?deaconess?] of the church that is at Cenchree...for she herself also hath been a helper of many, and of mine own self.? See also <540311>1 Timothy 3:11 ? ?Women in like manner must be grave, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things? ? here Ellicott and Alford claim that the word ?women? refers, not to deacons? wives, as our Authorized Version had done but to deaconesses. Dexter, Congregationalism, 69, 132, maintains that the office of deaconess, though it once existed, has passed away, as belonging to a time when men could not, without suspicion, minister to women.

This view that there are temporary offices in the church does not, however, commend itself to us. It is more correct to say that there is yet doubt whether there was such an office as deaconess, even in the early church. Each church has a right in this matter to interpret Scripture for itself and to act accordingly. An article in the Bap. Quar., 1869:40, denies the existence of any diaconal rank or office, for male or female. Fish, in his Ecclesiology, holds that Stephen was a deacon, but an elder also, and preached as elder, not as deacon, <440614>Acts 6:14 being called the institution, not of the diaconate, but of the Christian ministry. The use of the phrase diakonei~n trape>zaiv , and the distinction between the diaconate and the pastorate subsequently made in the Epistles seem to refute this interpretation. On the fitness of women for the ministry of religion, see F. P. Cobbe, Peak of Darien, 199-262; F. E. Willard, Women in the Pulpit; B. T. Roberts, Ordaining Women. On the general subject, see Howell, The Deacon-ship; Williams, The Deacon-ship; Robinson, N. T. Lexicon, ajntilh>yiv On the Claims of the Christian Ministry and on Education for the Ministry, see A. H. Strong, Philosophy and Religion, 269-318, and Christ in Creation, 314-331.

C. Ordination of officers.

(a) What is ordination?

Ordination is the setting apart of a person divinely called to a work of special ministration in the church. It does not involve the communication of power; it is simply recognition of powers previously conferred by God and a consequent formal authorization, on the part of the church, to exercise the gifts already bestowed. This recognition and authorization should not only be expressed by the vote in which the candidate is approved by the church or the council which represents it but should also be accompanied by a special service of admonition, prayer and the laying on of hands ( <440605>Acts 6:5, 6; 13:2, 3; 14:23; <540414>1 Timothy 4:14; 5:22).

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