church of Jerusalem, had only a purely spiritual authority. They could advise but they did not command. Hence, they were not qualified to transmit authority to others. They had no absolute authority themselves.?
Third, it has no practical advantages over the Congregational polity but rather tends to formality, division and the extinction of the principles of self- government and direct responsibility to Christ.
E. G. Robinson: ?The Anglican schism is the most sectarian of all the sects.? Principal Rainey thus describes the position of the Episcopal Church: ?They will not recognize the church standing of those who recognize them and they only recognize the church standing of those Greeks and Latins who do not recognize them. Is not that an odd sort of Catholicity?? ?Every priestling hides a popeling.? The elephant going through the jungle saw a brood of young partridges that had just lost their mother. Touched with sympathy he said: ?I will be a mother to you,? and so he sat down upon them as he had seen their mother do to them. Hence, we speak of the ?incumbent? of such and such a parish.
There were no councils that claimed authority till the second century and the independence of the churches was not given up until the third or fourth century. In Bp. Lightfoot?s essay on the Christian Ministry, in the appendix to his Com. on Philippians, progress to episcopacy is thus described: ?In the time of Ignatius, the bishop, then primus inter pares, was regarded only as a center of unity. In the time of Ireneus, as a depositary of primitive truth, in the time of Cyprian, as absolute vicegerent of Christ in things spiritual.? Nothing is plainer than the steady degeneration of church polity in the hands of the Fathers. Archibald Alexander: ?A better name than Church Fathers for these men would be church babies. Their theology was infantile.? Luther: Never mind the Scribes, what saith the Scripture??
Fourth, it is inconsistent with itself, in binding a professedly spiritual church by formal and geographical lines.
Instance the evils of Presbyterianism in practice. Dr. Park says that, ?the split between the Old and the New School was due to an attempt on the part of the majority to impose its will on the minority. The Unitarian defection in New England would have ruined Presbyterian churches but it did not ruin Congregational churches. A Presbyterian Church may be deprived of the minister it has chosen, by the votes of neighboring churches or by the few leading men who control them or by one single vote in a close contest.? We may illustrate by the advantage of the
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