to the public answered in behalf of the non-Episcopal churches in America : containing remarks on what Dr. Thomas Bradbury Chandler has advanced, on the four following points : the original and nature of the Episcopal office, reasons for sending bishops to America ; the plan on which it i → online text (page 1 of 15)
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Dr. Chauncy's

To Dr. Chandler's

A P P E A L to the P tXBLIC.




Public answered.

In Behalf of the Non-Episcopal


Re M A R K s on what Dr. Thomas Br ad-
bury Chandler has advanced, on tho
four following Points,

The Original and Nature of the Epis$:opal Office;

• Reafons for fending Bishops to America.

The Plan on which it is propofed to fend them.

And the Objections againft fending them obviated
and refuted.

Reasons for an American Episcopate
are fhewn to be infufEcie.nt, and theOB^
jECTioNs againft it in full Force.

By C H A R L E S C H A U N c y, D. D.

And Paftor of the firft Church of Chrift in Bo/ion,

B S T N: N, E.

Printed by Kn^eeland and Adams, in A4ilk-Strect^ fcr
Thomas Leyerett, in Corn-HilW 1768,


ij*^ II E y^ujjjor of^ the folhwhig ivot:k cannot
fay., that he undertook it in virtue of anj
% "Voted appointment,'' hj a '* convention of the
Clergy" ; or that he was ''^affifted'' in it^ either as
ip " mefhpdl\ or " nianqgemenf'j 4>/' direciion^*
fr.pnji learned and able 4, hody^ of men. Hf does
not -pretend to have, been favoured ivith fuch
((iftinguipinz utn-a lit ages. Not that his appear-
VI g^ upon ti)i: occafion^ was of his own meer tno-
tion., ■ Me would rm[ber have cbafe.n to hxive hjeen
^xeuf^dfrovi cngcgiTJg in on affair, that he knew
would he attended with labour^ and might expofe
Mm ig ?nuch ill-w'-IL But he war, at lengthy
tvcrconie by private friends ' More efpecially
as urging this motive, its being piiblifed /#,
the world, that, if no " objcBions were offer-
ed again ft-, Qt Am e r i c a fJ Ep i s c o p a t e,
it would be taken for granted ^Lh Parti^es

>V K K £ S A T I S F I K D ",



IT ha;?, for fome time, been known, that tht
Epifcopal Clergy, in the Colonies, in confe-
(^uence of confultations, in convened bodies, have
tranfmitted a number of addreffes to England •,
one, to his prefcnt Majedy, importunately requelt-
ing an American Episcopate ; o:hers, to the
Arch-Bifhops cf Canterbury and York, to the
Bifhop of London, and to the Univerfuies of Ox-
ford, and Cambridge, iblliciting their influence in
an affair of fuch im/portance to the well-being, if
not the very being, of the Church of England in
thefe parts of the world. If this was " never in-
tended to be kept a fecret", it was certainly made
one, at lead in regard of the arguments' rnade
ufe of in lupportof [he thing requefted ; for though
an authentic knowledge of them vvas defired, it
could not be obtained at firft, and I know not that
it ever has been fince. The affair feems to have
been carried on, as it were, under ground, until
*' the dilcovery of a favorable dsfpofuion in ma-
ny,", at home, towards the fupport of the thing
jnvievv. And now, the v/ay beiiig prepared, it is
*•* thought proper, in a public manntr, to give
informaiion of the Reasons, why an American-
Epifcopate is lb earneliiy defired by the Clergy,
and other friends and membtrrs.of the church". It
might have been as proper, and certainly would
have been more candid and generous, not to fay
fair, if they had given thete reaipns, when they
fent cheir addreffes fupported by them. VVp
^ight then have b^en heard at hoine as well, and




as foon, as they ; and judgment might have been
made upon an impartial hearing of the cafe, and
not by hearing one fide only. We are, after fuch
previous care to ripen matters at home in their
favor, without all controverfie, under difadvantage
in offering what we have to fay upon this affair,
which may far more nearly concern the civil as
well as religious interefts of the Continent, than,
feme may be ready, at ficft view, to imagine.

It muft not be eftetmed ftrange, if '^ fome
perfons", I may rather fay many, are " alarmed
at this condu6t of the clergy". For now " the
cafe has been explained", and is well " under-
flood", there dill "remains uneafinefs" ; nor is
the exhibited Plan " fo reafonable", even in
regard of the Epifcopal churches ; or fo " harmlefs
to other denominations", as the Dr. would repre-
fent. He hopes, " every objedtion", or even " fuf-
picion", will be "intirely obviated" by what he has
to fay. But " (liould any objections continue,
which fliall be thought worthy of notice, objectors
are invited to proppfe them in fuch a manner, that
they may be fairly and candidly deba:ed before the
tribunal of the public''. It is m compliance wjth.
this invitation, rhar. rhe following fneets are wrote;
as alfo, that it tni-ht not be " takr-n f(T, granied,
that all parties acqu^elceand arefati^ftcd" We join,
with the Epifcopalians in bringing thv cafe to open
tryal We defire nofhira more than an impariial
hearing. Let the public j-idge between us.

I SHALL proceed in the method the Dr. has
chalked out -, taking into confideration his feveral
fe6lions one by one, and faying what may be
thought proper, in a way of arilwer, to tach o£
them diftin6ily.


The Appeal to the Public

Anfvver to Seftion I. which contains " a
Sketch of the Arguments in favor of

||SSSI|t?E Dr. begins the fubjefl before
"^'^ him with premifing, " that the
I T ( ^ Church of England is Epifcopal^
-^(^ and confequently holds the neceffity
ii©;©®J| of Bifhops to govern the Churchy
and to confer ecclefiaftical powers". If he means,
that the conftitution of the Church of England, as
eftablifhed by law, is Epifcopal, making Bifhops,
under the King, and within certain prefcribed li-
mits, the governors of the Church, and conveyers
of ecclcfialtical powers, and that this is the dodrine
of the Church, it is readily acknowledged : Bur,
if he intended to lead us into this thought, that the
Church of England holds, or is obliged to hold,
the Divine Right of Bifhops to govern the
Church, or Confer ecclefiaflical powers, in virtue
of their being officers diftindl from, and fuperior
to PreKbyters j we differ from him in opinion.


8 The Appeal to the Public anfwered.

None of her public offices, no part of the fyftcni
cf her conduct towards the clergy is founded on
this principle. The pafTage he has here quoted,
from the preface to the book of ordination, may
feem to have an afped this way •, but it is, as the
late learned and excellent prof< fTjr IVigglefworth,
obicrves,* '• too (lender a foundadon to build uppn
in the picfent cafe -, efpecially, if ',c be remeuiber-
cdjwho v/ere the compilers of that book, and what
reafon we have to conclude they were of the judg-
ment, that Priefts and Bijhops are by God's law one
and the fame". This was certainly the doftrine of
the Church of England in the btginning of the
reformation, and of the g nerality of its pious and
learned divmes for a very confiderSible time afteir-

In Henry the eight's time, the Arch-6ifhops, Bi-
fliops, Arch-Deacons, and Clergy of England, in
their book intituled, " the inft'^idion of a chriftiari-
man," fubfcribfd with ail iheir hands, and dedi-
cated to the King, Anno. 15^7 ; and King Henry
himTelf, in his book ftiled, " a necelTary erudition
for any chriltian-man," fet out by the authority of
the ftatuie of 32. H.-nry VIII. chap >6. approved
by both houfes of Parliament, prefaced with the
King's own epiftle, and pL^.blilhed by his command
Anno. 1543, exprefly refolve, '*■ that Priefts and
Bidiops BY God's Law, are one and the fame ;
and that the power of C>rdinati6n and excom-
municaaon belongs equally to them both. J


* Sober Remarks, p^g. i r.

t See the many quotations from their writings to this

purpofe, by the cf-iebrated Or. Stillingfltet, in his

JreniTum, pag 394.. and onwards.
J Calamy's defence of mOd, hQn-coiiforihity, ptg. ^tl

^he Appeal to the Public anfwered, ^

Edward the fixth no fooner came to the throne;
than he took proper methods to go on with the
reformation, begun in the former reign. Among
other meafures, he called an aflembly of felefl Di-
vines, the moft refpedable for ftatlon, piety and
learning in that day, and propofed to them feveral
queftions, relative to the fettlement of religion ac-
cording to God*s word j to which queftions they
gave in feverally their refolutions in papers, all
whofe judgments were accurately fummed up, and
fet down by the Arch-Bifhop of Canterbury him-
felf. In anfwer to the loth queftion, '' whether
Bifh'ops or Priefts were firft", Arch-Bifhop Cran-
mer's opinion, given in writing under his own
hand, was this, " Biihops and Priefts were at one
time, and were not two things, but one office in
the beginning ot Chrift*s religion". * The Bifliop
of Afaph, Dr. Therleby, Dr. Redmayn, and Cox,
were all of the fame opinion with the Arch-Biftiop ;
and the two latter exprefly cited the opinion of
Jerom with approbation, f In this fame reign, in
a public declaration, fubfcribed by the Arch-Bifh-
ops of Canterbury and York, eleven Biftiops, and
many other Dodlors and Civilians, it is exprefly
aflfertcd, " that, in the new-teftament, no mention
is made of any degrees, or diftindion of orders,
but only of Deacons or minifters, and of Priefts or
Bi(hops". X It is indeed beyond all reafonable
difpute, that the Epifcopal form of government
was fettled, at the reformation, as Dr. Stillingfleet
exprefles it, § " not under pretence of divine
RIGHT, but for the conveniency of that form to
the ftate and condition of the Church at the time
B of

* Irenicum pag. 392. f Ibid. pag. 393.

J Bifhop Burnet's hift. of the reformation, and Ncal's
iiift. of Puritanifm, § Iren. pag. 385,

lo The Appeal to the Public anfwered.

of Its reformation". And it is in fadl true, that,
both in Henry the eighth's time, and in Edward
the fixth's, the Bifhops " took one commifiions
from the Crown * like other State Officers,
for the exercifing their fpiritual jurildidiGn ; in
which they acknowledge, that all sorts of
jurifdidlion, ecclefiaftical as well as civil, flow
ORIGINALLY from the Regal power, as from a
SUPREME Head, f the fountain and Ipring of


* The refcript of Edward the 6th, cited by S?;nders,
runs thus, *' To Thomas, Arch-Bifhop of Canter-
^' bui7 — Since from the King all power and jurird'6li-
*' on proceed, — we give thee power, within thy Dio-
** cefs, to give orders — by thefe prefents to endure at
*' our pleafure". Dr. Lay ton's appeal to the Parlia-
ment againft Prelacy, pag;. i6. This fame writer adds,
'* In the ifl: year of the faid Edward 6th, it is enaded,
that they fhould exercife no jurifdicHiion in their Dio-
cclles, nor fend out writs, but in the King's name, and
under his feal j which ilatute was abrogated in the ift
of Q^ Pvlary, and re-eftablifhed by Q^ Elizabeth, and
in the iirft of King James".

f Agreable to this is Arch-Bifhop Cranmer's anfwer to
the 9th of King Edward's queflions, which is thus ex-
prefied, '' All chriftian Princes have committed unto
them immediately of God the whole care of all their
fubjciSl:?, as well concerning the adminiftration of the
word for the care of foul, as concerning the miniftra-
tion of things political, and civil governance. Ard in
both thcfe adminiftrations, they muft have fundry mi-
nifters under them to fupply that which is appointed to •
their feveral offices. The civil minifters, under the
King's Majefty, in this realm of England, be thofe
whc m it fhall pleafe his Kighnefs, for the time, to put
in authority under him 5 as for example, the Lord
Chancellor, the Lord Treafurer", &c. The miniflers
of God's word under his Majefty be the Biftiops, Par-
fons, Vicars, and fuch other Pfiefl:s as be appointed by


The Appeal to the Public anfwered. 1 1

ALL Magiflracy within this kingdom ; and that
they ought, with grateful minds, to acknovvledge
this favor derived from the King's liberality and
indulgence j and accordingly, they ought to ren-
der it up whenever the King thought Hl to require
it of them. And among the parriculars of eccle-
fiaflical power given then^ by thi? commifTion, is
that of ORDAINING Prefbyrers •, and all this to
laft no longer than the King's pleafure". * Even
in the days of Queen Elizabeth, when there was a
re-eltablifhment of Church government, after the
fiery reign of Queen Mary, in the articles of reli-
gion agreed upon, the Englifh form of Church-
government was only determined to be " agreable
to God^s v/ord", which, as Bifliop Stillingfleet fays,
" had been a very low and diminifhing expreffion,
had they looked on it as abfolutely prefcribed in
fcripture, as the only neceiTary form to be obferv-
ed in the Church". Nay, as this fame writer ob-
ferves, f if we come lower to the time of King
B 2 James,

his Highnefs to that miniHratlon ; as for example, the
Bifhop of Canterbury, the Bifliop of Durefm, the
Bifhop of Winchefter, and the Parfon of Wynwick.
All the faid officers and minifters, yS well of the one
fort as the other, be appointed, afligned, and clc6led in
every place by the lav/s and orders of Kings and
Princes". This fame Arch-Bifhop, in anfwer to the
King's eleventh queftionp fays, '• A Bifliop may make
a Priefl: by the fcriptures, and fo may Princes and Go-
vernors alfo, and that by the authority of God commit-
ted to them ; and the people alfo by their clectipn.
For as we read that Bilhops have done it, fo chriflian
Emperors and Princes ufuaily have done it. And the
people, before chfiftian Princes v^^erc, commonly did
ele(^ their 'Bifliops and Priefts''. Iienicum pag. 391.

* Rights of the chriftianChurch, pref. pag. 29. as cited by
the DilTent. Gentleman's anfwer to White, pag. 202.
t lieiiicum, pag. 394..

12 The Appeal to the PubHc anfwered.

James, his Majefty himfelf declared it in print, as
his judgment, " that the civil power, in any na-
tion, hath the right of prefcribing what external
form of Church-government it pleafes, which doth
mod ao;ree to the civil form of government in the

The plain truth is, this notion of the right of
Bi(hops to govern and ordain, as being oflicers in
the Church, fuperior to Prefbyters by Divine
APPOINTMENT, was, as the excellent Mr J, Owen
fays, " firft promoted in the Church of lingland
by Arch-Bifhop Laud. Dr. Holland, the King's
profelTor in Oxon, was much offended with him
for afferting it in a difputation for his degrees.
He checked him publicly, and told him he v;eht


* So far from, the beginning of the reformation as 1722,
the lower houfe of convocation addrelTt'd the upper^
fign'f>ing their trouble to find themfVlves zfp^rkd^ as
ill afrlcbd to the M tropolitical and Epifccpai rights,
begging their Lordfhips v/ou'd not give credit to any
fucli eviffaggeftions, as alfo that the declaraticn they
had made a?i<.i figned might be entered on their books.
The import of t'nis dcciaratiori wa^, " that whereas
they had been fcandaioufly reprefented as favorers of
Prcfbytery, in opp^fuion to Epifcopacy, they now de-
clared, that they. acknowledged the order of Bifhops,
as suPEP-ioR to Preibvters, to be of Divine aposto-
lical institution'* -—=

The fame day they 'prefented an additional addrefs, fig-
nifying, that whereas this their declaration had given
NEW OFFENCE, and that from having been traduced
for alio wing too little to' Epifcopacy, they were
now accufcd of ascribing too much to it, they
begged therefore that their Lort, fhips would take the
*do(Strine atorefaid into their rnature confidcratioii."-^
Ci*iam)'s abridgment, pag. 66/3 668*

The Appeal to the Public anfwered, 13

about to make a divifion between the Englifh, and
other reformed Churches". *

It may have been the pradllce of the Church
of England, for feme time, as the Dr. obferves,
*' to admit none to officiate as Clergymen, who
have not been ordained by Bifliops". But it was
not always fo. The point of re-ordination did noc
begin to be urged, until the days of Arch-Bi(hop
Laud. Through his infiuence,as Mr.Prin tells us^f
Bifhop Hall rc-ordained iVIr. John Dury, a mini-
iler of the reformed Church. But the old Church
of England did not require, or pradtife re-ordina-
tion. In King Edward the fixth's time, Peter
Martyr, Martin Bucer, and P. Fagius, had eccle-
fiallical preferments in the eftablifhed Church with-
out it. J Mr. William Whitingham was made
Dean of Durham, about 1563 ; though ordained
by Prefbyters only. § In like manner, Mr. Tra-
vers, ordained by a Prefbyter beyond fea, was fe-
ven years Ledurerat the Temple, and had theBi-
fhop of London's letter for it. |I And, even in the
reign of King James the firll, the validity of ordi-
nation by Prefbyters was notfet afide •, as appears
from the cafe of the three Prefbyters that were
coniecrated Bifnops for Scotland, at London. %


* Plea for fcripture ordination, pag. 115. f Owen's
plea for fcrip. ordination, pag. 117. 4: Ibid. p. 118.
§ Ibid. p. 121. II Ibid. p. 122.

fl See the cafe related at large in Piercers Vind. of Di/Tent.
pag. 167. He likewif« here tells us, when the Arch-
BiSiOp of Spalato was in England, he defired Bifhop
Morton to re-ordain a perfon ordained beyond fea,
that he might be more capable of preferment. The
Bifhop wrote him in anfwer, that it could not be dons
but to the fcandal of the reformed Churches, wherein
he would have no hand.

14 The Appeal to the Public anfvvcred.

' The Dr. having premifed, that the Church of
England nolds the neccffity of Bifhops to govern
the Church, and conftr urderi, fays, " ic is not
neceiTaiy to enter upon a particular defence of this
dodnne, fmce the plea", in the prefenf undertak-
ing, " is equally valid^ whether thefe principles
are founded rightly or wrongly". Why then did
he put himfclf to the trouble of exhibiting " a
fketch of the arguments, whereby the necelTity of
Epircopal goveinment is defended" ? I know of
no valuable end this was adapted to' anfwer. It
may have increafed the number of his pages_ -, bur,
at the,fa!ne time, it has detained his readers from
attending to the main bufinefs in hand; and need-
lefly too, as I imagine ; fince he has given us only
a detail of arguments that have been repeated
over and over again, and as repeatedly been an-
fwered. However, he has made it proper, if not
neceffary, to poRpone the confideraiion of the
grand point in view, until I alfo have given " a
ilcetch of the arguments" that have been ufed on
the other fide of the queilion.

He fays, " ic is an effential dodrine of the
Church of England, that none have any authority
in the chriftian Church, but thofe who derive ic
from Chrili, either mediately or im-??ediatelf\ This
is not a dodrine peculiar to the Engliih Church.
Every other chriltian Church, of whatever djeho-
mination, holds the farne. The Churches, in the
Colonies, are certainly of this opinion. But we
differ from the Dr. when he lays, '' that this au-
thority muff be derived, \f mrdiately^ by a regular
fuccefiion", meaning hereby an uninteirupied one,
in a line of Bifliops, as an order fuperior to Prefbyr
ters, even from the Apoilles : Nor can we be



The Appeal to the Public anfwered. i

brought to think, that the uninterruption of this
line of fufCC'Oion is so necessary, that, " if it
be ONCE broken, and the power of ordination
[that is, the power in this way communicated] lod,
not ail the m^a on earth, not all the angels of
heaven, without an immediate com million from
Chriil, can reftore it". Is this the do6trine of the
Church of England ? 1 am bold to fay, no fuch
th;ng can be found in the thirty-nine articles, or
in the homilies, or in the form of ordination, or in
the common-prayer-book, or in any part of the
Church's fyliem in regard of the Clergy : Nor is
it eafij^ fuppoleable, that one in an hundred, even
of thoie who are tborow Epif^opalians:, make this
the objed: of their faith. It is indeed fcarce cre-
dible, that any who have read the fcripturcs, which
every where fo exprefly fecure the great biemnga
purchafed by Chrift to all that believe in him, re-
pent,& fincerely obey him,fhoald imagine nocwith-
flanding, that all who have a right to thcfc bleffings
muft be alfo members of a particular Church, over
which an olBcer fuperior to Prefbyters preiides,
and in an uninterrupted fuccellion from the Apo-
ftles ; efpecialiy, when this pretended regular
fucceffion is fo far from being incontedable, that
it is not capable of good proof, nor is there any
probability, that fo long a chain, running through
fo m.any ages of ignorance, violence, and all kinds
of impofture, has never once been broken. * To



The reader may fee this matter fet in its proper light
by Bifhop Stillingflect, in his Irenicum ; by Profeflbr
Jamefon, in his fundamentals cf the Heirarchy exa-
mined ; and, above all, by Mr. Thomas Walter, one
of the fiift gentlemen for genius and learning this
Country has produced, in his anfwer to a piece pub-


1 6 The Appeal to the Public anfwered,

make the very being of a Church, and all cove-
nant hopes of falvation to reft upon To precarious
a foundation, is, in reality of fenfc, to expofe
ihe Church and religion of Jefus Chrift to open
ridicule — It will alio follow from hence, that all
the public worfhip of the Colonifts, that are not
Epifcopalians, of all the diilenters in England and
Ireland, of the Church of Scotland, and of all the
reformed protedant Churches abroad, whofe mi-
niilers were ordained by " the laying on of the
hands of the Prefbytery" only, is a vile affront
and abomination to Chriit the head of his Church.
So very charitable is this dodrine of the Dr. Jn-
ftead of deferving a ferious confutaiion, it may
reafonably excite the contempt of all, who are ac-
quainted wi^h the genius and fpirit of true chrifti-
anity. — It will farther follow from this dodrine,
thai, it the popiUi Bifliops, at the reformation, had
{luck to their old principles, and diicontinued the
fucceffion of the miniflry by refufir.g to confecrate,
or to ordain, any but thofe of their own commu-
nion, it had then been the duty of the Proteftant


liihed here in defence of Epifcopacy, upon the plan of
an uninterrupted fuccellion. Perhaps, the fubjed was
never handled in a more mafterly and thorow manner.
No attempt has been made, by way of reply, though
he wrote forty years ago. Mr. Petoy the Hiftorian
fays, that the Church of England, as well as the Scotch
■ Church, was at firft planted and governed without
Bifnops, until Bifhops were fent them from Rome.
And there cannot be any good evidence produced, that
there were any Bifhcps in England, until Auftin the
Monk was fent from Rome. He was made Bifhop of
Canteibury, fays Koffman, about the year of Chrift,
595. it will, perhaps, be found difficult to make out
the fucceflion from him. No man alive can do it from
the Apollles in an uninterrupted line.

The Appeal to the Public anf\vered. xj

laity to " forfake the afTembling themfelves to-
gether", and all fucceeding generations muft have
been content without the public worfhip arid or-
dinances of God, until a new commilTion was fenc
down from heaven, giving power to fome new
apoftles to admmifler them, and to tranfmit again
the fame office to their fucceflbrs. The Dr. ac-
cording to his principles mull affirm **ill this ; and
yet, I believe, he will not be very free openly and
explicitly to do it. — But the word of this dodlrine
of an uninterrupted fucctrffion is (till behind \ for
it is derived through the Bishops of Rome, who
for an hundred years together, as Baroneus^him-
felf acknowledges, * namely from the year nine
hundred, to the year one thoufand, were *' monfters
for ignorance, luft, pride and luxury". I cannoc
fo well exprefs myfelf here, as in the words of one
of the bed writers upon the fubjed in controverfie 5

1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Online LibraryCharles ChauncyThe Appeal to the public answered in behalf of the non-Episcopal churches in America : containing remarks on what Dr. Thomas Bradbury Chandler has advanced, on the four following points : the original and nature of the Episcopal office, reasons for sending bishops to America ; the plan on which it i → online text (page 1 of 15)