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sess the power of baptizing, imposi- ly distorted, on the one hand to prove tion of hands and ordination.". The the commission of cardinals, and on presbyters, not in exclusion of their the other to establish the existence president, are here asserted to be the of lay presbyters. Whilst Cyprian highest officers of the churches; and was in retirement, a layman of the rightly ; for bishops bad no other church at Carthage whose name was authority to baptize, or ordain, than Numidicus, being arraigned, confessas they were presbyters. The words ed and suffered, but survived. This majores natu are a correct transla: confessor, Cyprian, secure of the tion of peoplutegoo, shown to be taken popular voice, directs to be numberin an official sense, by the specifica ed and to sit with the presbyters. tion of powers, which were pecul- No duty is expressed to be performiarly those of presbyters.
ed by him as a presbyter, until the Cyprian, whose efforts had been bishop should arrive, and he should to acquire language and gesture, not be regularly ordaine i, and promoscience; whose elocution, not his moted to the higher grade. The superior attainments in doctrine and letter may be freely rendered thus : experience, had gained him ascen- “Cyprian to the brethren most dency, was sensible of his prefer- beloved, and longed for, the presbyment, and proportionally soured by ters and deacons, and all the people, opposition. Whilst be excused the greeting : martyrs for treir kindness to the
“It has become my duty to anlapsed, Cyprian blamed those pres- nounce to you, beloved brethren, byters and deacons who had receiv. that which pertains to the common ed them to church privileges; and exultation, and highest honor of our arrogantly directed, that they should church. Be it known, therefore, to be kept from the communion, until you, that God has vouchsased to disthey had pleaded their cause before cover to us, and direct, that Numid. him, and before the confessors them icus, renowned by the clearest truth selves, and before all the people. (h) of a confession, and elevated by the This letter was directed to the pres. honor of fortitude and of faith, may byters and deacons of a single con- be enrolled a presbyter in the num. gregation, who were to be assembled ber of the presbyters of Carthage, together with the people to decide and sit with us among the clergy. (k) the cases of the lapsed. But no dis. By his encouraging cousels he bas parity appears in this or any other of sent before him to glory a large comihe letters, among presbyters, except pany of martyrs through a shower of the presidential dignity, all being stones and of fire, witnessing with confessedly and universally clerical. pivus exultation the same fiery con
By his discrimination between sumption or rather salvation of his presbyters and deacons, Cyprian own wife, clinging to his side. Broilplainly shows, be had no idea of layed in the fire, and then overwhelmpresbyters. “ Deacons should re- ed in stones, he was abandoned with member that the Lord chose apos- the dead; but whilst the tender cotles, that is, bishops and presbyters, licitude of a pious daughter was apostolos, id est, episcopos et prae- searching for the dead body of her positos; and that after the ascension parent, he is found with symptoms of of the Lord, the apostles appointed life, drawn out, and recovered from deacons, the servants of the episcopate and the church." (0)
(k) Nam admonitos nos et instructos The fortieth letter has been strange- presbyter adscribatur presbyterorum Car
sciatis dignatione divinâ, ut Numidicus
thageniensium numero, et nobiscum sede(h) "acturi et apud nos, et apud con
at in clero, luce clarissimâ confessionis ilfessores ipsos et apud plebem universam, lustris, et 'virtutis ac fidei honore subli.” Ep. 16, p. 196.
mis, &c. Epist 40, p. 225. (i) Epist. 3, p. 173.
the mangled remnants of dead com- successfully sought, the fanciful perpanions, he has survived, against bis version of this passage, appearing in own desires. But the conspicuous several American productions, will cause of his continuance is, that the remain a curious monument. CypLord might join him to the clergy of rian defended his opinion against the our church, and adorn with glorious reception of the lapsed, as he did his priests the company of our presby. escape from persecution, by his ters desolated by lapses. And when dreams, which he promised to disGod shall permit, by his protection, close upon his return to the church. my presence with you, bis promo. (in) He also claimed the inspiration shall be effected to the higher tion of suggestion. (n) In the cases order in his worship. (1) In the of Aurelius and Celerinus, who had meantime, let that which has been become confessors, having the dimentioned be done, that we may ac- vine suffrage, as he thought, he needcept this gift of God with thanksgiv. ed not to wait for a consultation with ing, hoping from divine mercy, more the people, and ordained them to be ornaments of the same kind, that the readers. (0) strength of the church being renew- Those who have absurdly taken ed, he may adorn our ecclesiastical the aposolwass of Paul to mean, council with men of like mildness and presiding, but subordinate ruling elbumility. Brethren most desired ders, have sapiently understood the and dear, my wish is your everlast- ' doctores audientium, (p) or presbying welfare.
ters, who in some private place The language of this letter plainly taught the catechumeni, to be a disshows that Numidicus was not pre- tinct order, and implying others who viously a presbyter; its effect was were inferior. The letter is short. neither an ordination, nor a direction “ Cyprian to his brethren, the presto accomplish one, but an appoint- byters and deacons, greeting : Most ment to a future cominission. A esteemed brethren, lest any thing ruling elder is not named; and, in should be unknown to you, either of the modern sense of the phrase, was what has been written to me, or of probably an idea of which neither what I have returned in answer, I Cyprian, nor any who preceded have sent you a copy of each epishim, had formed a conception. “Se- tle, and I trust that what I have redeat in clero” shows, that all who plied will not be displeasing to you. sat with him, were clerical; on this But I ought in this letter to disclose bench he was to sit prior to his pro- to you the fact that from the pressmotion. If promotion, promovebi. ure of necessity, I have sent the let. tur, meant any thing more than the ters to the clergy of the city (Rome.] ceremony of ordination, then he was And because it was proper that I to be raised to a bench above that of should write by clergymen, but ! the clergy; but such there was not, know that the most of ours are ab. because the nobiscum determines sent, and that the few who remain, that the same
was the seat also of are scarcely sufficient for the labor of the bishop. In no enumeration of the daily service, it was necessary to officers in the church, found in Cyp- constitute some new ones, who might rian, or in any preceding writer, bas be sent. Know therefore, that I this imaginary presbyter ever ap
have made Saturus a reader, and the peared; but of the diligence with confessor Optatus a subdeacon, which the non-descript has been un- whom we had some time ago in com
(1) Et promovebitur equidem cum De. (m) Epist. xvi. p. 194. us permiserit, ad ampliorem locum re- in) Placuit nobis, Sancto Spiritu sugge. ligionis suæ, quando in præsentiam, prote- rente et Domino per visiones multas et gente Domino, venerimus. Epist. 40, manifestas admonente. Ep. 57, p. 254.
(o) p. 292, 223. (p) Epist 29 Vol. VI. No. 7.
mon council, placed next to the Optatus, and actually appointed him clergy; either when we gave the les to be a reader. The trial of Satu. son once and again to Saturus on the rus was not in the school of the cat. day of Easter; or afterwards, antechumeni, nor are the presbyters modo cum presbyteris doctoribus said to have been then occupied in lectores diligenter probaremus, when teaching, but it happened in the conbeing with the presbyters occupied in gregation, by directing him to read teaching [the catechumenij and several times public lessons on Eas. having diligently made trial of readers, we appointed Optatus among That one presbyter presided, that the readers as a teacher of the hear- some were chiefly employed in dis. ers, Optatum inter lectores doctorem coursing and others in reading in the audientium constituimus ; whilst ex- congregation according to their tal. amining whether their qualifications ents, must be supposed, for all these might agree with those which ought were duties belonging to the office to be in such as are preparing for the of presbyters. That they acted also clerical office. Nothing, therefore,
as doctores, patient teachers of the has been done by me in your ab- heathenish audient.:8 or catechumeni sence; but that, which was commen- in private places, is supported by ced before in the common council of abundant evidence, besides this letus all, has been finished, by urgent ter. If it affords a little of proof, that necessity. I desire, dear brethren, presbyter's were of different orders your continued welfare, and remem- or kinds, let it be shown fairly, and brance of me. Salute the Brother- not by the mistakes of one or two hood, farewell.” In this letter we good men, who have differed from have a description of that teaching, numerous and more competent judge which is performed by presbyters es. and readers, of the audientes, or cai. He speaks of presbyters as “honechumeni Those who by any means orrd with the divine priesthood, ap. were awakened, and had a desire to pointed by a clerical ministry, bound understand the christian religion, to serve only at the altar and the were instructed as in a school; they sacrifices, and under obligation to who taught them, were doctores, tea- find leisure for nothing, but prayers chers; and if it were their only em- and discourses. (n) They are said ployment in the christian church, to be conjoined with the bishop in they were denominated catechists.(9) the sacerdotal honour. (o) In no These catechumeni are expressly instance is a discrimination made distinguished by the writer from the between presbyters, except that Cy. people, plebs, by the name audientes. prian claimed the title of bishop, (s) The doctores audientium were whilst he denominated them his cotherefore,as such,not the public teach- presbyters, compresbyteri nostri." ers of the people, but the teach- (p) The modern interior lay, or ers of the catechumeni. This in- ruling elders are never once men. struction was superintended, and tioned in his writings, but the same parıly performed by the presbyters, profound silence, as to this unscripbut the readers were appointed to tural order is found in Cyprian, which exercise their talents in the work. has been observed in every writer And this letter shows, that Cyprian before bim. The supposition on and those presbyters, as teachers of the catechumeni, in private, did, on
(n) Singuli divino sacerdotio honorati,
et in clerico ministerio constituli, non nisome such occasion make trial of si altari, et sacrificio deservire, et preci
bus atque orationibus vacare debeant. (9) Audientibus etiam-vigilantia vestra non desit, implorantibus divinam, &c.
(0) Qui cum episcopo presbyteri saEpist. 18-in eorum numero, qui apud nos cerdotali honore conjuncti. p. 272. catechizati sunt-habentur. Ep. 75, p. 325.
(p) p. 169. () Vide Epist. 18. p. 198.
the other hand, that the eight copres. " he had determined to do nothing byters of Cyprian were over distinct without the presbytery,” and his assemblies, is not merely gratuitous, apologies, when he made Saturus a but contrary to many passages in his reader, and Optatus a subdeacon ; letters, which show that the flock when also he promoted Aurelius and was one and no more. The pres- Celerious, and appointed Numidi. bytury was not of many charges, but cus to be futurely ordained to be a of one ; and the bishop not a mere presbyter, only show that he was remoderator, but a president of the strained by the well known anteceworshipping assembly, as well as of dent usages in the church ; but his the deliberating and judging church- doing the thing, was full proof that presbytery.
he did not think as he spoke, but inThat upon the demise of a bishop tended to arrogate higher powers, his place was filled by an election of his piety and veracity to the contrathe people, (9) and that the success- ry notwithstanding. ful presbyter was commissioned by sages in bis letters accord with the the bishops of other churches, we original idea of two orders, those in do at present read in the letters of authority, præpositi, and deacons. Cyprian. At any prior period this Yet having been made a bishop by new order does not satisfactorily ap- the votes of the people (w) agaiust pear.
To them Cyprian concedes the will of five eighths of the pres. the liberty of doing what they choose, byters, he was ever vigilant to sup(r) no one of them being accountable port himself by encroachments on to any other bishop (s) but to God the rights of the presbytery, and inonly. (1) Also every bishop is the defatigable in his exertions to convicar of Christ (u) over the chris- vince his colleagues of their transtians, who reside within the geogra. cendent powers. phical precincts of his own parish ; The ancient form of the designaand every teacher there, not of his tion of a Frosolws, or presiding pres. church, be his doctrines what they byter is not shown. But in this may, is a schismatic. (v)
book it is denominaled an ordina. Bishops were entitled to the same tion, and said to be by imposition of honour, and the same obedience, hands. (x) The ordination of Cypwhich was due to the highpriestrian in whatsoever manner, was among the Jews, and the Mosaic probably by bishops, because of the laws for the protection of the priest- opposition of all the presbyters but hood and the punishment of offen. Ihree, as those of Cornelius (y) and ders, were considered by Cyprian others are expressed to have been. as still in force Thus was paved This device exalted bishops into a the way for all the mischief and new and superior, though unscriptubloodshed that have followed in the ral order. They became colleagues, Church, Cyprian's declaration that maintained correspondence, fre
queotly assembled, made laws, and (q) populi universi suffragio. Epist. supported each other's dignity and 59, p. 261.
(r) Unus quisque episcoporum quod power. putat faciat habens arbitrii sui liberam potestateu. Ep. 73.
(w) populi universi suffragio. Ep. 59,52. (6) ουτε για τις επισκοπον εαυτον καθιστη- (*) Ep. 67. aw, his language in the first council of (y) That Cornelius after his ordination Carthage. Zonazæ, p. 275.
as a presbyter was ordained a bishop of (1) actum suum disponit et dirigit Rome, Cyprian expressly asserts. Ep. 69. unusquisque episcopus rationem sui Dom- No cotemporary evidence which we have ino redditurus. Ep. 55.
ever seen, or of which we have heard, es. (5) Judex vice Christi cogitatur. Ep. tablishes the same thing of any preceding 39.
bishop of Rome. Certainly Fabrianus (v) Nec curiosos esse debere quid ille his immediate predecessor, was made of a doceat, cum foris doceat. Epist. 55. layman a bishop.
In the Apostolical Constitutions, a subject of infinite importance to evinstead of an imposition of hands, ery living inan. It was preacbed the deacons held the open gospels on the last sabbath of his public la. upon the head of the intended bislı- bours, and in such a state of health op, during the consecrating prayer. and feeling as made a strong impresNor is xsigodedia, that we find, used sion on the minds of not a few who either in the canons or the constitu- heard it, that they were listening to tions for the ordination of a bishop, the last words of their much loved but always Xsigotovid. That these and venerated pastor. And so it constitutions were not written by proved to be in fact. Soon after its the apostles is certain; that they delivery he was taken sick, and in were not known to Cyprian is clear, the course of a few days, was called for he would bave used them ; that to pass through the scene wbich he they did not theo exist is probable, here so affectingly describes.] because first quoted by Epiphanius; that imposition of hands should have been in practice in Cyprian's Hebrews ix. 27.-It is appointed unday, or before the constitutions were to men once to die, but after this mude, is unaccountable and incredi. the judgment. ble, because it must have been give ep in them. Whatever, therefore, Providence more constantly reminds
There is no truth of which a wise appears in Cyprian concerning in
men, than that they are dying creaposition of bands, upon one who was
tures, Of the fact, no man in his already an elder, is probably an in
senses doubts ; still there is pone terpolation. That Cyprian was be
more strangely forgo:ten, That beaded in 258 may be received, which is clearly presented before but his lite by Pontius though an
our eyes as tbe fate of other men, we cient, deserves very little respect
do not realize will be speedily our The works of Cyprian, if unadul
Many will walk in the midst terated, discover a Dew order of presbyters by episcopal ordination, their acquaintances and dearest
of graves, and the remains ut
convey also readers, subdeacons, acolyths friends to darkness, and still repress and virgins. By the same authority the solemn idea, I am myself a dy. also are established sacrifices for the
ing creature., dead, the intercession of deceased
If it were not useful and even nesaints for the living, holy water and remission of sins by baptisin, and cessary for a life of religion, lo famil.
iarize ourselves with the certainty of that there is no salvation out of the
our own death, God would vot liave church. He inculcated the doctrine
filled all nature with remembrances of the keys, but although Rome was
of the solemn change before us. greater than Carthage, he denied
We are reminded of it by the decay that Stephen had more power than
of every thing around us. As there he possessed ; and died under the
is a time for all objects to be brought anathema of the successor of Peter. What has been its effect on him, there is a time for them to die and
into their proper state of existence; so and whether his subsequent canonization has afforded him reliei, an.
perislı. When we look on pature it is
one great scene of change and dissoother day will disclose.
1. P'. .
lution. This is designed to teach nen that they are dying creatures.
We are reminded of this by every
pain felt in our own bodies,and by the [The following discourse is from diseases of others; as well as when the pen of the late Dr. Strong of
we behold them give up the ghost, Hartford. It contains a very seri. and go to the congregation of deous and practical train of thought un parted ones. Infinite wisdom would