Front Page Titles (by Subject) THE SECOND BOOK; OR, A POLITICAL DISCOURSE CONCERNING ORDINATION: AGAINST Dr. H. HAMMOND, Dr. L. SEAMAN, And the Authors they follow. - The Oceana and Other Works
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THE SECOND BOOK; OR, A POLITICAL DISCOURSE CONCERNING ORDINATION: AGAINST Dr. H. HAMMOND, Dr. L. SEAMAN, And the Authors they follow. - James Harrington, The Oceana and Other Works 
The Oceana and Other Works of James Harrington, with an Account of His Life by John Toland (London: Becket and Cadell, 1771).
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THE SECOND BOOK; OR, A POLITICAL DISCOURSE CONCERNING ORDINATION:
Optat Aprum aut fulvum descendere monte Leonem.
Advertisment to the READER.
BOOKS, especially whose Authors have got themselves Names, are Leaders; wherfore in case any of these err in Leading, it is not only lawful, but Matter of Conscience to a Man that perceives it, as far as he is able, to warn others. This were Apology enough for my writing against Dr. Hammond and Dr. Seaman; and yet I have happen’d to be brought under a farther Obligation to this Enterprise, their Books have bin sent me by way of Objection against what I have formerly said of Ordination, and am daily more and more confirm’d I shall make good. However, there can be no great Hurt in this Essay, Truth being, like Venison, not only the best Quarry, but the best Game.
Order of the Discourse.
TO manage the present controversy with the more clearness, I have divided my discourse into five parts or chapters.
THE first, explaining the words chirotonia and chirothesia, paraphrastically relates the story of the perambulation made by the apostles Paul and Barnabas thro the citys of Lycaonia, Pisidia, &c. by way of introduction.
THE second shews those citys, or most of them, at the time of this perambulation, to have bin under popular government. In which is contain’d the whole administration of a Roman province.
THE third shews the deduction of the chirotonia from popular government, and of the original right of ordination from the chirotonia. In which is contain’d the institution of the sanhedrim or senat of Israel by Moses, and of that at Rome by Romulus.
THE fourth shews the deduction of the chirothesia from monarchical or aristocratical government, and the second way of ordination from the chirothesia. In which is contain’d the commonwealth of the Jews as it stood after the captivity.
THE fifth debates whether the chirotonia, us’d in the citys mention’d, was (as is pretended by Dr. Hammond, Dr. Seaman, and the authors they follow) the same with the chirothesia, or a far different thing. In which are contain’d the divers kinds of church-government introduc’d and exercis’d in the age of the apostles.
I am entring into a discourse to run much, for the words, upon a language not vulgar, which therfore I shall use no otherwise than by way of parenthesis, not obstructing the sense; and for the things, upon customs that are foren, which therfore I shall interpret as well as I can. Now so to make my way into the parts of this discourse, that (wheras they who have hitherto manag’d it in English, might in regard of their readers have near as well written it in Greec) I may not be above the vulgar capacity, I shall open both the names wherof, and the things wherupon we are about to dispute, by way of introduction.
A POLITICAL DISCOURSE CONCERNING ORDINATION.
The INTRODUCTION, OR FIRST CHAPTER.
Chap. I.THE names or words wherof we are about to dispute are Greec, the one chirotonia, the other chirothesia. The first signification of the word chirotonia, in Suidas, imports a certain leud action of the hand, which seems also by the Greec that renders it by the same word, to have bin intimated in Isa. 5. 9. In the second signification with Suidas, it is ἐϰλογὴ, πάντων ϰύϱωσις, election (that is to say of magistrats) or ratification (that is to say of laws) by the many: which amounts both by his testimony, and that generally of antient authors, to this, that the most usual and natural signification of the word chirotonia is popular suffrage, whether given, as when they speak of Athens, by the holding up of hands; or as when they speak (as dos Suidas in the place mention’d) of Rome, and other commonwealths (whose suffrage was not given with this ceremony) without holding up of hands.
CHIROTHESIA (ἐπίϑεσ[Editor: illegible character]ς χειϱῶν) is a word that in the strict signification imports laying on of hands, and no more: but the Jews using to confer their ordination most commonly by laying on of hands, and yet somtimes by word of mouth, or by letter, the word both as it relates to the custom of the Jewish commonwealth, and ordination thence transplanted into the church of Christ, signifys ordination confer’d by one man, or a few men, that is to say, by som distinct order from the people, whether with imposition of hands, or without it.
These words thus interpreted, I shall throout my discourse (which else must have run altogether upon the Greec) presume, as already I have don, to take for good English, and so procede to the things wherof we are to dispute; first, by opening the scene of this perambulation, which will be don best by the help of Erasmus, a man as for his learning not inferior to any, so for his freedom not addicted to interests or partys. For the remainder then of this introduction, I shall begin with the nineteenth verse of the eleventh, and continue my discourse to the end of the fourteenth chapter of the Acts; interweaving the text where it is darker with the paraphrase of that excellent author, for light, and his paraphrase with the text, where it is clearer, for brevity, in manner following:Book II.
Acts 11. 19.THEY whom the heat of persecution from the death of Stephen had dispers’d, travel’d thro the citys and villages as far as Phenice, and the adjacent iland of Cyprus; as also thro Antiochia, which lies between Phenice and Cilicia, preaching the gospel receiv’d from the apostles, which nevertheless they dar’d not to communicat but to such only as were of the Jewish nation, not out of envy, but a kind of superstition, they believing that to do otherwise were to give the childrens bread to dogs, which Christ had forbid.
BUT som of them that believ’d, being of Cyprus and Cyrene, when they came to Antioch, had the boldness to speak of Christ to the Greecs, preaching the Lord Jesus, in which they made such progress thro the blessing of God upon them and their labors, that a great number of these also believing the Gospel, were turn’d to the Lord. The tidings of these things coming to the ears of the church which was at Jerusalem, a man of apostolical sincerity, Barnabas the Levite, a Cyprian born, was sent by the apostles to take a view of what was don upon the places; and if he found it to be according to the will of God, to approve of it, by authority of the apostles. So great caution in receiving the Gentils to the Gospel was not, that the thing was not greatly desir’d by the apostles; but lest it should afterwards be repeal’d or made void by the Jews, as don rashly, or that the Gentils should rely less upon what was don, as conceiving it needed ratification by the law. Wherfore Barnabas so soon as he came to Antioch, and found the Greecs by faith, and without profession of the law, to have receiv’d the same grace of God with the Jews, was very much joy’d that the number of believers increas’d, and exhorted them to remain constant in their enterprize of adhering to the Lord. For he was a good man, and full of the holy spirit, and of faith. Wherfore thro his ministry it came to pass, that a multitude of other believers were added to the former. Now Antioch being not far from Cilicia, the neighborhood of the place invited him to seek Paul, the fittest helper in this work, as chosen by Christ to preach his name to the Gentils and kings of the earth. For when Paul fled from Jerusalem. the disciples had conducted him to Cesarea of Phenice, whence he went to Tarsus; whom therfore when Barnabas had found there, he brought to Antioch, hoping in a city both famous and populous (but with a confus’d mixture of Jews and Greecs) to receive the better fruit thro the aid of an apostle more peculiarly design’d to this work. These two being conversant a whole year in the church of Antioch, which by the confluence both of Jews and Greecs became very numerous, so many were added by their preaching, that wheras hitherto, not exposing the name of Christ to envy, they had bin call’d Disciples, they now began first at Antioch from the name of their founder to be call’d Christians. In these times certain prophets came from the city of Jerusalem to Antioch, wherof one nam’d Agabus standing up in the congregation, signify’d by inspiration, that there should be a great dearth thro the whole world; which came to pass under Claudius Cæsar, the successor of Caligula. At this time they at Jerusalem, partly because they were poor at their conversion to the Gospel, partly because they had deposited their goods in common, and partly because they had bin spoil’d by the priests for their profession of Christ, ordain’d that by the contribution of such as had wherwithal, especially among the believing Gentils, mony should be sent to the relief of the Christians dwelling in Judea; but so that this contribution was not to be forc’d but free, and according to every man’s ability. This mony thus gather’d was sent by Paul and Barnabas to the elders at Jerusalem, to be distributed at their discretion to such as were in need. While Paul and Barnabas were thus imploy’d, king Herod, the same that beheaded John, and return’d Christ cloth’d, thro derision, in white, to Pilat, being griev’d to see this kind of people increase, and the name of Jesus king of the Jews to grow famous in divers nations, became concern’d to root out such a faction, and so spreading; wherfore he stretch’d forth his hand to vex certain of the church, kill’d James the brother of John with the sword; and because he saw it pleas’d the Jews, proceded further to take Peter also, who being imprison’d, was afterward miraculously deliver’d. But Paul and Barnabas having perform’d the trust committed to them by the brethren, and deliver’d the contribution for relief of the poor to the apostles, return’d from Jerusalem to Antioch, taking with them John, whose sirname was Marc.
NOW the church of Antioch flourish’d in such manner, that she had som fill’d with the gift of prophecy, and others with that of teaching; among whom was Barnabas and Simeon, alias Niger, together with Lucias a Cirenian, and Manaen who had bin brought up with Herod the Tetrarch, whom he left to com to Christ: but the chief of them was Saul, indow’d with all the gifts and graces apostolical. While all these were intent upon the ministry of the church, imploying their several gifts to the glory of God, and in his most acceptable service, the salvation of souls, with fasting and prayer, the Holy Ghost being stir’d up by their zeal, signified his will by the prophets, saying, Separat me Barnabas and Paul for the work wherto I have call’d them, namely, to be doctors of the Gentils, that by them I may propagat the gospel. The command of the Spirit was obey’d, and Barnabas with Paul, to the end that every one might see who are chosen, were separated from the rest; and when the congregation had unanimously implor’d the favor of God by prayer and fasting, the most eminent in authority among them laid their hands upon the persons so separated, and sent them wherever the spirit of God should direct them. By this impulse therfore Barnabas and Paul went to Seleucia, being a promontory of Antiochia, and thence sail’d into the iland of Cyprus, where they landed at Salamis, a famous city upon the eastern part of the iland; they preach’d not human inventions, but the word of God, nor that by stealth, but in the synagogs of the Jews, wherof thro the neighbourhood of Syria there was store. This honor by the commandment of Christ was always defer’d to the Jews, that the gospel should be first offer’d to them, lest they being a querulous and repining nation, should complain that they were despis’d. Thus travel’d these apostles thro the whole iland, till they came to Paphos, a city consecrated to Venus upon the western coast of Cyprus. Here they found a certain magician call’d Barjesus, that is, the son of Jesus a Jew, both by nation and religion, under which color he falsly pretended to the gift of prophesy. This man follow’d the court of Sergius Paulus, proconsul or governor of the iland for the Romans, otherwise a prudent man; but this sort of vermin insinuats it self into the best to chuse, that so their corruption may do the greater and more compendious mischief to mankind. The proconsul nevertheless having understood the gospel to be planting throout Cyprus, not only forbore to stop the ears of others, but by sending for Barnabas and Paul seem’d desirous to open his own. Wherfore Barjesus indeavoring to resist the growth of the word, as an enemy to Christ, and resisting the truth with falshood, a strife arose between the true prophets and a false one (for such is the interpretation of the Syriac word Elymas) whom Paul at length confuted of spiritual blindness, by taking away the eys of his body, miraculously struck in the presence of the proconsul, who at the same time receiving the light of the gospel, imbrac’d the Christian faith. This being don at Paphos, Paul imbark’d there with his associats for the lesser Asia, and came to Perga, being a city of Pamphylia; here John, whose sirname was Marc, left them, and return’d to Jerusalem, while they, when they had visited Pamphylia, travel’d to Antiochia, a city of Pisidia, where having enter’d a synagog, they sat after the usual manner with the rest, attentive to the law and the prophets; wherof when the parts appointed were read, and no man stood up, the rulers of the synagog perceiving that the strangers by their habit were Jews, and such as by their aspect promis’d more than ordinary, sent to them, desiring that if they had any word of exhortation for the people, they would speak. Wherupon Paul standing up, preach’d to them Christ; whence came the word of the Lord to be divulg’d throout that region, tho the Jews out of envy to the Gentils, stirring up the devoutest matrons (an art not unknown in these times) and by them the chief of the city, rais’d such sedition in it, and tumult against the apostles, that Paul and Barnabas being cast out, shook off the dust from their feet against them, and went thence to Iconium a city of Lycaonia.Chap. 14. When they were com to Iconium, entring with the Jews after the custom into the synagog, they preach’d, as they had at Antioch, the gospel of Jesus Christ, and with such efficacy, that multitudes both of the Jews and Greecs believ’d. Here again the envy of the Jews became the author of sedition, by which means the city was divided into two parts or factions, wherof one stood for the unbelieving Jews, and the other for the apostles. At length when such of the Gentils as were join’d with the Jews, and the rulers of the city, made an assault upon the apostles, to offer violence and stone them; they being aware of it, fled to Lystra (a city of Lycaonia, which is a part of Pamphylia) and Derbe. At Lystra there was a man lame of his feet from the womb, who having listen’d to Paul with great attention and zeal, was miraculously cur’d by the apostle; when the people seeing what Paul had don, cry’d out, The gods were descended in the likeness of men: a persuasion that might gain the more easily upon the minds of the Lycaonians for the fable of Jupiter and Mercury, said to have descended in human shape, and bin entertain’d by Lycaon, from whom the Lycaonians receiv’d their name. Wherfore they call’d Barnabas, for the gravity of his aspect, Jupiter; Paul for his eloquence, Mercury: and the priest of Jupiter, who dwelt in the suburbs, brought bulls and garlands to the gates of the house where the apostles were, to have offer’d sacrifice with the people, which the apostles abhorring, vigorously dissuaded. In the mean time certain Jews by nation that were unbelievers, coming from Antioch of Pisidia, and Iconium, drew the people to the other extreme, who from sacrificing to the apostles fell on stoning them; a work which was brought so near to an end, that Paul being drawn by them out of the city, was left for dead, tho he soon after recover’d, and went thence with Barnabas to Derbe: when they had propagated the gospel there also, they return’d to Lystra, Iconium, and Antiochia, confirming the disciples whom they had converted. Now because the propagation of the gospel requir’d that the apostles should be moving thro divers nations, they chirotonizing them elders in every congregation or church, that is, ordaining them elders by the votes of the people in every city, left them to perform the dutys of the absent apostles, and when they had fasted and pray’d, commended them to the Lord. These things being brought to a conclusion, or finish’d at Antioch in Pisidia, when they had perambulated this country, they also visited Pamphylia; sowing the gospel where it was not yet sown, and confirming those who already believ’d, till they came to Perga: where having order’d their affairs, they proceded to Attalia, being a maritim city of Pamphylia; and from thence they sail’d back to Antioch of Syria, whence they first set out, with commission from the elders, to preach the gospel to the Gentils, and where by the Chirothesia, or Imposition of hands, prayer and fasting, they had bin recommended to the grace of God, and design’d to the work now finish’d.
Chap. II.In this narrative you have mention both of the Chirotonia and of the Chirothesia, or imposition of hands, but of the former as of ordination; for by that such were made presbyters or church-officers as were not so before: of the latter not, I think, as of ordination, at least in the sense we now take it; but as of designation of persons to an occasional and temporary imployment, that had bin ordain’d before, for so sure had Paul at least. However, that which is offer’d by this narrative to present consideration, is no more than the bare story.
That the Citys, or most of them nam’d in the Perambulation of the Apostles Paul and Barnabas, were at that time under popular Government. In which is contain’d the Administration of a Roman Province.
THE Romans of all nations under heaven were indow’d, as with the highest virtues, so with the greatest human glory; which proceded from this especially, that they were in love with such as were in love with their liberty. To begin with their dawn, the Privernates (a free people inhabiting the city and parts adjoining, which at this day is call’d Piperno, som fifty miles from Rome, and five from Sesse) being the second time conquer’d by the Romans, it was consulted in the senat what course should be taken with them; where while som, according to the different temper of men, shew’d themselves hotter, and others cooler, one of the Privernates more mindful of the condition wherin he was born, than of that wherin he was faln, happen’d to render all more doubtful:Liv. l. 8. c. 21. for being ask’d by a senator of the severer judgment, what punishment he thought the Privernates might deserve, Such (says he) as they deserve who believe themselves worthy of liberty. At the courage of which answer, the consul (perceiving in them that had bin vehement enough before against the Privernates but the greater animosity, to the end that by a gentler interrogatory he might draw som softer answer from him) reply’d, And what if we inflict no punishment at all, but pardon you; what peace may we expect of you? Why if you give us a good one (said the other) a steady and perpetual peace, but if an ill one, not long. At which a certain senator falling openly upon ruffling and threatning the Privernat, as if those words of his tended to som practice or intention to stir up the citys in peace to sedition, the better part of the fathers being quite of another mind, declar’d, That they had heard the voice of a man, and of a freeman. For why, said they, should it be thought that any man or people will remain longer under such a burden as they are not able to bear, than till they can throw it down? There a peace is faithful, where it is voluntary; if you will have slaves, you are not to trust them but their fetters. To this opinion the consul especially inclining, inclin’d others, while he openly profest, That they who had no thought but upon their liberty, could not but be thought worthy to be Romans: wherupon the decree past by authority of the fathers, which was afterwards propos’d to the congregation, and ratify’d by the command of the people, wherby the Privernates were made citizens of Rome. Such was the genius of the Roman commonwealth; where by the way you may also observe the manner of her debate and result (authoritate patrum & jussu populi) by the advice of the senat, and the Chirotonia of the people.
But that which in this place is more particularly offer’d to consideration, is her usual way of proceding in case of conquest with other nations: for tho bearing a haughty brow towards such as, not contented to injoy their liberty at home, would be her rivals abroad, she dealt far otherwise, as with Carthage; this case excepted, and the pilling and polling of her provinces, which happen’d thro the avarice and luxury of her nobility, when the balance of popular power being broken, her empire began towards the latter end to languish and decline; the way which she took with the Privernates was that which she usually observ’d with others throout the course of her victorys, and was after the change of government made good at least in som part by the Roman emperors, under whom were now those citys mention’d in the present perambulation of the apostles Paul and Barnabas. Strabo for his credit among human authors is equal to any: he liv’d about the time of this perambulation, and being a Greec, is less likely to be partial: of that therfore which I have affirm’d to have bin the course of the Romans in their victorys, I shall make choice of this author for a witness; first where he epitomizes the story of Athens after this manner:Strab. 1. 9.When the Carians by sea, and the Bœotians by land, wasted Attica, Cecropsthe prince, to bring the people under shelter, planted them in twelve citys, Cecropia, Tetrapolis, Epacrea, Decelea, Eleusis, Aphydna, Thoricus, Brauron, Cytherus, Sphettus, Cephissia, Phalerus; which Theseus is said to have contracted into one call’d Athens. The government of this city had many changes; at first it was monarchical, then popular: this again was usurp’d by the tyrantsPisistratusand his sons; whence recover’d, it fell afterwards into the hands of the few, as when the four hundred once, and again the thirty tyrants were impos’d by the Lacedemonians, in the war of Peloponnesus: which yoke the Athenians (by means of their faithful army) shaking off, restored their popular government, and held it till the Romans attain’d to the dominion of Greece. Now tho it be true that they were not a little disturb’d by the kings of Macedon, to whom they were forc’d to yield som kind of obedience; they nevertheless preserv’d the form of their commonwealth so intire, that there be who affirm it never to have bin better administer’d, than at such time as Macedon was govern’d byCassander:for this prince, tho in other things more inclining towards the tyrant, having taken Athens by surrender, us’d not the people ill, but madeDemetrius Phalereusthe disciple ofTheophrastusthe philosopher, chief magistrat among them; a man so far from ruining their popular state (as in the commentarys he wrote upon this kind of government is attested) that he repair’d it. Nevertheless, whether suspected or envy’d for his greatness without support by the Macedonians, after the death ofCassanderhe fled into Egypt, while his enemys breaking down his statues (as som say) made homely vessels of them. But the Romans having receiv’d the Athenians under their popular form, left them their laws and libertys untouch’d, till in the war withMithridatesthey were forc’d to receive such tyrants as that king was pleas’d to give them; wherofAristonthe greatest, when the Romans had retaken the city from him, being found trampling upon the people, was put to death bySylla,and the city pardon’d, which to this day (he wrote about the reign of Tiberius) not only enjoys her libertys, but is high in honor with the Romans. This is the testimony of Strabo agreeing with that of Cicero, where disputing of Divine Providence, he savs, that to affirm the world to be govern’d by chance, or without God, is as if one should say that Athens were not govern’d by the Areopagits. Nor did the Romans by the deposition of the same author (or indeed of any other) behave themselves worse in Asia (the scene of our present discourse, where the same Paul, of whom we are speaking, being born at Tarsus, a city of Cilicia, that had acquir’d like or greater privilege by the same bounty, was also a citizen of Rome) than in Greece. Asia is understood in three significations: first, for the third part of the world answering to Europe and Africa. Secondly, for that part of Asia which is now call’d Natolia. Thirdly, for that part of it which Attalus king of Pergamum, dying without heirs, bequeath’d and left to the people of Rome: this contain’d Mysia, Phrygia, Æolis, Ionia, Caria, Doris, Lydia, Lycaonia, Pisidia, and by consequence the citys wherof we are speaking. To all these countrys the Romans gave their liberty, till in favor of Aristonicus, the bastard of Eumenes, many of them taking arms, they were recover’d, brought into subjection, and fram’d into a province.
When a consul had conquer’d a country, and the Romans intended to form it into a province, it was the custom of the senat to send (decem legatos) ten of their members, who with the consul had power to introduce and establish their provincial way of government. In this manner Asia was form’d by Marcus Aquilius consul; afterwards so excellently reform’d by Scævola, that the senat in their edicts us’d to propose his example to succeding magistrats, and the inhabitants to celebrat a feast to his name. Nevertheless Mithridates king of Pontus (all the Romans in this province being massacred in one day) came to possess himself of it, till it was recover’d at several times by Sylla, Murena, Lucullus and Pompey. The Romans, in framing a country into a province, were not accustom’d to deal with all the inhabitants of the same in a like manner, but differently according to their different merit. Thus divers citys in this were left free by Sylla, as those of the Ilienses, the Chians, Rhodians, Lycians and Magnesians, with the Cyzicens, tho the last of these afterwards for their practices against the Romans forfeited their liberty to Tiberius, in whose reign they were for this reason depriv’d of the same.
TakingAsia in the first sense, that is, for one third part of the world, the next province of the Romans in this country was Cilicia, containing Pamphylia, Isauria, and Cilicia more peculiarly so call’d. Here Cicero was somtimes proconsul, in honor to whom part of Phrygia, with Pisidia, and Lycaonia, were taken from the former, and added to this jurisdiction, by which means the citys wherof we are speaking came to be of this province. Adjoining hereto was the commonwealth of the Lycians, which the Romans left free:Epist. into this also the city of Attalia by som is computed, but Iconium both by Strabo and Cicero; the latter wherof being proconsul, in his journy from Laodicea, was receiv’d by the magistrats and deputys of this city. Lystra and Derbe, being citys of Lycaonia, must also have bin of the same province. Next to the province of Cilicia was that of Syria, containing Comagene, Seleucis, Phœnicia, Cœlosyria, and Judea or Palestin. In Seleucis were the four famous citys, Seleucia, Antiochia, Apamea (the last intire in her liberty) and Laodicea. Comagene and Judea were under kings, and not fram’d into provinces, till in the time of the emperors.
The fourth province of the Romans in Asia was that of Bithynia with Pontus: these were all acquir’d or confirm’d by the victorys of Pompey the Great. Strabo, who was a Cappadocian born at Amasia, relates a story worthy to be remember’d in this place. From the time, says he, that the Romans, having conquer’dAntiochus,became moderators of Asia, they contracted leagues of amity with divers nations; where there were kings, the honor of address was deser’d to them, with whom the treatys that concern’d their countrys were concluded. But as concerning the Cappadocians, they treated with the whole nation, for which cause the royal line of this realm coming afterwardsto fail, the Romans gave the people their freedom or leave to live under their own laws: and when the people hereupon sending embassadors to Rome, renounc’d their liberty, being that to them which they said was intolerable, and demanded a king; the Romans amaz’d there should be men that could so far despair, permitted them to chuse, of their nation, whom they pleas’d; soAriobarzaneswas chosen, whose line again in the third generation coming to fail,Archelauswas made king byAntony (where you may observe, in passing, that the Romans impos’d not monarchical government, but for that matter us’d to leave a people as they found them) thus at the same time they leftPontusunder kingMithridates,who not containing himself within his bounds, but extending them afterwards as far as Colchis and Armenia the Less, was reduc’d to his terms byPompey;who divesting him of those countrys which he had usurp’d, distributed som part of them to such princes as had assisted the Romans in that war, and divided the rest into twelve commonwealths, of which, added to Bithynia, he made one province. When the Roman emperors became monarchs, they also upon like occasions made other distributions, constituting kings, princes, and citys, som more, som less, som wholly free, and others in subjection to themselves. Thus came a good, if not the greater part of the citys in the Lesser Asia, and the other adjoining provinces, to be som more, som less free; but the most of them to remain commonwealths, or to be erected into popular governments, as appears yet clearer by the intercourse of Pliny, while he was pretor or governor of Bithynia, with his master the emperor Trajan; a piece of which I have inserted in the letters following:
Pliny to Trajan.
Plin Epist. l. 10.“IT is provided by Pompey’s laws for the Bithynians, that no man under thirty years of age be capable of magistracy, or of the senat: by the same it is also establish’d, that they who have born magistracy may be senators. Now because by a latter edict of Augustus, the lesser magistracys may be born by such as are above one and twenty; there remains with me these doubts, whether he that being under thirty, has born magistracy, may be elected by the censors into the senat; and if he may, whether of those also that have not born magistracy, a man being above one and twenty, seeing at that age he may bear magistracy, may not by the same interpretation be elected into the senat, tho he has not born it: which is here practis’d and pretended to be necessary, because it is somwhat better, they say, that the senat be fill’d with the children of good familys, than with the lower sort. My opinion being ask’d upon these points by the new censors, I thought such as being under thirty have born magistracy, both by Pompey’s laws, and the edict of Augustus, to be capable of the senat; seeing the edict allows a man under thirty to bear magistracy, and the law, a man that has born magistracy, to be a senator. But as to those that have not born magistracy, tho at the age in which they may bear it, I demur till I may understand your Majesty’s pleasure, to whom I have sent the heads both of the law and of the edict.”
Trajan to Pliny.
“YOU and I, dearest Pliny, are of one mind. Pompey’s laws are so far qualify’d by the edict of Augustus, that they who are not under one and twenty may bear magistracy, and they who have born magistracy may be senators in their respective citys: but for such as have not born magistracy, tho they might have born it, I conceive them not eligible into the senat till they be thirty years of age.”
Pliny to Trajan.
“POWER is granted to the Bithynian citys by Pompey’s law, to adopt to themselves what citizens they please, so they be not foreners, but of the same province; by the same law it is shewn in what cases the censors may remove a man from the senat: among which nevertheless it is not provided what is to be don in case a foren citizen be a senator. Wherfore certain of the censors have thought fit to consult me, whether they ought to remove a man that is of a foren city for that cause out of the senat. Now because the law, tho it forbids the adoption of a forener, commands not that a forener for that cause should be remov d out of the senat, and I am inform’d there be foren citizens almost in every senat; so that many, not only men, but citys might suffer concussion by the restitution of the law in that part, which thro a kind of consent seems to be now grown obsolete; I conceive it necessary to have your Majesty’s resolution in the case, to which end I have sent a breviat of the law annex’d.”
Trajan to Pliny.
“WITH good cause, dearest Pliny, have you doubted what answer to return to the censors, inquiring whether they ought to elect a man into the senat that is of another city, tho of the same province; seeing on the one side the authority of the law, and of custom on the other to the contrary, might well disorder you. To innovat nothing for the time past, I think well of this expedient: they who are already elected senators, tho not according to the law, of what city soever they be, may remain for the present; but for the future Pompey’s laws should return to their full virtue, which if we should cause to look back, might create trouble.”
This might serve, but there will be no hurt in being a little fuller in the discovery of provincial government.
The provinces so fram’d, as has bin shewn, were subdivided into certain circuits call’d dioceses; that of Asia had six, Alabandæ, Sardes (antiently the senat of Cræsus) Smyrna, Ephesus, Adramytis, Pergamum. That of Cilicia had also six, the Pamphylian, Isaurian, and Cilician, the metropolis wherof was Tarsus, a free city; to these were taken out of the province of Asia, Cibyra, Sinnadæ, Apamea: what were the dioceses of the other two Sigonius, whom I follow, dos not shew. At these in the winter (for the summer was spent commonly with the army) the people of the province assembl’d at set times, as at our assizes, where the Roman governors did them justice.
The governors or magistrats, to whose care a province was committed, were of two kinds: the first and chief was consul or pretor, which appellations differ’d not in power, but in dignity, that of consul being more honorable, who had twelve lictors, wheras the pretor had but six; if the annual magistracy of either of these came to be prorogu’d, he was call’d proconsul or propretor.
The second kind of magistrat in a province was the questor, receiver or treasurer, who being also annual, was attended by lictors of his own; if he dy’d within his year, the consul, proconsul, or pretor might appoint one for that time in his place, who was call’d proquestor. The power of the consul, proconsul, or pretor, was of two kinds, the one civil, the other military; the former call’d magistracy, the latter empire.
The pomp of these assuming and exercising their magistracy was reverend; the consul or proconsul had legats, somtimes more but never under three, appointed him by the senat: these were in the nature of counsillors to assist him in all affairs of his province; he had tribuns, colonels, or field officers, for the military part of his administration; he had also secretarys, serjeants, heralds or criers, lictors or insignbearers, interpreters, messengers, divines, chamberlains, physicians; and besides these his companions, which for the most part were of the younger sort of gentlemen or gallants that accompany’d him for his ornament, and their own education. Into this the somwhat like train of the questor (who by the law was in place of a son to the proconsul, and to whom the proconsul was to give the regard of a father) being cast, it made the pretorian cohort or guard always about the person of the proconsul, who in this equipage having don his devotions at the capitol, departed the city, paludatus, that is in his royal mantle of gold and purple, follow’d for som part of the way with the whole train of his friends, wishing him much joy and good speed.
In his province he executed his twofold office, the one of captain general, the other of the supreme magistrat. In the former relation he had an army either receiv’d from his predecessor, or new levy’d in the city; this consisted in the one half of the legions (as I have elsewhere shewn) and in the other of associats: for the greatness of the same, it was proportion’d to the province, or the occasion; to an ordinary province in times of peace, I believe an army amounted not to above one legion with as many auxiliarys, that is, to a matter of twelve thousand foot, and twelve hundred horse. The magistracy or jurisdiction of the proconsul, or pretor, was executed at the Metropolitan city of each diæcis, which upon this occasion was to furnish the pretorian cohort with lodging, salt, wood, hay, and stable-room at the charge of the country. These, tho Cicero would hardly receive any of them, were, towards the latter time of the commonwealth, extended by the provincial magistrats to so great a burden to the people, that it caus’d divers laws to be pass’d in Rome (de repetundis) for restitution to be made to the provinces, by such as had injur’d them. Upon such laws was the prosecution of Verres by Cicero. When and where this kind of court was to be held, the consul, proconsul, or pretor, by proclamation gave timely notice. Being assembl’d at the time, and the city appointed, in the townhall stood a tribunal; upon this the sella curulis, or a chair of state, in which sat the consul, proconsul, or pretor, with his pretorian cohort or band about him, furnish’d with all manner of pomp, and officers requisit to the ornament or administration of so high a magistracy. The jurisdiction of this court was according to the laws made for the administration of the province; but because they could not foresee all things (as appear’d by the questions which Pliny put upon the laws of Pompey, to Trajan) it came to pass, that much was permitted to the edicts of the provincial pretors, as was also in use at Rome with the pretors of the city: and if any man had judg’d otherwise in his province, than he ought to have don in the city, made an edict contrary to the law of his province, or judg’d any thing otherwise than according to his own edict, he was held guilty of, and questionable for a heinous crime. But what the law of this or that province (which differ’d in each) was, would be hard particularly to say; only in general it was for the main very much resembling that of Sicily, call’d Rupilia.
LEGE Rupilia, or by the law of Rupilius, a cause between one citizen and another being of the same city, was to be try’d at home by their own laws. A cause between one provincial and another being of divers citys, was to be try’d by judges whom the pretor should appoint by lot. What a privat man claim’d of a people, or a people of a privat man, was to be refer’d to the senat of som third city. Upon what a Roman claim’d of a provincial, a provincial was to be appointed judg. Upon what a provincial claim’d of a Roman, a Roman was to be appointed judg. For decision of other controversys, select judges from among the Romans (not out of the pretorian cohort, but out of such Romans, or other citizens free of Rome, as were present in the same court) were to be given. In criminal causes, as violence, peculat, or treason, the law, and the manner of proceding was the same in the provinces, as in Rome.
For the tributs, customs, taxes, levys of men, mony, shipping, ordinary or extraordinary, for the common defence of the Roman republic, and her provinces, the consuls, proconsuls, or pretors proceding according to such decrees of the senat as were in that case standing or renew’d upon emergent occasions; in gathering these lay the magistracy or office of the questor: if the proconsul were indispos’d, or had more business than he could well turn his hand to, courts of this nature might be held by one or more of his legats. With matter of religion they meddl’d not; every nation being so far left to the liberty of conscience, that no violence for this cause was offer’d to any man: by which means both Jews and Christians, at least till the time of the persecuting emperors, had the free exercise of their religion throout the Roman provinces. This the Jews lik’d well for themselves, nor were they troubl’d for the Heathens; but to the Christians they always grudg’d the like privilege. Thus when they could no otherwise induce Pilat to put Christ to death, they accus’d Christ of affecting monarchy, and so affrighted Pilat, being a mean condition’d fellow, while they threaten’d to let Tiberius know he was not Cæsar’s friend, that he comply’d with their ends. But when at Corinth, where Gallio (a man of another temper) was proconsul of Achaia, they would have bin at this sport again, and with a great deal of tumult had brought Paul before the tribunal, Gallio took it not well, that they should think he had nothing else to do than to judg of words, and names, and questions of their law; for he car’d no more for the disputes between the Christians and the Jews, than for those between the Epicureans and the Stoics. Wherfore his lictors drave them from the tribunal, and the officious Corinthians, to shew their love to the proconsul, fell on knocking them out of the way of other business.
Now tho the commonwealth of the Achæans, being at this time a Roman province under the proconsul Gallio, injoy’d no longer her common senat, strategus and demiurges, according to the model shewn in the former book; yet remain’d each particular city under her antient form of popular government, so that in these, especially at Corinth, many of the Greecs being of the same judgment, the Jews could not dispute with the Christians without tumult. Of this kind was that which happen’d at Ephesus, where Christianity growing so fast, that the silversmiths of Diana’s temple began to fear they should lose their trade; the Jews liking better of Heathenism than Christianity, set Alexander, one of their pack, against Paul.Act. 19.
This place (in times when men will understand no otherwise of human story than makes for their ends) is fallen happily unto my hand; seeing that which I have said of a Roman province, will be thus no less than prov’d out of Scripture. For the chancellor of Ephesus perceiving the ecclesia (so it is in the original) or assembly (as in our translation) uncall’d by the senat, or the magistracy to be tumultuously gather’d in the theater (their usual place, as in Syracusa and other citys, of meeting) betakes himself to appease the people with divers arguments: among which he has these. First, as to matter of religion. You have brought hither, says he, these men which are neither robbers of temples, (Churches our bible has it before there was any church to be robb’d) nor yet blasphemers of the goddess: in which words (seeing that they offering no scandal, but only propagating that which was according to their own judgment, were not obnoxious to punishment) he shews that every man had liberty of conscience. Secondly, as to law: if Demetriusand the craftsmen which are with him have a matter against any man, the law, says he, is open. Thirdly, as to the matter of government, which appears to be of two parts, the one provincial, the other domestic: for the former, says he, there are (ἀνϑύπατοι) proconsuls (he speaks in the plural number with relation to the legats, by whom the proconsul somtimes held his courts; otherwise this magistrat was but one in a province, as at this time for AsiaPublius Suilius) and to the latter, says he, if you desire any thing concerning other matters, that is, such as appertain to the government of the city (in which the care of the temple was included) it shall be determin’d in a lawful ecclesia, or assembly of the people. By which you may see that notwithstanding the provincial government, Ephesus, tho she was no free city, (for with a free city the proconsul had nothing of this kind to do) had (ἀυ[Editor: illegible character]ονομίαν) the government of her self (as those other citys mention’d in Pliny’s epistles) by the senat, and the people; for wherever one of these is nam’d, as the senat by Pliny, or the people by Luke, the other is understood. When the chancellor had thus spoken, he dismiss’d the ecclesia. It is Luke’s own word, and so often as I have now repeated it, so often has he us’d it, upon the same occasion. Wherfore I might henceforth expect two things of divines; first, that it might be acknowleg’d that I have good authors, Luke and the chancellor of Ephesus, for the word ecclesia in this sense; and secondly, that they would not persuade us, the word ecclesia has lost its signification, lest they condemn this place of Scripture to be no more understood. The manner of provincial government being thus prov’d, not only out of profane authors, but out of Scripture it self; and the citys that were least free having had such power over themselves, and their territorys; why, if the Romans took no more of them for this protection, than was paid to their former lords, did they not rather undertake the patronage of the world than the empire; seeing Venice, and Dantzic, while the one was tributary to the Turk, the other to the king of Poland, were nevertheless so free estates, that of a king, or a commonwealth that should have put the rest of the world into the like condition, no less in our day could have bin said? and yet that the Romans, when the nature of the eastern monarchys shall be rightly consider’d, took far less of these citys than their old masters, will admit of little doubt. Cicero surely would not ly; he, when proconsul of Cilicia, wrote in this manner concerning his circuit, to his friend Servilius:two days I staid at Laodicea, at Apamea five, at Sinnadæ three, at Pilomenis five, at Iconium ten; than which jurisdiction or government there is nothing more just or equal. Why then had not those citys their senats and their ecclesiæ, or congregations of the people, as well as that of Ephesus, and those wherof Pliny gives an account to Trajan?
CORINTH was in Achaia; Perga of Pamphylia, Antioch of Pisidia, Iconium, Lystra, Derbe of Lycaonia, were in Cilicia; and with these, as som reckon, Attalia, Ephesus and the other Antioch were in Syria. Achaia, Cilicia, and Syria, were Roman provinces at the time of this perambulation of the apostles: the citys under provincial administration, whether free or not free, were under popular government; whence it follows, that Corinth, Ephesus, Antioch of Syria, Antioch of Pisidia, Perga, Iconium, Lystra, Derbe, Attalia, being at this time under provincial administration, were at the same time under popular government. There has been no hurt in going about, for the proof of this; tho indeed to shew that these citys (had quandam ἀυτονομίαν) were under popular government, we needed have gone no further than the text, as where the chancellor of Ephesus, to get rid of a tumultuous ecclesia or assembly of the people, promises them a lawful one. In Iconium, Lystra, Derbe, and the rest, you hear not of any king (as where Herod stretch’d out his hand to please the Jews, and vex the church) but of the people, of their rulers, of their assemblys, and of their tumults. The people at Lystra are now agreed to give the apostles divine honors; and anon, both at Iconium and Lystra, to stone them. Now to determin of divine honor or of life and death, are acts of soverain power. It is true, these nevertheless may happen to be usurp’d by a mere tumult; but that cannot be said of these congregations, which consisted as well of the magistrats and rulers, as of the people, and where the magistrats shew that they had no distinct power wherby to restrain the people, nor other means to prevail against them, than by making of partys: which passages, as they prove these commonwealths on the one side to have bin ill constituted, evince on the other, that these citys were under popular government.
The Deduction of the Chirotonia from popular Government, and of the original Right of Ordination from the Chirotonia. In which is contain’d the Institution of the Sanhedrim or Senat of Israel by Moses, and that of Rome by Romulus.
DIVINES generally in their way of disputing have a bias that runs more upon words than upon things; so that in this place it will be necessary to give the interpretation of som other words, wherof they pretend to take a strong hold in their controversys. The chief of these has bin spoken to already: chirotonia being a word that properly signifys the suffrage of the people, wherever it is properly us’d, implys power; wherfore tho the senat decrees by suffrage as well as the people, yet there being no more in a decree of the senat than authority, the senat is never said to chirotonize, or very seldom and improperly, this word being peculiar to the people. And thus much is imply’d in what went before.
The next word in controversy is psephisma, which signifies a decree or law; and this always implying power, always implys the suffrage of the people, that is, where it is spoken of popular government: for tho a psephisma or decree of the Athenian senat was a law for a year before it came to the suffrage or chirotonia of the people, yet the law or constitution of Solon, wherby the senat had this power, originally deriv’d from the chirotonia of the people.
The third word (ϰαϑιϛάναι) signifys to constitute or ordain; this in the political sense of the same implys not power, but authority: for a man that writes or proposes a decree or form of government, may be said (ϰαϑιϛάναι) to propose or constitute it, whether it be confirm’d by the chirotonia of the people or not; nay with Halicarnassæus the word signifys no more than barely to call or assemble a senat, βουλὴν ὑπερ τινὸς ϰαϑιϛάναι.
Now if these words be somtimes otherwise taken, what words be there in any language that are not often us’d improperly? but that understood politically, they must of necessity be understood as I have shewn, or will so intangle and disorder government, that no man shall either make head or foot of it, is that which I make little question to evince in the surest way, that is, by opening the nature of the things whence they derive, and wherof they are spoken by the best authors.
And because the words (tho the things they signify were much more antient) derive all from Athens, I shall begin by this constitution to shew the proper use of them. Chirotonia in Athens, as has bin shewn out of Suidas (who speaking of Rome refers to this) was election of magistrats, or enacting laws by the suffrage of of the people; which, because they gave by holding up their hands, came thence to be call’d chirotonia, which signifys holding up of hands. The legislative assembly, or representative of the people, call’d the nomothetæ, upon occasion of repealing an old law, and enacting a new one, gave the chirotonia of the people:Demost. contra Timocr. and yet says the Athenian law (διαχειροτονίαν δεῖ [Editor: illegible character] τ[Editor: illegible character]ς προέδρȣς περί τ[Editor: illegible character]των τ[Editor: illegible character]ν νόμων) Let the proedri give or make the chirotonia to either law. The proedri, as was shewn in the former book, were the ten presidents of the prytans; which prytans upon this occasion were presidents of the nomothetæ.Chap. III. Again, wheras it was the undoubted right and practice of the people to elect their magistrats by their chirotonia (ϰἂν ὑμεῖς ἕνα, ϰἂν ϖλείȣς, ϰἂν τον δεῖνα, ϰἂν ὁντιν[Editor: illegible character]ν χειροτονήσητε ϛ[Editor: illegible character]ατηγὸν) it is nevertheless shewn by Pollux to have bin the peculiar office of the thesmothetæ, (ϛρατηγ[Editor: illegible character]ς χειροτονεῖν) to chirotonize the magistrats.Phil. 1. For as the proedri were presidents of the people in their legislative capacity, so were the thesmothetæ, upon occasion of elections:L. 8. c. 8. thus the chirotonia of the proedri or of the thesmothetæ signifys nothing else but the chirotonia of the people, by which they had enacted all their laws, and elected all their civil or ecclesiastical magistrats or priests, as the rex sacrificus, and the orgeones, except som by the lot; which ordination, as is observ’d by Aristotle, is equally popular. This whether ignorantly or wilfully unregarded, has bin, as will be seen hereafter, the cause of great absurdity; for who sees not that to put the chirotonia, or soverain power of Athens upon the proedri or the thesmothetæ, is to make such a thing of that government as can no wise be understood?
What the people had past by their chirotonia, was call’d psephisma, an act or law. And because in the nomothetæ there were always two laws put together to the vote, that is to say, the old one, and that which was offer’d in the room of it, they that were for the old law were said (ἀποψηφίζειν) to pronounce in the negative; and they that were for the new (ϰαταψηφί[Editor: illegible character]ειν) to pronounce for the affirmative.
These laws, these propositions, or this frame of government, having bin propos’d first by Solon, and then ratify’d or establish’d by the chirotonia of the Athenian people; Aristotle says of him (τὴν δὲ δημοϰρατίαν ϰαταϛῆσαι) that he instituted or constituted the popular government; which constitution implys not any power in Solon, who absolutely refus’d to be a king, and therfore the word ϰαταϛὴσαι as to him implys no more than authority. I have shew’d you the words in controversy, and the things together in the mint; now whether they that as to Athens introduc’d them both, understood either, I leave my reader by comparing them to judg.
It is true that the things exprest by these words have bin in som commonwealths more, in others less antient than the Greec language; but this hinders not the Greecs to apply the words to the like constitutions or things, wherever they find them, as, by following Halicarnassæus. I shall exemplify in Rome.
Ὁ ΔΕ Ρώμυλ[Editor: illegible character], ἐπειδὴ ταῦτα διεϰόσμησε, βȣλευτὰς ἐυθυς ἔγνω ϰαταϛήσασϑαι.Lib. 2.Romulus,when he had distributed the people into tribes and parishes, proceded to ordain the senat: in this manner the tribes were three, and the parishes thirty; out of every tribe he elected three senators, and out of every parish three more, all by the suffrage of the people. These therfore came to ninety nine chosen by the chirotonia; to which he added one more, not chosen by the chirotonia, but by himself only: which election we may therfore say was made by the chirothesia; for as in this chapter I am shewing that the chirotonia is election by the many, so in the next I shall shew that the chirothesia, is election by one, or by the few. But to keep to the matter in hand; the magistrat thus chosen by Romulus was (præsectus urbi) the protector of the commonwealth, or he who, when the king was out of the nation or the city, as upon occasion of war, had the exercise of royal power at home. In like manner with the civil magistracy were the priests created (tho som of them not so antiently) for the pontifex maximus, the rex sacrificus, and the flamens, were all ordain’d by the suffrage of the people (pontifex tributis, rex centuriatis, flaminescuriatis) the latter of which, being no more than parish priests, had no other ordination than by their parishes. All the laws, and all the magistrats in Rome, even the kings themselves, were according to the orders of this commonwealth to be created by the chirotonia of the people; which nevertheless is by Appian somtimes call’d δεμάρχων χειϱοτονία, the chirotonia of the tribuns, whether these magistrats were presidents of the assemblys of the people, or elected by them.Galv. Inst. l. 4. cap. 3. § 15.Sic Romani historici non raro loquuntur, consulem qui comitia habuerit creâsse novos magistratus, non aliam ob causam nisi quia suffragia receperit, & populum moderatus est in eligendo.
Dion. Hal. l. 8.What past the chirotonia of the people, by the Greecs is call’d psephisma: μελλούσης δὲ διαλύεοϑαι τῆς ἐϰϰλησίας, ἀναϛὰς ὁ Μάϱϰι[Editor: illegible character] ἔφη. ἃ μὲν εψήφιϛαι τὸ ϰοινὸν ὑμῶν ἔχει ϰαλῶϛ· When the congregation of the people was to be dismist,Marcusstanding up, said, Your psephisma, that is your act, is exceding good, &c.
This policy, for the greater part, is that which Romulus (as was shewn) is said (ϰαταϛήσαϑαι) to have instituted or ordain’d, tho it be plain that he ordain’d it no otherwise than by the chirotonia of the people.
Thus you have another example of the three words in controversy (Chirotonia, ϰαϑιϛάναι, psephisma) still apply’d in the same sense, and to the same things. Have I not also discover’d already the original right of ordination, whether in civil or religious orders? This will be scandalous. How! derive ordination as it is in the church of Christ, or as it was in the church of the Jews, from the religion, or rather superstition of the heathens! I meddle not with their religion, nor yet with their superstition, but with their ordination which was neither, but a part of their policy And why is not ordination in the church or commonwealth of Christ, as well a political thing as it was in the churches or commonwealths of the Jews, or of the heathens? Why is not election of officers in the church as well a political thing, as election of officers in the state? and why may not this be as lawfully perform’d by the chirotonia in the one, as in the other?
Philo de Inst.That Moses introduc’d the chirotonia, is expresly said by Philo; tho he opposes it to the ballot, in which I believe he is mistaken,Princ. as not seeing that the ballot including the suffrage of the people, by that means came as properly under the denomination of the chirotonia, as the suffrage of the Roman people; which tho it were given by the tablet, is so called by Greec authors. All ordination of magistrats, or of the senators or elders of the sanhedrim, of the judges or elders of inferior courts, of the judg or suffes of Israel, of the king, of the priests, of the Levits, whether with the ballot or viva voce, was perform’d by the chirotonia or suffrage of the people. In this (especially if you admit the authority of the Jewish lawyers, and divines call’d the Talmudists) the Scripture will be clear, but their names are hard; wherfore not to make any discourse more rough than I need, I shall here set them together. The authors or writings I use, by way of paraphrase upon the Scripture, are the Gemara, Babylonia, Midbar Rabba, Sepher Siphri, Sepher Tanchuma, Solomon Jarchius, Chiskuny, Abarbanel, Ajin Israel, Pesiktha Zotertha. These and many more being for the election of the sanhedrim by the ballot, I might have spoken them more briefly; for the truth is, in all that is talmudical I am assisted by Selden, Grotius, and their quotations out of the rabbys, having in this learning so little skill, that if I miscall’d none of them, I shew’d a good part of my acquaintance with them.
Nor am I wedded to Grotius or Selden, whom somtimes I follow, and somtimes I leave, making use of their learning, but of my own reason. As to the things in this present controversy, they were no other in Athens and Rome than they had been in the commonwealth of Israel.
When Moses came to institute the senat, he ask’d counsil of God.Numb. 11. v. 16, 24.And the Lord said, Gather to me seventy men of the elders of Israel; andMoseswent out and told the people the words of the Lord: that is, propos’d the dictat of the supreme legislator to the chirotonia of the congregation. What else can we make of these words of Moses to the people?Deut. 1. v. 13, 14, 15.Take ye wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes (ϗ ϰαταϛήσω ἀυτȣς ἐφ’ ὑμῶν ηγουμένους ὑ ɹων) and I will constitute them rulers over you. Now how the people could otherwise take or chuse these rulers or magistrats thus propos’d, than by their chirotonia, let divines—shew; or notwithstanding the constitution of Moses, both the senat of Israel, and the inferior courts, were decreed by the chirotonia of the people. For the people upon this proposition resolv’d in the affirmative, or answer’d and said, The thing which thou hast spoken is good for us to do. This then was the psephisma or decree of the people of Israel, whereupon says Moses (ϰατέϛησα ἀυτ[Editor: illegible character]ς ἡγεῖσϑαι) I constituted or ordain’d them governors. In which example you have the three words, or the three things again; nor as to the things, is it, or ever was it, otherwise in any commonwealth. Whence it is admirable in our divines, who will have ϰατέϛησα, constituted, to be the word of power; that they do not see by this means they must make two powers in the same government; the ϰατέϛησα or constitution of the legislator, and the chirotonia or suffrage of the people: or else say that the commonwealth of Israel was instituted by the power of the legislator, and the authority of the people, than which there is nothing more absurd. But the people staid not upon their first psephisma, or result, that the thing was good for them to do, but did accordingly. The manner of their proceding at different times was somwhat different; for it was somtimes viva voce, somtimes by the lot, without the suffrage; and somtimes by the ballot, which consisted not of the lot only, but of the suffrage. Each of these are equally popular (for neither of them gives an advantage to any person or party) but not equally prudent ways of proceding; the lot committing too much to fortune, except in som kinds of businesses, as first in the division of lands, whence the suffrage was properly excluded: for the divisions being made by three deputys out of each tribe, if there happen’d to fall som advantage or disadvantage to any man by the lot, it was equal or impartial; wheras if it had fallen by the suffrage, it must have bin inequal, or partial. Such was the cause why the lot in the division of the land of Canaan was us’d without the suffrage. In case of a crime committed by an unknown author, but among many of whom som one or more must have bin guilty, as in the cases of Achan and Jonathan, the lot was also us’d without the suffrage, somwhat after the manner of decimation in an army, when many that are guilty throw the dice, and he on whom the lot falls is punish’d; yet with considerable difference, for wheras decimation is not us’d but for punishment, where the persons are as well known as the guilt; this use of the lot in Israel was for the discovery of the unknown author of som known crime, that som one of many being put to the question (who if either by his own confession, or other proof he were found guilty, was punish’d accordingly, otherwise not) men might have less incouragement that their crimes would be the more hidden, or less punishable for company, or the shadow of it.
When the people were set upon the introduction of a new magistracy, and car’d not at all who should be the man, as in the election of Saul, at which time the Philistins lay hard upon them, and they look’d upon the ease they hop’d from a king, without coveting the trouble which he was like to have; it seems to me there was a third use of the lot without the suffrage.
But that the common use of the lot in Israel imply’d also the suffrage, and was of the nature of the ballot at this day in Venice, is little to be doubted; or you may satisfy your self, when you have consider’d the manner how the senat or sanhedrim was first elected (ϰαϑιϛαμένη) or constituted by Moses.
Upon the psephisma, or decree of the legislator and the people, The thing which thou hast spoken is good for us to do, they proceded to election of competitors in this manner. Each of the twelve tribes (to be hereafter as well locally, as they were yet but genealogically divided) were to make the election, not excluding the thirteenth, nor yet nominally taking it in; for Levi, tho genealogically as distinct a tribe as any of them, yet was not design’d locally so to be, but to have the right of promiscuous inhabiting, cohabiting, or marriage with all or any of the rest, and with right of suffrage accordingly; for this cause the tribes being thirteen, are reckon’d but twelve. So each of the twelve tribes elected among themselves by their suffrages, six wise men, and understanding, and known among them; who being elected, were written; and being written, were deliver’d each in a several scrol to Moses. Moses having receiv’d all the scrols, had seventy two competitors, which caus’d a fraction; for the senat, as is plain by the text (gather me seventy men, that they may stand with thee) was to consist but of seventy with Moses, that is, in all, of seventy one. So Moses having two competitors more than he needed, caus’d two urns to be brought, into one of which he cast the seventy two competitors, or names written in the scrols; and into the other seventy two scrols, of which two were blanks, and seventy were inscrib’d with the word presbyter. This being don, the whole congregation pray’d, and when they had pray’d gave forth their lots.
The lots were given forth after this manner. First a lot was drawn out of the urn of the magistracys, then another out of the urn of the competitors. The competitor to whose name a blank was drawn, departed: but he to whose name a prize was drawn, or given forth, became a magistrat.
They who had thus gain’d magistracy were συνϰαταψηφιζομένοι, by this psephisma decreed to be together of the number of the seventy elders. But wheras in the urn of magistracy there were two blanks, two that had bin written competitors must of necessity have fail’d of magistracy.Numb. 11. 26. So Eldad and Medad being of them that were written competitors by the tribes, yet went not up to the tabernacle; that is, attain’d not to be (συνϰαταψηφιζομένοι) numbred among the seventy, who were to sit in the court of the tabernacle; as afterwards they did in the pavement, or stonechamber, in the court of the temple.
In this place I shall mind you but once more of the three words in controversy. Moses the legislator (ϰατέϛησε) constituted the people chirotoniz’d; and that which they had chirotoniz’d, was psephisma, their decree.
There be in these times that are coif’d with such opinions, that to shew scripture to be reason, is to make it lose weight with them; and to talk of the Talmudists, is to profane it: of these I shall only desire to know how they understand that place of Eldad and Medad; for if they can no otherwise make sense of it than as I have don, it is a sufficient proof (letting the Talmudists go) of all that I have said. What therfore has the hierarchy, and the presbytery for their opinion that the sanhedrim was instituted by the chirothesia, or imposition of hands?
There is in the Old Testament no mention of laying on of hands by way of ordination, or election, but only by Moses in the designation of Joshua for his successor: and in this Moses did first as Romulus afterwards in the election of the prefect or protector of Rome, but upon a far greater exigence; for the commonwealth of Rome, when Romulus did the like, was seated or planted, but the commonwealth of Israel, when Moses did this, was neither seated nor planted, nor indeed a commonwealth, but an army design’d to be a commonwealth. Now between the government that is necessary to an army, and that which is necessary to a commonwealth, there is a vast difference. The government even of the armys of Rome, when she was a commonwealth, was nevertheless monarchical: in this regard Moses himself exercis’d a kind of dictatorian power for his life; and the commonwealth being not yet planted, nor having any balance wherupon to weigh her self, must either have bin left at his death to the care of som man whom he knew best able to lay her foundation, or to extreme hazard. Wherfore this ordination, which was but accidental, regarding the present military condition of the people, Moses most prudently distinguishes from the other; in that he shew’d them how they should manage their commonwealth, in this he bequeaths them the man whom he thinks the most likely to bring them to be a commonwealth: of which judgment and undertaking of Moses, Joshua the next illustrious example, most worthily acquitted himself.
There is in these elections another remarkable passage, but such a one as, being so far from political that it is supernatural, dos not properly appertain to this discourse, and so I shall but point at it.Num 11. 24, 25. When the elders, thus chosen, were set round about the tabernacle, the Lord came down in a cloud, and took of the spirit ofMoses,and gave it to the seventy elders; and it came to pass, that when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesy’d and did not cease.Deut. 34. 9.SoJoshuawas full of the spirit of wisdom, forMoseshad laid his hands upon him. And Paul minds Timothy,Stir up the gift of God which is in thee by the laying on of my hands.1 Tim. 1. 6. But the Talmudists themselves do not pretend that their ordination was further accompany’d with supernatural indowments than the first institution; and if divines were as ingenuous, no less might be acknowleg’d of theirs. Moseswas a prophet, the like to whom has not bin in Israel; and has there bin an apostle like Paul in the Christian church? every body cannot do miracles, we see they can’t. Take heed how you deny sense, for then bread may be flesh. If we be not to make choice of a political institution without a miraculous test or recommendation; either ordination was at first accompany’d with supernatural gifts, and from thenceforth, as I conceive, neither. Divines methinks as such should not be so much concern’d in the ordination of the sanhedrim, or of Joshua, who were magistrats, as the people or the magistrat: yet if these should hence infer that their election, ordination, or designation of persons confer’d supernatural gifts, divines would hardly allow of it; and why are the people, or the magistrat oblig’d to allow more to that of a clergy? To return.
Deut. 1. 15.Such as I have shewn was the ordination of the senat, or great sanhedrim, that of the lesser sanhedrim, or inferior courts, was of like nature, for it follows; I took the chief of your tribes, wise men and known (ϗ ϰατέϛησα) and made them heads over you, captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds, &c. which were other magistrats than according to our custom, we should readily expect to be intimated by such words, for they were the judges of the inferior courts, those that sat in the gates of each city, and others that appertain’d to the villages, as in the next verse:Ver. 10.and I charg’d your judges at that time, saying, Hear the causes, and judg righteously.
The next magistrat whose election coms to be consider’d is the dictator, or judg of Israel.Judg. 2. 16. Where it is said of this people, that the Lord rais’d them up judges, which deliver’d them out of the hands of those that spoil’d them, it is to be understood, says Sigonius, that God put it into the mind of the people to elect such magistrats, or captains over them.De Rep. Heb. For example, when the children of Ammon made war against Israel, God rais’d up Jephtha, whose election was after this manner:Judges 11.the elders went to fetchJephtha,out of the land of Tob, and when they had brought him to Mizpeh (which in those days was the place, where εϰϰλησία Θε[Editor: illegible character], the congregation of Israel usually assembled) the people made him head and captain over them. Now that the election of the king was as much in the chirotonia of the people, as that of the judg, is past all controversy, seeing the law, speaking of the people, says thus:Deut. 17. 15.one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee; and accordingly when the government was chang’d to monarchy, it was not Samuel, but the people that would have it so; thus Saul was chosen king by the lot.Arist. Pol. b. 6. c. 2. Where the contradiction of Grotius is remarkable, who in this place to shew that the lot is of popular institution, quotes Aristotle; and yet when he coms to speak of the lots that were cast at the election of Matthias, says it was that it might appear not whom the multitude, but whom God had ordain’d; as if the magistrat lawfully elected by the people, were not elected by God, or that the lot which thus falls into the lap were not at the disposing of the Lord.De Imp. S. P. c. 10. But if the league by which the people receiv’d David into the throne, or the votes by which first the people of Jerusalem, and afterwards the congregation of Israel (as was shewn in the former book) made Solomon king, were of the Lord; then election by the people was of the Lord and the magistrat that was elected by the chirotonia of the people, was elected by the chirotonia of God:Judges 20. for as the congregation of Israel is call’d in Scripture (εϰϰλησία Θε[Editor: illegible character]) the ecclesia or congregation of God; so the chirotonia of this congregation is call’d by Josephus (Θεȣ χειροτονία) the chirotonia of God, who, as I noted before out of Capellus, was in this commonwealth political king, or civil legislator (sans comparaison) as Solon in Athens, and Romulus in Rome; that is to propose to the people (Hæc est lex quamMosesproposuit) and whatever was propos’d, by God, or the lawful magistrat under him, and chirotoniz’d or voted by the people, was law in Israel, and no other.Jos. l. 4. Nay, and the people had not only power to reject any law that was thus propos’d, but to repeal any law that was thus enacted:Josephus, l. 6. c. 5. for if God intending popular government should have ordain’d it otherwise, he must have contradicted himself; wherfore he plainly acknowledges to them this power, where (Θεὸν ἀϖοχειροτονȣσι τῆς ϐασιλεῖας) they rejected him (whom they had formerly chirotoniz’d or chosen king) that he should not reign over them; and elected Saul. This if God had withstood by his power, he must have introduc’d that kind of monarchy which he had declar’d against; wherfore he chose rather to abandon this sottish and ingrateful people to the most inextricable yoke of deserv’d slavery, telling them, when he had warn’d them and they would not hear him, that they should cry to him and he would not hear them, one title of whose words passed not unfulfill’d.
By this time I have shewn that all the civil magistrats in Israel were chosen by the chirotonia of the people, or, to follow Josephus, by the chirotonia of God, which is all one; for the chirotonia of the president of the congregation, as I have instanc’d in that of the proedri, of the thesmothetæ, of the consuls, of the tribuns, and the chirotonia of the congregation is the same thing; and of the congregation of Israel God, except only at the voting of a king, was president.
To com then from the civil magistrats to the priests and Levits, these were chosen in two ways, either by the lot, or by the chirotonia.
The office and dignity of the high priest being the greatest in Israel, and by the institution to be hereditary, caus’d great disputes in the election: to this Moses by the command of God had design’d Aaron his brother; which designation, the command of God being at first either not so obvious as that relation, or the ambition of others so blind that they could not or would not see it, caus’d great combustion. First, thro the conspiracy of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram; and next by the murmuring of the princes of the tribes, all emulous of this honor.Numb. 16.Korah being not only a great man,Josephus, l. 4. but of the tribe of Levi, could not see why he was not as worthy of the priesthood, consideration had of his tribe, as Aaron; and if any other tribe might pretend to it, Dathan and Abiram being descended from Reuben were not only of the elder house, but troubl’d to see a younger prefer’d before them. Wherfore these having gain’d to their party three hundred of the most powerful men of the congregation, accus’d Moses of affecting tyranny, and doing those things which threaten’d the liberty of the commonwealth; as under pretence of divination to blind the eyes of the people, preferring his brother to the priesthood without the suffrage of the congregation: of which charge Moses acquitting himself in the congregation, tells the people that Aaronwas chosen both by God, and (ϰατὰ τὴν ὑμετεραν γνώμην αυτ[Editor: illegible character] τυ[Editor: illegible character]χάνων) by their suffrages, which (Korah being upon this occasion miraculously destroy’d) were therupon once more given by the people. Nevertheless the princes of the tribes continuing still discontented, and full of murmur, God decided the controversy by a second miracle, the budding ofAaron’s rod: (and so ϗ ὁ μεν τρὶς ἀυτόν τ[Editor: illegible character] Θε[Editor: illegible character] χειροτονησατος ϐεϐαίως ἔιχε τὴν τιμὴν) being thrice confirm’d by the chirotonia of God, he was confirm’d in that honor. Now that the chirotonia of God in this place of Josephus signifys the chirotonia of the people, is plain by that in Scripture, where they made Solomon king, and Zadoc to be priest.1 Chron. 20-22. After the captivity, as in other things, so in this power the sanhedrim came, as I conceive, to overreach the people: Joshua the son of Josedech being thus elected high priest by the sanhedrim, and this honor thenceforth (as appears by Maimonides) being at the disposing of this court.Grot. ad Nor cou’d any inferior priest serve at the altar, except he had acquir’d that right by the lot, as is not only deliver’d by the same author and by Josephus, but in Scripture.Hag. 1. 1. Now the lot, as was shewn, giving no prerogative either to any person or party,Joseph. de Bel. is as popular an institution as the chirotonia.Jud. l. 4. So in election of priests, the orders of Israel differ’d not from human prudence, nor those of other commonwealths,Maimon. the priests of Jupiter having bin elected after the same manner in the commonwealth of Syracusa; the Augustales, and the Vestals in that of Rome:Hal. Cele and if the right of bearing holy magistracy, being in Israel confin’d to one tribe or order,Hamikdasch, cap. 42 & 5 may seem to make any difference, it was for some time no otherwise in Athens, nor in Rome, where the patricians or nobility assum’d these offices, or the greatest of them to themselves,2 Chron. 24. 5 & 25. 8. & 26. 13. till the people in those citys disputed that custom, as introduc’d without their consent, which the people of Israel could not fairly do, because it was introduc’d by their consent.
Numb. 8. 9, 10.To com to the Levits in their original ordination, God commanded Moses saying, Thou shalt bring the Levits before the tabernacle of the congregation, and thou shalt gather the whole assembly of the children of Israel, and they shall put their hands upon the Levits. This in the sound of the words may seem to imply the chirothesia, or imposition of hands, but take heed of that; divines will not allow the chirothesia to be an act of the people: but in this proceding the whole people acted in the ordination of the Levits, wherfore the Levits also were ordain’d by the chirotonia, consent, vote, or suffrage of the whole people imply’d in this action. But for the ordination of priests and Levits, whatever it was, it is not to the present purpose; divines deriving not theirs from priests and Levits, but from dukes, generals and magistrats, from that of Joshua and of the sanhedrim, always provided, that this were of the same nature with the former, that is, by the chirothesia, or imposition of hands, and not by the chirotonia of the people.Exod. 29. However the ordination of the magistracy was certainly political; and so in this deduction they themselves confess that their ordination also is a political constitution:Numb. 8. yet wheras Moses is commanded by God to bring Aaron and his sons to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and having wash’d them there, to adorn them with the priestly robes, with the miter, and to anoint them; wheras he is commanded (the children of Israel having first laid their hands upon the Levits) to cleanse them, and offer them for an offering: divines of the hierarchy and the presbytery (tho it be otherwise with Wallæus and such as acknowlege popular government) give the congregation, or consent of the people for nothing, and put the whole ordination of the priests and Levits upon the washing and cleansing, or other ceremonys of consecration: as if to put the ordination of Saul upon the ceremony of anointing by Samuel, tho perform’d by the immediat command of God, were not absolutely contradictory to Scripture, and to the known law of Israel, which speaking of the people, expresly says, One from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee; upon which place says Philo,Most wiseMosesnever intended that the royal dignity should be acquir’d by lot, but chose rather that the king should be elected by the chirotonia, or suffrage of the whole people.Philo de inst. principiis.The congregations of the people assembl’d upon this as upon other public affairs, and requir’d a sign or confirmation from God: forasmuch as by his will man is to the rest of nature, what the face is to the body. Wherto agrees that of the Heathens, Os homini sublime dedit, cælumque tueri jussit, and their divinations upon the like occasions by intrals, none of which were ever understood as destructive of the liberty of the people, or of the freedom of their chirotonia.
Where Solomon is made king, and Zadoc priest by the people, tho the ceremony of anointing was doubtless perform’d, and perhaps by the prophet Nathan, it is wholly omitted in the place as not worth the speaking of. The opinion that the ordination of the priests and Levits lay in the ceremonys of their consecration, is every whit as sober and agreeable to reason, as if a man should hold the kings of England to have bin made by the unction of the bishops. Israel from the institution of Moses to the monarchy, was a democracy, or popular government; in popular government the consent of the people is the power of the people, and both the priests and Levits were ordain’d by the consent of the people of Israel.
Chap. IV.Ditm. c. 10.To bring these things to the citys in the perambulation of the apostles, which by the former chapter I have prov’d to have bin popular governments; it is acknowleg’d by Grotius to the citys of Asia, not only that they us’d the chirotonia, but in the strictest sense of the word, that is, to give their suffrage by the holding up of hands. And that they had the liberty of their religion, the choice of their magistrats, both civil and ecclesiastical in their ecclesiæ, or congregations, has bin also undeniably evidenc’d; whence it must needs follow that there were citys in Asia (χειροτονησαντες ἀυτ[Editor: illegible character]ῖς ϖϱεσβυ[Editor: illegible character]έϱȣς ϰατ’ εϰϰλησίαν) chirotonizing or ordaining them elders, that is, magistrats and priests in every congregation (with reverence be it spoken) long before Christ was in the flesh, or the apostles any of them were born. Wherfore to sum up what in this chapter I conceive to be sufficiently prov’d, I may boldly conclude, That the chirotonia derives from popular constitution, and that there was a way of ordination by the chirotonia.
The Deduction of the Chirothesia from Monarchical or Aristocratical Government, and of the second Way of Ordination from the Chirothesia. In which is contain’d the Commonwealth of the Jews as it stood after the captivity.
WHAT pleases the prince, says Justinian,has the force of a law, seeing the people in his creation have devolv’d their whole power upon his person; which is with the most. But when popular government is chang’d into monarchical, either the whole power of the people, or a great part of it must of necessity accrue to the king.1 Sam. 8. 12. Hence says Samuel,he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fiftys: in which words perhaps is intimated the judges of the inferior courts, or Jethronian prefectures; so that hereby Samuel tells the people they shall no more have the election of their rulers, but the king will have it; who, it may be, chang’d the nature of som of these magistracys, or added others:2 Sam. 8. 15. for when David came to reign over all Israel, Joabwas over the host (his strategus or general) Jehoshaphatwas recorder,ZadokandAbimelecwere the priests,Seraiahwas the scribe, andBenaiahwas over the Pelethits, and the Cherethits; that is, was captain of his regiments of guard, call’d perhaps by these names, as those of Romulus were call’d Celeres. But it should seem that few or none of these officers were elected by the chirotonia, that is by the people, but by the prince, which kind of election, as will be shewn anon, may be call’d chirothesia. For the deduction of this kind of ordination, or election, we shall do well to hearken first to Dr. Hammond;§ 10. who in his query, or discourse concerning ordination by the imposition of hands, puts it thus:Exod. 17. 11.To lift up the hands was a ceremony in prayer, and accordingly to lay hands on any (differing no otherwise from lifting up, than by the determining that action to a peculiar object, the person that was pray’d for) was generally among the Jews a ceremony of benediction us’d first by the father to the children, in bestowing he blessing upon them (and with that a succession to som part of his estate or inheritance) as appears inJacob’s blessing the children ofJoseph:Gen. 48. 14. he stretch’d out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim’s head, and his left hand on Manasses, and so he bless’d, &c. From thence it was accommodated among them to the communicating of any part of power to others as assistants, or to the deriving of any successive office from one to another. Thus whenMoseshad from heaven receiv’d, and long us’d his commission to be under God the ruler of the people, the seventy elders were by God’s appointment assum’d to assist him:Numb. 11. 17.it being certain from the Jewish writings, tho the sacred Scripture has no occasion to mention it, that the succession of the seventy elders under the name of sanhedrim or council was continu’d thro all ages by their creating others in the place of those that dy’d, by this ceremony of imposition of hands.Tit. Sanhed. c. 4.To this purpose are the clear words ofMaimonides: Moses our master created the seventy elders by imposition of hands, and the divine majesty rested on them; and those elders impos’d hands on others, and others on others, &c. So a little before the departure ofMosesout of this life, when a successor was to be provided for him, God commands him to take Joshua, and lay his hands upon him.Numb. 27. 18, 23. And Moses laid his hands upon him, and gave him a charge as the Lord commanded by the hand of Moses:that is, deriv’d to him by this ceremony the authority which himself had, and constituted him his successor in that government.Deut. 34 9.And so it is repeated,Joshua was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands upon him.
This is the doctor’s deduction of the chirothesia, or ordination by the laying on of hands, from the commonwealth of Israel: and, says he, from the three uses of this ceremony there, that is, first in praying for another; secondly, in paternal benediction; thirdly, in creating successors in power, either in whole, or in part, derive three sorts of things in the New Testament, to which this ceremony of laying on of hands is accommodated. That of prayer simply taken was of two sorts, either for the cure of diseases, or pardoning of sins.Mar. 16. 18.For diseases: they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.1 Tim. 5. 22.For sins they were don away also by this ceremony in the absolution of penitents, to which belongs that exhortation ofPaultoTimothy, Lay hands suddenly on no man, that is, not without due examination and proof of his penitence, lest thou be partaker of other men’s sins. From the second, that of paternal benediction, was borrow’d, first that of blessing infants with the ceremony of imposition of hands, as it differ’d from baptism.Mar. 10. 16.And secondly, that of confirming those of fuller age, that had bin formerly baptiz’d.Acts 6. 6.Lastly, to the creating successors in any power, or communicating any part of power to others, as to assistants, is answerable that imposition of hands in ordination so often mention’d in the New Testament, somtimes in the lower degree, as in the ordaining of deacons, elsewhere in the highest degree, setting governors over particular churches, as generally when by that laying on of hands it is said, they receiv’d the Holy Ghost; wheras the Holy Ghost contains all the χαϱίσματα requir’d to the pastoral function, and so signifys power from on high:L ke 24. 49.the authority and function itself, so it be given by imposition of hands, makes the parallel exact between this of Christian ordination, and that observ’d in the creating successors in the Jewish sanhedrim. So far the doctor.
Now say I, if the Scripture be silent as to the ordination of the elders in Israel, what means that place; Take ye wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you?Deut. 1. once in their lives let them give us the sense of it, or of that other, where Eldad and Medadwere of those that were written, and yet went not up to the tabernacle:Numb. 11. otherwise that we hear no more of these, is from the silence of divines, and not of the Scripture. But if the Scripture be not silent in this point, is there not a great deal of fancy in going on to cure the sick, to pardon sins, to bless infants, confirm the baptiz’d, ordain ministers,nay, give the Holy Ghost, and all the graces belonging to the pastoral function, from a place that has no such thing in it? for if the sanhedrim according to Scripture were not ordain’d by the chirothesia, there is no such thing to be deriv’d by the chirothesia from the sanhedrim. The first chirotonia indeed of the sanhedrim was accompany’d with miraculous indowments; wherfore if they will derive these gifts and graces from the sanhedrim, why are they sworn enemies to the chirotonia? again, the sanhedrim was a civil court or senat; wherfore then by this title should not these gifts and graces be rathe pretended to by the civil magistrat, than by divines? what becoms of the priest Aaron and his lots? is he left to the civil magistrat, while divines derive themselves from general Joshua and his chirothesia? but if the sanhedrim and inferior judicatorys were otherwise ordain’d originally; then no magistrat in Israel was originally ordain’d by the chirothesia, but only Joshua. It is admirable that divines should look upon God, as if in the institution of a commonwealth he had no regard at all to human prudence, but was altogether fix’d upon their vain advantages. Who made human prudence; or to what end was it made? any man that understands the politics, and considers that God was now proceding according to this art (as in his constitution of the senat, and of the people or congregation, is most obvious) must needs see that this power he indulg’d to Moses of making his own choice of one man; could not possibly be intended as a permanent constitution; for wheras he intended popular government, nothing is plainer than that a people not electing their own magistrats can have no popular government. How absurd is it to conceive that God having already made an express law, that the people, if at any time they came under monarchy, should yet have the election of their king, would now make a law that the people being under a commonwealth, should no longer have the election of their magistrats? for who sees not that to introduce the chirothesia as a standing ordinance, had bin to bar the people of this power? Israel at this time, tho design’d for a commonwealth, had no land, no foundation to balance her self upon, but was an army in a wilderness, incompass’d about with enemys. To permit to the people in this case, the choice of all their civil magistrats, was nevertheless safe enough, nay, best of all: for at the election of wise men, and understanding, and known among their tribes, so far as was needful to civil administration, their skill must needs have bin at any time sufficient; but the commonwealth was yet in absolute necessity of a protector, and of dictatorian power. Now to know who was fittest in this case to succede Moses, requir’d the wisdom of God, or of Moses; and therfore was not yet safe to be ventur’d upon a people so new in their government. For these reasons, I say, Moses us’d the chirothesia for once, and no more; or let them shew me among all the dictators, judges, or kings, that succeded Joshua, any one that was chosen by the chirothesia, and be all dictators. It is now above three thousand years since the institution of the sanhedrim, from which time the ambitious elders first, then the Talmudists, and of latter ages divines have bin perpetually striving for, or possessing themselves of this same oligarchical invention of the chirothesia pretended to be deriv’d from Moses; tho there be neither any such precept of God or Christ in the Old or New Testament, nor any unanimous result upon the point, either by the Talmudists or divines themselves. And for the clear words quoted by the doctor out of Maimonides, they are such to which I shall in due time shew Maimonides to be elsewhere of a clear contrary opinion. But in this controversy, without som clearer deduction of the chirothesia, we shall make no happy progress; in this therfore I shall follow Selden the ablest Talmudist of our age, or of any.
The commonwealth of Lacedemon (if I could stand to shew it) has strange resemblances to that of Israel, not only in the agrarian, which is nothing to the present purpose, but in the senat, which to prevent catching another time, I do not say was a judicatory only, but not only a senat, but a judicatory also. For Lycurgus of all other legislators was in this the likest to God, or to Moses, that his work was so exquisitly perfected at once, and his laws so comprehensive, that if the senat had had no other function than to make or propose new laws, there being little or nothing of that wanting, they would have had little or nothing to do. Now it being thus, and much more than thus in Israel, the sanhedrim was not only the senat, but the supreme judicatory. And because one court in a territory of any extent is no where sufficient to this end; therfore the sanhedrim had divers branches distended not only to the citys of Judea, but even to the villages; these were call’d the lesser sanbedrim, or the Jethronian prefectures.
Selden deSyn.The great sanhedrim consisting, as has bin shewn, of 70 elders, sat first in the tabernacle, and afterwards in the court of the temple.
TheJethronian prefectures consisted som of three and twenty elders, and others but of three. Of the former kind there were two in the gates of the temple, and one sitting in the gates or every city; of the latter there was one almost in every village.
The power of the Jethronian court, consisting of twenty-three elders, was in matter of judicature equal with that of the great sanhedrim, only in cases of difficulty they observ’d this precept.Vid. Grot. adIf there arise a matter too hard for thee in judgment between blood and blood,Deut. 17. 8.between plea and plea, between stroke and stroke, being matter of controversy within thy gates; then shalt thou arise, and get thee up into the place which the Lord thy God shall chuse (in the future, for the commonwealth was yet but design’d, not planted) and thou shalt com to the priests and the Levits, and to the judg that shall be in those days, and inquire, and they shall shew thee the sentence of judgment: that is, thou shalt consult the sanhedrim, or if there be no sanhedrim, the suffes or judg of Israel. The reason why the sanhedrim in this text is mention’d under the name of the priests and Levits is, that these about the beginning of this commonwealth having (as were also the Egyptian priests at the same time) bin the learnedst men, whether for lawyers, or physicians, there were scarce any other chosen into the sanhedrim, tho towards the latter end it happen’d to be far otherwise. For wheras sacrificing was feasting, the priests injoying a fat idleness, became in latter times so heavy, that as to the election of the sanhedrim not only the Levits of inferior rank were upon the matter wholly laid by, but the high-priest himself sometimes omitted, the rest of the tribes far excelling this in learning.
The power of the triumvirats, or three judges in the villages, extended no farther than to inflict stripes to a certain number, and pecuniary mulcts to a certain sum. These possibly had the same recourse upon occasion of difficulty to the judges in the gates, as the judges in the gates had to the sanhedrim: but their power is not so much to the present purpose, which regards only their manner of election. This having bin institutively exercis’d, as has bin shewn by the chirotonia, or ballot of the people, came sooner or later (I find no man that can resolve upon the certain time) to the cbirothesia. For tho when a judg in the gates was dead, that court elected his successor out of their disciples (each court in the gates had 99 disciples that were their constant auditors) or out of the triumvirats; and when an elder of the sanhedrim dy’d, the sanhedrim elected his successor out of the courts in the gates, more particularly those in the gates of the temple by suffrages; yet no man was capable of being elected into any of these courts that was not a presbyter, nor was any man a presbyter that had not receiv’d the chirothesia:Mikotzi Misna Gemara. nor could any man confer the chirothesia that had not first receiv’d it, or bin so ordain’d a presbyter himself: nor tho he were so ordain’d, could he confer the like ordination, but in the presence of two others, whether ordain’d or not ordain’d: and no ordination could be confer’d but either this way, or by som one of the judicatorys.Abr. Zacuth. The manner how this ordination was confer’d, if the party were present, was either by laying on of hands, or by saying a verse or charm; or if he were absent, by a letter, or patent.Maimonide.
Rab. Jonah.An elder thus ordain’d was call’d rabbi, might have disciples, teach, practise, or expound the law, declare what was therby free or forbidden (which with them was call’d binding and loosing) ordain others with the assistance mention’d, or beRab. Nathan. capable of election into som one, or any court of justice, according to the nature of his ordination, the conditions mention’d at the conferring of the same, or the gift that was in him by the laying on of the hands of the presbytery: which in som extended no farther than to shew how meat should be kill’d and dress’d, how uncleanness should be purify’d, what were vices of the body, what might be eaten or drunk, and what not; in others it extended to som one or more, or all the facultys express’d; but I am inclining to believe that a plenary ordination us’d not to be confer’d but by the great sanhedrim, or at least som one of the Jethronian courts.
They us’d also to confer this ordination som time occasionally, and for a season in this manner.Maimon. Tit.Receive the gift of judiciary ordination, or the right of binding and loosing, till such time as you return to us in the city.San. cap. 4. Where the Christian Jews still following their former customs in higher matters, as the observation of the Sabbath, and of circumcision, even to such a degree, that Paul not to displease them tookTimothyand circumcis’d him, seem to me to have follow’d this custom, who when the Prophets at Antioch had inform’d them that Paul and Barnabas were to be separated to an extraordinary work, laid their hands upon them, and sent them away:Acts 13. 3. for otherwise as to ordination Paul and Barnabas had that before; at least Paul by Ananias, and for any such precept in the Christian religion there was none.Acts 9. 17.
JOSEPHUS,Philo, and other authors that tell us the commonwealth of Israel was an aristocracy, look no farther than the introduction of the chirothesia by the Presbyterian party, which must have taken date som time after the captivity, or the restitution of the commonwealth by Ezra, there being not one syllable for it in Scripture, but enough to the contrary, seeing God introduc’d the chirotonia. By which it is demonstrable that a Presbyterian party may bring a popular government to oligarchy, and deface even the work of God himself, so that it shall not be known to after-ages; as also that ecclesiastical writers (for such are the Talmudists) may pretend that for many hundred years together, as divines also have don, to be in Scripture, which neither is, nor ever was there. But have I yet said enough to shew that ordination, especially as in this example, not of a clergy, but of a magistracy, whether by the chirotonia, or chirothesia, is a political institution? or must I rack my brains for arguments to prove that an order or a law having such influence upon the commonwealth, that being introduc’d or repeal’d, it quite alters the whole frame of the government, must needs be of a political nature, and therfore not appertain to divines, or to a clergy, but to the magistrat, unless their traditions may be of force to alter the government as they please? All is one, they can abate nothing of it, let what will com of the government, the chirothesia they must and will have. Then let them have monarchy too, or tyranny; for one of these, according as the balance happens to stand with or against their chirothesia, is the certain consequence; either tyranny as in Israel, or monarchy as in the papacy; and, from that or the like principle, in all Gothic empires: which examples, to begin with Israel, well deserve the pains to be somwhat more diligently unfolded.
All elections in Israel, save those of the priests who were eligible by the lot, being thus usurp’d by the presbyterian party, and the people by that means divested of their chirotonia; som three hundred years before Christ, Hillel senior high priest, and archon or prince of the sanhedrim, found means to draw this power of ordination, in shew somwhat otherwise, but in effect to himself, and his chirothesia:Maimon. Tit. for by his influence upon the sanhedrim it was brought to pass, that wheras formerly any man ordain’d might, in the manner shewn,Sam. cap. 4. have ordain’d his disciples; it was now agreed that no man should be ordain’d without the licence of the prince, and that this power should not be in the prince, but in the presence of the father of the sanhedrim, or speaker of the house. Thus the aristocracy of Israel becoming first oligarchical, took (according to the nature of all such governments) long steps towards monarchy, which succeding in the Asmonean family, commonly call’d the Maccabees, was for their great merit, in vindicating the Jews from the tyranny of Antiochus, confirm’d to them by the universal consent and chirotonia of the people. Nevertheless to him that understands the orders of a commonwealth, or has read the Athenian, Lacedemonian, or Roman story, it will be plain enough that but for their aristocracy they needed not to have bin so much beholden to, or to have stood so much in need of one family. It is true, both the merit of these princes, and the manner of their free election by the people, seem to forbid the name of tyranny to this institution: but so it is, that let there be never so much merit in a man, or inclination of the people to the prince, or the government that is not founded upon the due balance, the prince, in that case must either govern in the nature of a commonwealth, as did those of this family, reforming the policy after the Lacedemonian model, or turn tyrant, as from their time, who liv’d in the age of the Grecian monarchy, did all their successors, till under the Romans this nation became a province: from which time such indeavors and insurrections they us’d for the recovery of their antient policy, that under the emperor Adrian (who perceiv’d at what their ordination, being not of priests, but of magistrats, and of a senat pretending to soverain judicature and authority, seem’d to aim) there came, says the Talmud, against the Israelits an edict out of the kingdom of the wicked (meaning the Roman empire) wherby whosoever should ordain, or be ordain’d, was to be put to death, and the school or city in which such an act should be done, to be destroy’d: wherupon rabbiJehuda Ben Baba (lest ordination should fail in Israel) went forth, and standing between two great mountains, and two great citys, and between two Sabbathdays journys from Osa and Sephara, ordain’d five presbyters. For this feat the rabbi is remember’d by the Talmudists under the name of Ordinator; but the same, as it follows, being discover’d by the Roman guards, they shot his body through with so many darts, as made it like a sieve: yet staid not the business here, but so obstinat continu’d the Jews in the superstition to which this kind of ordination was now grown, that wheras by the same it was unlawful for them to ordain in a foren land, and at home they could not be brought to abstain, the emperor banish’d them all out of their own country; whence happen’d their total dispersion. That of a thing which at the first was a mere delusion, such religion should com in time, and with education to be made that not only they who had receiv’d advantage could suffer martyrdom, but they that had lost by it, would be utterly lost for it, were admirable in the case of this people, if it were not common in the case of most in the world at this day: custom may bring that to be receiv’d as an ordinance of God, for which there is no color in Scripture. For to consult Maimonides a little better upon this point:Halac. Sam. C. 4. S. 11.Wheras, says he, they grant, in case it should happen that in all the holy land there remain’d but one presbyter, that presbyter, assisted by two other Israelits, might ordain the seventy, or great sanhedrim, and the sanhedrim so constituted might constitute and ordain the lesser courts, I am of opinion that were there no presbyter in the land, yet if all the wise men of Israel should agree to constitute or ordain judges, they might do it lawfully enough. But if so, then how coms it to pass that our ancestors have bin so solicitous, lest judicature should fail in Israel? Surely for no other cause than that from the time of the captivity the Israelits were so dispers’d that they could not upon like occasions be brought together Now I appeal whether the clear words of Maimonides, where he says, that our masterMosesordain’d the sanhedrim by the chirothesia, be not more clearly and strongly contradicted in this place, than affirm’d in the other; since acknowleging that if the people could assemble, they might ordain the sanhedrim, he gives it for granted, that when they did assemble, they had power to ordain it; and that Moses did assemble them upon this occasion, is plain in Scripture. Again, if the power of ordination falls ultimatly to the people, there is not a stronger argument in nature that it is thence primarily deriv’d. To conclude, the chirothesia of the presbyterian party in Israel is thus confess’d by the author no otherwise necessary, than thro the defect of the chirotonia of the people: which ingenuity of the Talmudist, for any thing that has yet past, might be worthy the imitation of divines.
In tracking the Jews from the restitution of their commonwealth after the captivity to their dispersion, it seems that the later monarchy in Israel was occasion’d by the oligarchy, the oligarchy by the aristocracy, and the aristocracy by the chirothesia; but that this monarchy, tho erected by magnanimous and popular princes, could be no less than tyranny deriv’d from another principle, that is, the insufficiency of the balance: for tho from the time of the captivity, the jubile was no more in use, yet the Virgin Mary as an heiress, is affirm’d by som to have bin marry’d to Joseph by virtue of this law:Numb. 27. [Editor: illegible character]Every daughter that possesses an inheritance in any tribe of the children of Israel, shall be wife to one of the family of the tribe of her fathers, &c. By which the popular agrarian may be more than suspected to have bin of greater vigor than would admit of a well balanc’d monarchy.
The second presbytery, which is now attain’d to a well-balanc d empire in the papacy, has infinitly excell’d the pattern, the lands of Italy being most of them in the church. This, if I had leisure, might be track’d by the very same steps: at first it consisted of the seventy parish priests, or presbyters of Rome; now seventy cardinals creating to themselves a high priest, or prince of their sanhedrim, the pope, but for the superstition wherto he has brought religion, and continues by his chirothesia to hold it, a great and a reverend monarch, establish’d upon a solid foundation, and governing by an exquisit policy, not only well-balanc’d at home, but deeply rooted in the greatest monarchys of Christendom, where the clergy by virtue of their lands are one of the three states.
The maxims of Rome are profound; for there is no making use of princes without being necessary to them, nor have they any regard to that religion which dos not regard empire. All monarchys of the Gothic model, that is to say, where the clergy by virtue of their lands are a third estate, subsist by the pope, whose religion creating a reverence in the people, and bearing an aw upon the prince, preserves the clergy, that else being unarm’d, becom a certain prey to the king or the people; and where this happens (as in Henry the Eighth) down gos the throne; for so much as the clergy loses, falls out of the monarchical into the popular scale. Where a clergy is a third estate, popular government wants earth, and can never grow: but where they dy at the root, a prince may sit a while, but is not safe: nor is it in nature (except he has a nobility or gentry able without a clergy to give balance to the people) that he should subsist long or peaceably: for wherever a government is founded on an army, as in the kings of Israel or emperors of Rome, there the saddest tragedys under heaven are either on the stage, or in the tiringhouse. These things consider’d, the chirothesia being originally nothing else but a way of policy excluding the people, where it attains not to a balance that is sufficient for this purpose, brings forth oligarchy or tyranny, as among the Jews: and where it attains to a balance sufficient to this end, produces monarchy, as in the papacy, and in all Gothic kingdoms.
The priests of Egypt, where, (as it is describ’d by Siculus) their revenue came to the third part of the realm, would no question have bin exactly well fitted with the chirothesia pretended to by modern divines. Suppose the apostles had planted the Christian religion in those parts, and the priests had been all converted, I do not think that divines will say, that having alter’d their religion they needed to have deserted their being a third estate, their overbalance to the people, their lands, their preeminence in the government, or any part of their policy for that: and I am as far from saying so as themselves.
On the other side, as Paul was a citizen of Rome, let us suppose him to have bin a citizen of Athens, and about (ϰαθιϛάναι) to constitute the Christian religion in this commonwealth, where any citizen might speak to the people: imagin then he should have said thus: Men of Athens, that which you ignorantly seek I bring to you, the true religion; but to receive this, you must not alter your former belief only, but your antient customs. Your political assemblys have bin hitherto call’d ecclesiæ; this word must lose the antient sense, and be no more understood but of spiritual consistorys; and so wheras it has bin of a popular, it must henceforth be of an aristocratical, or presbyterian signification. For your chirotonia, that also must follow the same rule; insomuch as on whomsoever one or more of the aristocracy or presbytery shall lay their hands, the same is understood by virtue of that action to be chirotoniz’d. How well would this have sounded in Egypt, and how ill in Athens? Certainly the policy of the church of Christ admits of more prudence and temperament in these things: tho the apostles being Jews themselves, satisfy’d the converted Jews that were us’d to aristocracy, by retaining somewhat of their constitutions, as the chirothesia; yet when Paul and Barnabas com to constitute in popular commonwealths, they are (χειϱοτονήσαντες ἀυτοις ϖϱεσβυτέϱȣς ϰατ’ ἐϰϰλησίαν) chirotonizing them elders in every congregation.
Whether the Chirotonia mention’d in the fourteenth of the Acts be indeed, as is pretended by Dr. Mammond, Dr. Seaman, and the Authors they follow, the same with the Chirothesia, or a far different thing. In which are contain’d the divers kinds of Church-Government introduc’d and exercis’d in the age of the Apostles.
Chap. V.EITHER I have impertinently intruded upon the politics, or cannot be said so much to meddle in church-matters, as churchmen may be said to have meddled in state-matters: for if the chirotonia be election by the many, and the chirothesia be election by one, or by the few, the whole difference between popular and monarchical government falls upon these two words; and so the question will be, Whether the Scriptures were intended more for the advantage of a prince, of a hierarcliy or presbytery, than of the people. But that God in the Old Testament instituted the chirotonia, not only in the commonwealth, as by the election of the sanhedrim, but in the monarchy, as in the election of the kings, is plain: so if there remains any advantage in Scripture to kings, to the hierarchy or presbytery, it must be in the New Testament. Israel was God’s chosen people, and God was Israel’s chosen king. That God was pleas’d to bow the heavens, and come down to them, was his choice, not theirs; but in that upon his proposition, and those of his servant Moses, they resolv’d to obey his voice, and keep his covenant, they chose him their king. In like manner, the church is Christ’s chosen people, and Christ is the church’s chosen king. That Christ taking flesh was pleas’d to bow the heavens, and com down in a more familiar capacity of proposing himself to mankind, was his own choice, not theirs: but in that the church upon his proposition, or those of his apostles sent by him, as he was sent by the father, resolv’d to obey his voice, and keep his covenant, she has chosen him her king. Whatever in nature or in grace, in church or in state, is chosen by man according to the will of God, is chosen by God, of whom is both the will and the deed.§ 36. Which things consider’d, I wonder at Dr. Hammond, who says, Sure the Jewish and Heathen citys, to whom the gospel byChrist’s command was to be preach’d, were not to chuse their guides or teachers.Christwas not chosen by them to whom he preach’d; for, says he, ye have not chosen me. He came from heaven, sent by his father on that errand; and happy they whom he was thus pleas’d to chuse, to call, and preach to. And when his apostles, after his example, go and preach to all nations, and actually gather disciples, they chose their auditors, and not their auditors them. To make short work, I shall answer by explaining his words as they fall.
A ROMAN chusing whether he would speak to the senat or the people, chose his auditors, and not they him: nevertheless, if it were the consul, they chose him, and not he them. It is one thing to be a speaker to a people, that have the liberty, when that’s don, to do as they think fit; and another thing to be a guide, whom the people have consented, or oblig’d themselves to follow: which distinction not regarded, makes the rest of his argumentation recoil upon himself; while he procedes thus: And they that give up their names to the obedience of the gospel (chose the preachers, as I should think, of that gospel their guides) one branch of this obedience obliges them (by their own consent it seems, because before they gave up their names) to observe those that (being thus plac’d over them by their consent) are plac’d over them by God: such not only are their civil magistrats (who succede to their places by, and govern according to the laws which the people have chosen) but also their pastors, whom the Holy Ghost either mediatly (according to the rules of church disciplin in Scripture) or immediatly (upon som such miraculous call, as the people shall judg to be no imposture) has set over them. From which words the Doctor, not considering those qualifications I have shewn all along to be naturally inherent in them, concludes that a bishop is made by the Holy Ghost, and not by the people.
If he would stand to this yet it were somthing; for if the Holy Ghost makes a bishop, then I should think that the Holy Ghost ordain’d a bishop, and so that the election and ordination of a bishop were all one. But this hereafter will appear to be a more dangerous concession than perhaps you may yet apprehend. Wherfore when all is don, you will not find divines, at least Dr. Hammond, to grant that the Holy Ghost can ordain: he may elect indeed, and that is all; but there is no ordination without the chirothesia of the bishops, or of the presbytery. Take the Doctor’s word for it.
§ 107.WHEN St. Paul says of the Bishops of Asia, that the Holy Ghost had set them overseers, I suppose that it is to be understood of their election or nomination to those dignitys:Acts 20. 28. for so Clement speaks of St. John, who constituted bishops of those that were signify’d by the Spirit; where the Spirit’s signification notes the election or nomination of the persons, but the constituting them was the ordination of St. John.
God may propose, as the electors do to the great council of Venice; but the power of the council, that is to resolve or ordain, is in the bishop, says Dr. Hammond, and in the presbytery, says Dr. Seaman. Indeed, that election and ordination be distinct things, is to divines of so great importance, that losing this hold, they lose all: for, as I said before, whatever is chosen by man according to the will of God, that is, according to divine law, whether natural or positive, the same, whether in state or church, is chosen by God, or by the Holy Ghost, of whom is both the will and the deed. To evade this, and keep all in their own hands, or chirothesia, divines have invented this distinction, that election is one thing, and ordination another: God may elect, but they must constitute; that is, God may propose, but they must resolve. And yet Grotius, who in these things is a great champion for the clergy, has little more to say upon this point than this:De Imp. sum. Whether we consider antient or modern times, we shall find the manner of election very different not only in different ages and countrys,Pot. c. 10. but in different years of the same age,§ 31. and places of the same country, so uncertain it is to determin of that which the Scripture has lest uncertain. And while men dispute not of right, but of convenience, it is wonderful to see what probable arguments are brought on all sides. Give me Cyprian and his times, there is no danger in popular election. Give me the Nicene fathers, and let the bishops take it willingly. Give me Theodosius, Valentinian, and Charles the Great, than royal election there is nothing safer. Upon the heels of these words treads Dr. Hammond in this manner:§ 104. That election and ordination are several things, is sufficiently known to every man that measures the nature of words either by usage or dictionarys; only for the convincing of such as think not themselves oblig’d to the observation of so vulgar laws, I shall propose these evidences.Acts 6. In the story of the creation of the deacons of Jerusalem, there are two things distinctly set down, one propos’d to the multitude of disciples to be don by them, another reserv’d to the apostles; that which was propos’d to the multitude was to elect, &c. Election of the persons was by the apostles permitted to them, but still the (ϰαταϛήσομεν) constituting is reserv’d to the apostles.Of ordinat. p. 13.Then coms Dr. Seaman: Be it granted, as it is by Protestants generally, that Paul and Barnabas made elders with the consent of the people, their consent is one thing, and their power another.
Where in the first place I for my particular, who have had the books of Dr. Hammond and Dr. Seaman sent to me by way of objection, need not go a step further. All that I have inserted in my Oceana concerning ordination, is in these three votes acknowledg’d and confirm’d: for the probationer to be there sent by a university to a cure that is vacant, may, by a doctor, or the doctors of the same university already ordain’d, receive imposition of hands, if that be thought fit to be added, and then the election of the same probationer by the people dos no hurt, nay, says Grotius,is of the right of nature; for it is naturally permitted to every congregation to procure those things which are necessary to their conservation, of which number is the application of function.De Imp. c. 10So merchants have the right of electing of a master of their ship; travellers of a guide in their way, and a free people of their king. The merchant, it seems, dos not make the master of his ship, the traveller his guide, nor the free people their king, but elect them. As if Van Trump had bin admiral, a robber upon the highway had bin a scout, or the guide of an army, or Saul a king before they were elected. The point is very nice, which instead of proving, he illustrats in the beginning of the same chapter by these three similitudes.
The first is this, The power of the husband is from God, the application of this power to a certain person is from consent, by which nevertheless the right is not given; for if this were by consent, the matrimony might be dissolv’d by consent; which cannot be. As if an apparent retraction of matrimonial consent, as when a wife consents to another than her own husband, or commits adultery, did not deliver a man from the bond of marriage by the judgments of Christ. There is an imperfection or cruelty in those laws, which make marriage to last longer than a man in humanity may be judg’d to be a husband, or a woman a wife. To think that religion destroys humanity, or to think that there is any defending of that by religion which will not hold in justice, or natural equity, is a vast error.
The second similitude is this: Imperial power is not in the princes that are electors of the empire; wherfore it is not given by them, but applied by them to a certain person.
1 Pet. 2. 13.This is answer’d by Peter, where he commands obedience to every ordinance of man (or, as som nearer the original, every power created by men) whether it be to the Roman emperor, as supreme, or to the proconsuls of Asia and Phrygia, as sent by him; for this is the sense of the Greec, and thus it is interpreted by Grotius. Now if the then Roman emperor were a creature of man, why not the now Roman emperor?
The last similitude runs thus: The power of life and death is not in the multitude before they be a commonwealth; for no privat man has the right of revenge; yet it is apply’d by them to som man, or political body of men. But if a man invades the life of another, that other, whether under laws or not under laws, has the right to defend his own life, even by taking away that (if there be no other probable remedy) of the invader. So that men are so far from having bin void of the power of life and death before they came under laws, that laws can never be so made as wholly to deprive them of it after they com under them: wherfore the power of life and death is deriv’d by the magistrat from, and confer’d upon him by the consent or chirotonia of the people, wherof he is but a mere creature; that is to say, an ordinance of man.
Thus these candles being so far from lighting the house, that they dy in the socket, Grotius has bin no less bountiful than to grant us that the people have as much right (where there is no human creature or law to the contrary) to elect their churchmen, as merchants have to elect their seamen, travellers their guides, or a free people their king; which is enough a conscience. Nor is Dr. Hammond straiter handed: election, says he, was permitted by the apostles to the multitude, and therfore the same may be allow’d, always provided the (ϰαταϛήσομεν) constituting be reserv’d to the pastors, or ordain’d doctors and preachers. And Dr. Seaman, upon condition the people will not say that it was don by their power, but think it fair that it was don by their consent, is also very well contented. So all stands streight with what I have heretofore propos’d. Let no man then say, whatever follows, that I drive at any ends or interests, these being already fully obtain’d and granted; nevertheless for truth sake I cannot leave this discourse imperfect. If a politician should say that the election and the ordination of a Roman consul or pontifex were not of like nature; that the ϰαταϛήσομεν, contract of the senat of Rome with the people in the election of Numa(ut cum populus regem jussissent, id sic ratum esset, si patres autores fierent) included or imply’d the soverain power to be in the fathers; that the consent of this people was one thing, and their power another: if, I say, he should affirm these or the like in Athens, Lacedemon, or any other commonwealth that is or has bin under the sun, there would be nothing under the sun more ridiculous than that politician.Livy. But should men pretending to government of any kind be not oblig’d to som consideration of these rules in nature and universal experience; yet I wonder how the word (ϰαθιϛάναι) to constitute, with which they make such a flourish, did not lead them, otherwise than they follow; this, as it was said of Solon by Aristotle, being that which I have already shewn to be us’d both in the Greec of the Scripture, for the constitution of the sanhedrim by Moses, and in other authors for that of the senat by Romulus, each of which was then elected by the people: whence it may appear plainly that this is no word, as they pretend, to exclude popular suffrage, but rather to imply it. And indeed that it is of no such nature as necessarily to include power, could not have bin overseen in the New Testament, but voluntarily where (οἱ δὲ ϰαθιϛῶν[Editor: illegible character]ες τὸν Πα[Editor: illegible character]λον) they are signify’d by it that conducted Paul.Acts 17. 15. But they have miracles: such indeed as have neither words nor reason for them, had need of miracles. And where are these same miracles? why the apostles by the chirothesia or laying on of hands confer’d the Holy Ghost. So they did not only when they us’d that ceremony in reference to ordination, but when they us’d it not in that relation, as to those that were newly baptiz’d in Samaria, men and women:Acts 8. now it is not probable, that these, who should seem to have been numerous, were all ordain’d, at least, the women; and so the miracle is to be attributed to the hands of the apostles, and not to ordination in general. Joshuawas fall of the spirit (not because he had been ordain’d by the chirothesia, for so had many of them that crucify’d Christ and persecuted the apostles, but) because Moseshad laid his hands upon them.
Would divines be contented that we should argue thus: The chirotonia or suffrage of the people of Israel at the first institution was follow’d with miraculous indowments, therefore therfore whoever is elected by the people shall have the like? or what have they to shew why the argument is more holding as to their chirothesia, seeing for above one thousand years all the hierarchy and presbytery laid together have don no more miracles than a parish clerc?
A continu’d miracle, as that the sea ebbs and flows, the sun always runs his admirable course, is nature. Intermitted nature, as that the waters of the red sea were mountains, that the sun stood still in the dial of Ahaz, is a miracle. To continue the latter kind of miracle were to destroy the former, that is, to dissolve nature. Wherfore this is a certain rule, that no continu’d external act can be in the latter sense miraculous. Now government, whether in church or state, is equally a continu’d external act. An internal continu’d act may indeed be natural, or supernatural, as faith.
A natural man, being even in his own natural apprehension fearfully and wonderfully made, is by the continu’d miracle of nature convinc’d that the world had a Creator, and so coms to believe in that which is supernatural; whence it is that all nations have had som religion: and a spiritual man being convinc’d by the purity of Christ’s doctrine, and the miracles wherby it was first planted, is brought to the Christian faith. However Christ may require such continu’d faith or spiritual exercise of his church as is supernatural, he requires not any such continu’d act or bodily exercise of his church as is supernatural. But the government of the church is a continu’d act, or bodily exercise. It should be heeded that to delude the sense is not to do miracles, but to use imposture. Now to persuade us, that monarchical, aristocratical, popular, or mixt government have not always bin in nature, or that there has ever bin any other in the church, were to delude sense. Wherfore give me leave (in which I am confident I shall use no manner of irreverence to the Scripture, but on the contrary make the right use of it) to discourse upon church-government according to the rules of prudence.
The Gospel was intended by Christ to be preach’d to all nations, which (princes and states being above all things exceding tenacious of their power) is to me a certain argument that the policy of the church must be so provided for, as not to give any of them just cause of jealousy, there being nothing more likely to obstruct the growth of religion: and truly the nearer I look to the Scripture, the more I am confirm’d in this opinion.
First way of ordination in the church of Christ.Christ being taken up into heaven, the first ordination that we find was that of the apostle Matthias after this manner:
Acts 1.The aristocracy of the church, that is the apostles, assembl’d the whole congregation of disciples or believers at Jerusalem, being in number one hundred and twenty, where Peter (it having as it should seem bin so agreed by the apostles) was proposer; who standing up in the midst of the disciples, acquainted them, that wheras Judas was gone to his place, the occasion of their present meeting was to elect another apostle in his room: wherupon proceding to the suffrage, they appointed two competitors, Joseph and Matthias, whose names being written each in a several scrol, were put into one urn, and at the same time two other lots, wherof one was a blank, and the other inscrib’d with the word apostle, were put into another urn; which don, they pray’d and said, Thou Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen. The prayer being ended, they gave forth their lots, and the lot fell uponMatthias (ϗ συνϰα[Editor: illegible character]εψηφίσθη με[Editor: illegible character]α τῶν ἕνδεϰα ἀϖοϛόλων) and by this psephisma (the very popular word, and not only so, but being apply’d to the ballot, is the very literal and original signification) he was added to the eleven apostles. So you have the first way of ordination in the church, after Christ was taken up into heaven, perform’d by the election or chirotonia of the whole church.
Now except any man can shew that Matthias ever receiv’d the imposition of hands, these several things are already demonstrated. First, that the chirotonia is not only the more antient way of ordination in the commonwealth of Israel, but in the church of Christ. Secondly, that the chirothesia or imposition of hands is no way necessary to ordination in the Christian church. Thirdly, that the disciplin of the Christian church was primitively popular; for to say that in regard of the apostles it was aristocratical, is to forget that there is no such thing, without a mixture of aristocracy, that is without the senat, as a popular government in nature. Fourthly, that ordination in the commonwealth of Oceana being exactly after this pattern, is exactly according to the disciplin of the church of Christ. And fifthly, that ordination and election in this example are not two, but one and the same thing.
The last of these propositions having bin affirm’d by Mr. Hobbs, Dr. Hammond tells him plainly, that his assertion is far from all truth:§ 115. let us therfore consider the doctor’s reasons, which are these; seeing the congregation, says he, is affirm’d by the gentleman to have ordain’d, and it is plain by the words of St.Lukethat God elected, election and ordination by this example must be distinct things: which in another place going about to fortify with this argument, that it was don by lottery, andSolomonsays, The lot is at the disposing of the Lord, he utterly overthrows without and beyond help; for in this Solomon not denying, but rather affirming that he was chosen king by the people, plainly shews that election by the people is election by God. Where it is affirm’d, that God rais’d up judges in Israel, it is not deny’d that the people elected them. The doctor is at it in Maimonides more than once, that the Divine Majesty rested upon such as were ordain’d by imposition of hands. But wheras it is affirm’d by Maimonides more often, that when the people (ecclesia dei) or congregation of Israel assembl’d, then the Divine Majesty, or the Holy Ghost rested upon them; of this he never takes any notice. The people, whether in Israel, Athens, Lacedemon, or Rome, never assembl’d for enacting of laws, or election of magistrats, without sacrifice and imploring the assistance of God, to whom when their work was perform’d, they always attributed the whole result or election: and would the doctor have Christians to allow him but a piece? for wheras God electing there had, in the sense both of Jews and Heathens, his choice of all, God electing here had, in the sense of divines, but his choice of two, which were next this or none, but that indeed where he has not the whole he has none at all. Is that then far from all truth, which the gentleman, or that which the divine has said, either in this part,Dr. H. of imposition. or where he adds, that the hundred and twenty in the text are never mention’d but once, and then it is in a parenthesis?§ 115. I will but transcribe the place.
Acts 1. 15.AND in those daysPeterstood up in the midst of the disciples, and said (the number of the names together were about an hundred and twenty) &c. Are the disciples in the parenthesis, or out of it? are they but once mention’d, and that is in a parenthesis? or are they but once number’d, and that is in a parenthesis? if a gentleman should do thus, what would they say? or, what were ill enough to be said? but to mend the text, and bring the disciples into the parenthesis, they have more ways than one; wheras the Heathen people, while the priests were willing, mix’d these dutys with devotions, divines will not suffer a Christian people upon like occasions to pray: for where it is said, They pray’d, it went before, they appointed two, and it follows, they gave out their lots; which antecedent and consequent, if the people pray’d, must be equally understood of them, and so they could be no parenthesis. Therfore pray they must not, or divines are lost. But how will they silence them? to shew you this art I must transcribe the heads of the chapter.
The apostles being return’d from Mount Olivet to Jerusalem, went up into an upper room, where abode bothPeterandJames,andJohn,andAndrew, Jamesthe son ofAlpheus,andSimon Zelotes,andJudasthe brother ofJames.
AND in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said (the number of names together were about one hundred and twenty)
MEN and brethren,
OF these men which accompany’d with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out amongst us,
MUST one be ordain’d to be a witness with us of his resurrection.
AND they appointed two, Joseph and Matthias.
AND they pray’d, and said, Thou Lord which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen.
AND they gave forth their lots, and the lot fell upon Matthias, ϗ συνϰα[Editor: illegible character]εψηφίσθη με[Editor: illegible character]ὰ τῶν ἕνδεϰα ἀϖοϛόλων.
They whom Peter acquainted that one must be ordain’d, one would verily believe were the hundred and twenty disciples, in the midst of whom he stood up, and made the proposition; and so much the rather, because this was no more than the apostles knew before, and (in all right understanding of government and sense) were already agreed upon, it being the office of the aristocracy or senat in a commonwealth (and such exactly were the apostles in the church) upon all new orders or elections to be made; first, to debate and determin by themselves, and then to propose to the chirotonia or ultimat result of the people. But divines say absolutely no, which word to make good, they appointed two, and they pray’d, and they gave forth their lots, being sentences that stand plainly together, or hunt in couples, must leap sheer over nine verses, Peter’s whole oration (which by this means is no more than a parenthesis neither) and over the hundred and twenty disciples, without touching a hair of their heads, to light plum upon the thirteenth verse, and the eleven apostles!Grotius. never man us’d his grammar so since he threw it at a pear tree! yet that Chrysostom (who understood Greec) allows of no such construction, is confefs’d by the learnedst of this opinion; and wheras they fly to the Latin fathers, that retreat is wholly cut off by David Blundel in his very learned treatise of the right of the people in the church-government.
But what do we stand upon words? are these such wherof the things to which they relate may be interpreters? or to what things can they relate but the institution of the sanhedrim by Moses? that at the institution of the sanhedrim the competitors were elected by the suffrage of the people, and from thence that the ballot of Israel consisted not only of a lot but of a suffrage too, has bin already demonstrated out of Scripture; and that the election of Matthias was by the ballot of Israel is no less apparent in itself, than fully confess’d upon the place by Grotius.
“They that under color of religion in matter of government, slight prudence, are mistaken, or do not mean honestly.Demonstration that God rever ordain’d any policy ecclesiastical or civil, but upon the principles of human prudence. Neither God nor Christ ever instituted any policy whatsoever upon any other principles than those of human prudence. The embassadors sent from the Gibeonites to Joshua deliver their message in this manner: the elders and all the inhabitants of our country spake to us, saying, go meet them, and say to them, We are your servants; therfore now make ye a league with us. They that had power to send embassadors and to make a league with a foren nation, had soverain power; this soverain power was in the elders, or senat, and in the people of Gibeon: wherfore God constituting his commonwealth for the main orders (that is to say, the senat and the people) upon the same principles on which the Gibeonites had long before built theirs, laid his foundations upon no other than human prudence.Josh. 9. 11. So for the inferior courts they were transcrib’d by Moses out of the commonwealth of Midian, upon advice of Jethro his father in law. According to such patterns was Israel fram’d, and by that of Israel this first policy of the church of Christ so exactly, as (sans comparaison) any man shall shew the commonwealth of Oceana to have bin transcrib’d out of Rome or Venice. Let them that would have the government be somwhat between earth and heaven, consider this place.
Nor is the ecclesiastical policy only subject to human prudence, but to the same vicissitudes also wherto human prudence is subject, both in her own nature, and as she is obnoxious to the state wherin she is planted, and that inavoidably; as I com now to demonstrat by the alterations which happen’d even in the age of the apostles themselves: for this at the election of Matthias being alter’d, the next form of ecclesiastical policy introduc’d in their times, is resembl’d by Grotius to that of Athens, of which, for the better clearing of what follows, it is necessary that I first say somthing by way of introduction.
Arist. 2. lib. 2. c. 10.Thethesmothetæ, being in number six, were magistrats of the highest dignity, power, and rank in Athens. These, says Aristotle, were elected by the chirotonia or suffrage of the people; and says Pollux, being elected underwent the inquisition of the senat, where they were to answer to those interrogatorys, whether they worship’d the God of their countrys? Whether they had bin dutiful to their parents? born arms for the commonwealth?Pol. [Editor: illegible character] 8. c. 9.paid dutys or taxes? in which particulars the senat being satisfy’d, they were sworn and crown’d with myrtle: which coms to this, that the ϰαταϛήσομεν) or constitution being reserv’d to the senat, the thesmothetæ were elected by the chirotonia of the people. Now tho the government of Athens throought the citys of Asia (being most of them of the like model) was most known, I will not say that the apostles wrote their orders out of Athens, but seeing all political institutions must needs be according to human prudence, and there is nothing to be written out of this but what will fall even with som other government that is or has bin, I may say, as Grotius has said before me, that the frame of church government in the insuing example was after the manner of Athens.
Second way of ordination in the church of Christ.WHEN the number of the disciples, or believers, was multiply’d, there arose a murmuring among such of the Jews as having bin bred in Alexandria or other parts, were for their language (which was Greec) partly strangers, against the Hebrews or converted Jews, that spoke their own language, as if these indeed us’d them like strangers, their widows being neglected, or not dealt so liberally withal, as those of the Hebrews in the contributions due for their constant maintenance.
Hereupon the twelve apostles, after the manner of the senat, having without all question debated the business among themselves, as appears by the speech upon which they were agreed, assembl’d the people, which is still senatorian, or call’d the multitude of the disciples to them, and said, it is not reason that we should leave preaching, or the word of God, to be taken up with this, tho charitable, nay, seeing we have introduc’d community of goods, most just and necessary imployment of providing food and cloathing for every one of our fellowship or community (the Christians in these times, much after the manner of the Lacedemonian convives, us’d to eat in publick and together) to do this as it ought to be don, were to becom caterers, and be taken up in serving tables, wherfore, brethren, (take the wise men and understanding, and known among you) look out seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost, and of wisdom ([Editor: illegible character]ς ϰαταϛήσομεν ἐπι τῆς χρειας ταυτης) whom we may appoint over this business.
THIS saying, that is, this proposition of the senat or apostles, pleas’d the whole multitude, (like that of Moses,the thing which thou hast said is good for us to do) so they choseStephen, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas,andNicolas, whom being elected, they set before the apostles, who when they had pray’d, laid their hands upon them.
What fuller demonstration can be given of any thing, than that in this example ordination and election are one and the same, that this was confer’d by the chirotonia of the people? if there be any possible way of making this clearer, it must be by opposition: wherfore let us see what divines have to say to the contrary.
GROTIUS gives us all we ask from this place, which he gives for nothing, because it concerns not the election of pastors, but of deacons. As if Stephen and Philip had not only bin preachers of the Gospel, but don miracles. What Dr. Seaman denys or grants in relation to the same, I have indeavor’d to understand, but it will not do. Dr. Hammond is so plain, that his objections may be of use. He, to prove that the ordination of these deacons was not in the chirotonia of their disciples, but in the chirothesia of the apostles, has these arguments:
THERE be two things distinctly set down, election, permitted to the people, and the (ϰαταϛήσομεν) constituting reserv’d to the apostles.
To which I answer, that there were two things set down by the Athenian law, election of the thesmothetæ by the people, and the (ϰαταϛήσομεν) constituting of them by the senat; yet that the ordination was in the power, and that the power was in the people of Athens: he that makes a doubt, is not resolv’d whether the most popular commonwealth that ever was, were a democracy.
But, says he, this looking out of men, or chusing, was permitted to the multitude by the apostles with these three bounds: first, to take seven, neither more nor fewer: secondly, those men generally known and well reputed of: and thirdly, full of the spirit, and of discretion or parts fit for government. To which I answer, that the election of the thesmothetæ was permitted by the law to the people of Athens with these three bounds; first to take six, neither more nor fewer: secondly, those generally known and reputed of: thirdly, in such estimation for their honesty and ability for government, as in their consciences (to which also they made oath) they should judg fittest for the commonwealth. Yet is all this so far from any proof that Athens was no democracy, or that the soverain power, whether in enacting of laws, or election of magistrats by the lot or the suffrage (institutions equally popular) was not in the people, that it amounts to the strongest argument that the people were soverain, and the commonwealth was democratical. Could truth desire greater advantage than redounds from such opposition? we have another example of the same model, in which because it has bin paraphras’d upon already in the introduction, I shall be briefer here.Acts 13. In the church of Antioch, where the disciples were now becom so numerous, that they began to be call’d Christians, there were among them prophets: so being assembl’d on occasion, as I conceive, of giving an extraordinary commission after the manner of the people of Athens when they elected ambassadors, or (that I may avoid strife upon a point so indifferent) to chuse two new apostles, the Holy Ghost said, separat meBarnabasandSaulfor the work wherto I have appointed them: that is (for so it is render’d by all interpreters) the Holy Ghost spake those words by the mouths of the prophets. Now the prophets being well known for such, this suffrage of theirs was no sooner given, than (as one that can allow prophets to be leading men may easily think) follow’d by all the rest of the congregation: so the whole multitude having fasted and pray’d, the most eminent among them, or the senatorian order in that church, laid their hands upon Paul and Barnabas, who being thus sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed to Seleucia.
To evade this apparent election, or chirotonia of the whole congregation, wherby these apostles or ambassadors to the churches of the Gentils were ordain’d, divines have nothing to say, but that they were elected by the Holy Ghost: as if the chirotonia of the people were more exclusive to election by the Holy Ghost, than the chirothesia of the aristocracy, for which in the mean time they contend. But if neither of these were indeed exclusive of the Holy Ghost, how is it possible in this frame (where tho of natural necessity an aristocracy must have bin included, yet the aristocracy is not in the text so much as distinguish’d from the people, or once nam’d) that the power, and so the ordination should not have bin in the people? The council of the apostles, of the elders, and of the whole church at Jerusalem, and other councils, not of apostles, nor of the whole church, in other times or places, us’d this form in their acts; it seems good to the Holy Ghost, and to us:Acts 15. 22. but dos this, whether a true or a pretended stile, exclude that act from being an act of that whole council? or how coms it to pass that because Paul and Barnabas were separated by the Holy Ghost, they were not ordain’d by the chirotonia of the whole Christian people at Antioch?
Thechirothesia can be no otherwise understood in nature, nor ever was in the commonwealth of the Jews, than election by the few: and so even under the mere chirothesia, ordination and election were not two, but one and the same thing. If Moses ordain’d Joshua his successor by the chirothesia, he elected Joshua his successor by the chirothesia; and for what reason must it be otherwise with the chirotonia? that a Pharisee could do more with one hand, or a pair of hands, than a Christian church or congregation can do with all their hands, is a doctrin very much for the honor of the true religion, and a soverain maxim of ecclesiastical policy.
Third way of ordination in the church of Christ. Grot. adThe third constitution of church-government in Scripture (whether consisting of bishops or presbyters, between which at this time a man shall hardly find a difference) runs wholly upon the aristocracy, without mention of the people, and is therfore compar’d by Grotius to the sanhedrim of Israel, as that came to be in these days; from whence divines also generally and truly confess that it was taken up:1 Tim. 4. 14. to which I shall need to add no more, than that it is an order for which there is no precept, either in the Old Testament of God, or in the New Testament of Christ. This therfore thus taken up by the apostles from the Jews, is a clear demonstration that the government of the church, in what purity soever of the times, nay, tho under the inspection of the apostles themselves, has bin obnoxious to that of the state wherin it was planted. The sanhedrim, from the institution of the chirothesia, for a constant order, consisted of no other senators than such only as had bin ordain’d by the imposition of hands; which came now to be confer’d by the prince, in the presence, or with the assistance of the sanhedrim.Grot. ad Mat. 19. 13. The same order was observ’d by the Jewish synagogues, of which each had her archon; nor would the Jews converted to the Christian faith, relinquish the law of Moses, wherto this way of ordination, among other things, tho erroneously, was vulgarly attributed: whence in the church, where it consisted of converted Jews, ordination was confer’d by the archon, or first in order of the presbytery, with the assistance of the rest. Hence Paul, in one place, exhorts Timothy thus:1 Tim. 4. 14.Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. And in another thus:2 Tim. 1. 6.Wherfore I put thee in remembrance, that thou stir up the gift of God which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
I grant divines, that ordination by this time was wholly in the presbytery; what say they then to the distinction of ordination and election? are these still two distinct things, or may we hence, at least, compute them to be one and the same? if they say yes, why then might they not have bin so before? if they say no, who, in this place, but the presbytery, elected? why, says Dr. Hammond, it is plain that the spirit of prophecy elected.§. 106. But to give account of no more than is already perform’d, were the spirit of history rather than of prophecy, to which it appertains to tell things before they be don; as did the prophets now living in this church, that Timothy should com to be ordain’d: so the place is interpreted by Grotius: and how it should be otherwise understood I cannot see. But putting the case som act preceded, as Saul and David were elected kings by prophecy; yet did ever man say that for this Saul or David were any whit the less elected kings by the people? to the contrary in every well-order’d commonwealth (a jove principium) the disposing of the lot, and of the suffrage too, has universally bin attributed to God.
§. 134.The piety of divines in persuading the people that God elects for them, and therfore they need not trouble themselves to vote, is as if they should persuade them that God provides their daily bread, and therfore they need not trouble themselves to work. To conclude this point with Dr. Hammond’s own words upon the same occasion; this distinction of ordination and election is in divines the procreative mistake, or ignorance producing all the rest.§. 111.
The reason why Paul ordain’d now after this manner among the Jews, is to me an irrefragable argument that he ordain’d not after this manner among the Gentils: for wheras the first ordination in the Christian church, namely that of Matthias, was perform’d by the chirotonia, which by degrees came now in complacence with the Jews to the chirothesia; it seems he was contented not to alter the worst of political institutions or customs, where he found them confirm’d by long and universal practice: and if so, why should any man think that he would go about to alter, or weed out the best, where they had taken like root? that this administration of the Jews was of the very worst, is clear in the nature of the politics, there being no example of a pure aristocracy or of a senat, such as was now the sanhedrim, without a popular balance, that ever govern’d with justice, or was of any continuance. Nor was the chirothesia, by which means this work came to effect in Israel, introduc’d by the prudence of God, but by the corrupt arts of men. Now that the governments at the same time of the Gentils, all balanc’d by the chirotonia of the people, were in their nature more excellent, and indeed more accommodated to ancient prudence, as it was introduc’d by God himself in the commonwealth of Israel, has bin already sufficiently prov’d: nevertheless, to refresh your memory with one example more,
CRETE having bin (as is affirm’d by the consent of authors) the most ancient, and the most excellent commonwealth in human story, was founded by Rhadamanthus and Minos, an age before the Trojan war: these were held to have learnt their arts by familiar discourse with Jupiter, and from point to point to have fram’d their model according to his direction.Epitome of the commonwealth of Crete. Nor, tho’ all acknowlege Minos to have bin a king, did he found his government upon any other than a popular balance, or a fundamental regard to the liberty of the people: for the whole commonwealth was made up of these three parts, the college, the senat, and the people. The college consisted of the annual magistrats call’d the cosmi: these had the whole extentive power, som in leading forth the armies, and others in judging the people; which functions were accordingly assign’d by the orders to each in particular. That which was common to them all, was to propose such things as they had debated or prepar’d in their college or council, to the senat. The senat being elective for life, was the council, to which appertain’d the debate of whatever was to be propos’d to the congregation. The congregation, or assembly of the people of Crete, had not the right of debate; but in enacting of laws, and election of magistrats, had the ultimate result of the commonwealth. Such was the copy after which Lycurgus wrote himself so famous a legislator. And thus stood this frame to the six hundred and eighth year of Rome; when this people, having bin too favourable to pirates then infesting those seas, turn’d the arms of the Romans upon themselves; and by these, under the conduct of Quinctus Metellus, thence call’d Creticus,Crete was made a province: tho’ the chief cities being first freed, it should seem (by Cicero’s second oration against Antony) that the whole island was at length restor’d to her ancient liberty. However by the manner observ’d by the Romans, as was shewn, in provincial government, the cities under their magistrats (who while the commonwealth was a province perhaps might have exercis’d the office of the cosmi) were not yet depriv’d of their popular assemblies, at least in their distinct cities, electing all magistrats for their (ἀυ[Editor: illegible character]ονομία) peculiar or domestic government. Such was the state of Crete, when Paul, having appeal’d from the Jews to Cæsar, and being thereupon conducted by sea towards Rome, touch’d in his way upon this island, where he left Titus to constitute elders of every city. The word (ϰαταϛήϛης) constitute, our divines will have to signify ordain by imposition of hands, and imposition of hands to signify an act of power excluding the people. But why Paul, who among the Jews had comply’d with their customs, should injoin; or how Titus, had it bin so injoin’d, should accomplish this where the power was popular, they have not shewn nor consider’d. To introduce religion or government there be but two ways, either by persuasion, or by force. To persuade the people of Crete, in whom was the power, to this new way of ordination, Titus must have spoken to this effect: Men of Crete, Minosbeing a king, could not chuse but have a natural inclination to popular power; wherfore his pretence thatJupitertold him, power was to be in the people, may be suspected to have bin imagin’d merely for his own ends: or this is a certain sign thatJupiteris no true, but a feign’d God; seeing the true God will have itthat the people should have no power at all, but that such, upon whom his ambassadors shall confer power, be without all dispute obey’d. How! are you starting at this! are you solicitous for your commonwealth! it is true, that upon carnal principles or human prudence, without power in the people there can be no commonwealth: but Israel was a commonwealth without power in the people; whereMosesmade all the laws by the power invested in him by God, and created all the magistrats, not by popular suffrage, but by his chirothesia. Wherfore, men of Crete, know ye, that on whomsoever I lay my hands, the same is in all spiritual affairs, or matters of church-government, to be obey’d by you, after the same manner that you have hitherto obey’d such magistrats or priests as have bin ordain’d by your own election, or chirotonia. Of what other nature the arguments of Titus to the pretended purpose could have bin, I am not able to imagine; nor how this should have done less than provoke the people to a dangerous jealousy of such a doctrine. But divines, to set all streight, think it enough to repeat the words of Paul to Titus in Greec:Tit. 1. 5.For this cause left I thee in Crete (ἵνα ϰαταϛήσης πόλιν ϖρεσϐυτέϱȣς) that thou shouldst ordain elders in every city.De Corona. It is true that Demosthenes speaks somwhat like words concerning the expedition of Philip of Macedon in Peloponnesus (ἐϖειδὴ τυραννȣς ἐχεῖνος ἐν ταύταις ταις ϖόλεσι ϰατέϛησε) when he had ordain’d tyrants in every city: but then Philip had an army; what army did Paul leave with Titus? or if he ordain’d his elders neither of these two ways, I see no other than that only by the known and legal chirotonia or suffrage of the people. But if this be clear, the clergy com from Crete, not upon the wings of Titus, but of Icarus, whose ambitious wax is dissolv’d by the sun.
So much, I conceive, is now discover’d concerning church-government, as may shew that it was not of one, but of three kinds, each obnoxious to the nature of the civil government under which it was planted; in as much as the chirotonia, or ballot of Israel, being first introduc’d pure, and without any mixture, as at the ordination of Matthias, came afterwards to receive some mixture of the chirothesia, as in the ordination of Stephen; and last of all by excluding the people, to degenerat wholly into the chirothesia of the presbytery, as in the ordination of Timothy: all this by the testimony of Scripture, and in the purest times, even the age of the apostles. Whence my undertaking to shew that as Christ intended his doctrin should be preach’d to all nations, so he intended his disciplin should be such as might sute with any government (as indeed, if the choice of any of these three be lawful, it dos exactly) is, I hope, perform’d. For where the government is popular, it is the same with the first; where it is aristocratical or monarchical, it agrees with the last; and where it is mix’d, it is between both, and responsible to the second. Of these three in the farther exercise of their natural and intended compliance with human prudence, it may be convenient to give som fuller exemplification.
That any other ordination than that of the first kind for the original authority or practice of it, whether in the commonwealth of Israel or in the church of Christ, and indeed for the prerogative of the same in nature, should have bin introduc’d by the apostles, where it might, much less where the nature of the civil policy would admit of no other, is neither probable by Scripture nor reason; whence it is that in the citys of Lycaonia and Pisidia, the government of these being then popular, we do not find any mention at all of the chirothesia, the apostles in these places (χειροτονήσαντες πρεσβυτέρȣς ϰατ’ ἐϰϰλησίαν) chirotonizing elders in every congregation.
To evade this place, our adversarys turn tail to the things, and make their whole flight at the words. In taking one of them into the disputation, I shall take in all, for they run all upon the same quotations, or with little additions.
§ 3.THAT the word chirotonizing, says Dr. Hammond,in this place signifies no more than ordaining by the imposition of hands, is not so generally acknowleg’d by late writers, but that it may be useful to give som few testimonies out of those writers which were nearest the times of the Scripture. ThusPhilo JudæusofJoseph (ϐασιλέως ὕϖαϱχος εχειροτονε̃ιτο) he was ordain’d governor of all Egypt under the king. So again ofMoses (ἡγεμών εχειροτονε̃ιτο) he was constituted their ruler. So ofAaron’ssons (ἱερεῖς ἐχειροτόνει God constituted them priests.Alexanderson ofAntiochus Epiphaneswrites toJonathan (χειροτον[Editor: illegible character]μέν σε αρχιερέα) we (in the regal stile) constitute thee high priest.Joseph A[Editor: illegible character] l. 13. c. 5.Luciansays ofHephestion (Θεὸν χειϱοτονῆσαι τὸν τετελευτηϰότα) thatAlexandermade him a God when he was dead.Appian (which is added out of Grotius, whence most of the rest is taken) to signify election of magistrats made by the Roman emperors, uses no other word; and later writers speak of som that were chirotoniz’d emperors by their fathers. For the use of the word among Christian writers, take one place in the author of the constitutions for many;Clementafter the death ofLinus (ϰεχειροτόνηται) was ordain’d bishop of Rome byPeter.L. 7. c. 45.But what need any more?Christ’sdisciples are said (ϖϱοϰεχειροτονημένοι ὑϖὸ τ[Editor: illegible character] Θε[Editor: illegible character]) design’d or foreconstituted by God the witnesses of his resurrection:Acts 10. 41. by all which that of Paul and Barnabas (χειροτονήσαντες πρεσϐυτέρȣς ϰατ’ εϰϰλησίαν) is but constituting or creating elders in every church. Wherfore they that have look’d so far back to the original, as to think it necessary to render the word create by suffrages, are sure guilty of a very impertinent nicety. I promise you had this bin against one of our doctors, it might have bin a rude charge; but it is only against Erasmus, Beza, Diodati, and such as took upon them to translate the Switz, French, Italian, Belgic, and (till the episcopal correction) the English bibles. And what apparent cause is there of such confidence? what necessity is there even in the places alleg’d why the word chirotonia should be understood in the sense impos’d? the people of Egypt, till having sold their lands they came to lose their popular balance, were not servants to Pharaoh; wherfore when Joseph was made governor over all Egypt they were free: now that a king should make a governor of a free people without their consent, or som advice as we say of his parlament, is altogether improbable, the rather because a protector, in the absence or minority of the king, has bin no otherwise made in England, nor pretends the present protector to any other title than the like chirotonia. But that Moses is said by the same author (who affirm’d that he introduc’d the chirotonia in Israel) to have bin chirotoniz’d ruler of the people, can in my judgment be no otherwise than originally and literally taken, seeing God himself was no otherwise made king in Israel than by the suffrage of the people. That the like must be understood of the sons of Aaron has been already shewn. The doctor is the first has told me, that the plural number for the royal stile is so ancient as Epiphanes:De Cor. sure I am it was not deriv’d from his Macedonian predecessors, for in the letters to the Athenians and the Thebans recited by Demosthenes, Philip of Macedon writes in the singular number. But the letters of Epiphanes to Jonathan must it seems import that he at single hand (tho’ the words carry double) had chirotoniz’d a high priest of the Jews: who can help it? some princes have not only given out that their priests have been chirotoniz’d when they were not, but that themselves have bin chirotoniz’d when there was no such matter. When a prince says that he was chirotoniz’d or elected by the people, to talk of rhetoric is to have none. Divines in this case commonly understand it to be proper, or literally meant; for to impose a new sense is to spoil the word; and spoil the word, spoil the prince. Lucian is a drol, and intends a jest, but not so good a one, as that he of all others should come nearest to help up with a hierarchy. For the chirotonia, or election of the Roman magistrats by the suffrage of the people or of the army, every man knows that it is literal: Suidas himself interpreting the word by this very example; where he affirms it to signify election or ratification by the many. The quotation out of the constitutions, with those of Bishop Bilson, and others out of the Greek fathers, and out of councils, do not only imply the word chirotonia, but the thing, while they all relate to that kind of ordination, which being in those churches yet administer’d as at the ordination of Stephen, was not conferr’d without the consent of the people. But it is above all, that labouring to prove the chirotonia and the chirothesia to be the same thing, they should rely most upon the place where the apostles are said (ϖϱοϰεχειϱο[Editor: illegible character]ονημένοι ὑϖὸ τ[Editor: illegible character] Θε[Editor: illegible character]) to have bin forechirotoniz’d by God; as if it were clear in this, that God ordain’d the apostles by the laying on of hands, for so it must be understood, or it makes no more for them than for us. Or if they mean it only to shew that the word chirotonia or suffrage is us’d for some ordination that cannot be taken in our sense; so the word chirothesia (ἐπὶ θεσις χειϱῶν) or laying on of hands, where Ananias being neither bishop nor presbyter, but only a disciple, that is, a Christian, lays his hands upon Paul, is us’d for some ordination that cannot be taken in their sense; or a man not ordain’d may ordain as well as they: for to say that the call was extraordinary, where the like is, or is pretended, will avail little. But there is no need that we should go so near the wind; wherfore to give them all these places in their own sense, even till we come to the cities in question What word in any language is not somtimes, nay frequently, us’d in some other than the proper sense? With what elegance, if this be forbidden, can any man write or speak? Is a word like a woman, that being taken with a metaphor, it can never be restor’d to the original virtue? If chirotonia has, as divines pretend, lost all other but their signification, how shall we understand it in Isaiah, or where Paul speaks it of the brother (χειρο[Editor: illegible character]ονηθέν[Editor: illegible character]α ὑϖὸ τῶν εϰϰλησ[Editor: illegible character]ῶν) chirotoniz’d, or chosen by the churches?2 Cor. 8. 19. Certainly in this one place at least it is of our sense, and in the word ϖϱοϰεχειρο[Editor: illegible character]ονημένοι it is but once yet in all the New Testament of any other; so that if we gain the place in controversy, we have it twice of our sense in Scripture for once not in theirs, but in any other: and in human authors, they will not so much as pretend to have it once for them for a hundred times for us; which is pretty well for the vindication of the property of one word, and somwhat more perhaps than can be don for another. But in the sense of words that are somtimes properly and somtimes improperly taken, may we admit of the things wherof they are spoken for interpreters? Or if lillys and roses have bin almost as often said of ladys cheeks, must we understand them no otherwise when we are speaking of gardens?
Yes, says Dr. Hammond, and therfore to say of the apostles Paul and Barnabas, that they created elders by their own suffrages, is no more than to say that they, jointly did create, and indeed being but two, there could be no place for suffrages; and to assirm they did it by the suffrages of others, is not agreeable to the pretended use of the word; for where it is us’d of chusing by suffrages, as when the people are said to chirotonize, it is certain that their own, and not others suffrages, are meant by it.
His own words to Mr. Hobbs.IT were hardly possible to have contriv’d a greater number of affirmations in so small a compass, nor to have gone farther in them from all truth. Phrases, as words, are to be understood according to the rule and law of speech, which is use:§ 118. and thus that the apostles created elders by their own suffrages, is not said; that they did it by the suffrage of others, is necessarily imply’d; as also that the people are understood to chirotonize as well when it is said of the presidents of their assemblys, as of themselves.
Diruit, ædificat, mutat quadrata rotundis.
When a man is said to build a house, or marry a daughter, he is not understood to be the mason, or the bridegroom: but the apostles built churches in these citys; therfore the people were not the masons. The apostles marry’d Christ to these nations; therfore the people gave not their consent or suffrage; what a construction were this in ordinary discourse or writing, and yet in the language, as I may say, of a commonwealth the phrase is more usual.De Coron. How often dos Demosthenes speak of his laws (see my psephisma, peruse my law) and those of other privat men? after which copy the parte, or laws in the commonwealth of Venice, are call’d by the names of the proposers as were those of Rome, Rupilia, Cornelia, Trebonia; in which manner we have Poyning’s law, and som statutes bearing no other stile than enacted by the king’s most excellent majesty, which nevertheless are known to have bin all enacted by the parlament. Thus the laws of Moses, Rhadamanthus, Minos, Lycurgus, Solon, Romulus, king Edward, were (leges et consuetudines quas vulgus elegerit) such as the people had confirm’d or chosen by their chirotonia. But they may say, granting you this use of speech in relation to laws, what have you of this kind for elections? The exception is nice, but to leave none:
The high sherifs in England proposing to their countys the names of such as stand, are said to elect parlament-men. They that thus propose competitors to the great council in Venice are call’d electors, and said to elect the magistrats. The proedri, certain magistrats to whom it belong’d to put the question in the representative of the people of Athens, consisting of one thousand, were said (διαχειρο[Editor: illegible character]ονίαν ϖοιεῖν) to give or make the suffrage.Demost. cont. The thesmothetæ, who were presidents at the creation of magistrats, were said (ϛρα[Editor: illegible character]εγ[Editor: illegible character]ς χειρο[Editor: illegible character]ονεῖν) to chirotonize the generals.Timocrat.Josephus renders those words of God to Samuel,Hearken to the voice of the people (ϰελεύω δή σε χειρο[Editor: illegible character]ονεῖν αυ[Editor: illegible character]οῖς βασιλέα) I command thee to chirotonize them a king;Pol. l. 8. c. 8. which author vindicating Luke for his understanding both of the Grecian customs, and property of speech, at each of which he was expert,Ant. l. 6. c. 4. com up to the full and genuin interpretation of the place in controversy, where Paul and Barnabas (χειρο[Editor: illegible character]ονήσαν[Editor: illegible character]ες αυ[Editor: illegible character]οῖς ϖρεσϐυ[Editor: illegible character]έρȣς ϰατ’ εϰϰλησίαν) chirotonizing them elders in every congregation, can be no otherwise understood than that they here, as Moses at the institution of the sanhedrim, Samuel at the election of the king, the proedri at the passing of laws, the thesmothetæ at the creation of magistrats, the electors in the great council of Venice, and the high sherifs in the countys of England, were no more than presidents of that chirotonia, which was given or made by the suffrage of the people.
Wherfore the Greec is thus render’d by these several translations of the Bible.
That of Zurich,
WHEN they had created them elders by suffrages in every congregation.
That of Beza,
WHEN they had created them elders by suffrages in every congregation.
WHEN by the advice of the assemblys they had establish’d elders.
WHEN by the advice of the congregation they had constituted them elders.
That of Diodati,
WHEN they had ordain’d them in every church by the common votes of the elders.
That appointed by the synod of Dort,
WHEN in each church, by the holding up of hands, they had elected presbyters.
That us’d in England from the time of the Reformation till the Episcopal correction of the same,
WHEN they had ordain’d them elders by election in every congregation.
Indeed the circumstance of the place forbids any other construction of the words, for if the suffrage or chirotonia (which were scarce sense) related to the apostles only, what needed they have don that in every congregation or church, which they might have don in any chamber or closet? The circumstance of the action forbids any other construction; for the people were assembl’d upon occasion of election or creation of officers, which thing dos not use to be don in assemblys gather’d for divine service: besides, these congregations were not always of one mind, but sometimes for sacrificing to the apostles, somtimes for stoning them, which are acts of power; wherfore they were political assemblys. Now these consisting also of a people, that had in their citys (quandam ἀυ[Editor: illegible character]ονομίαν) the government of themselves, hence arises the strongest circumstance of all, forbidding any interpretation of the text that might exclude them from election of their own magistrats, priests, or ecclesiastical elders, such as had bin the Asiarchs, tho heathen prelats, yet remember’d by the Scripture as affectionat friends to Paul; or such as were those, tho to a better end, now ordain’d by the apostles.Acts 19. 3[Editor: illegible character] Wherfore Grotius, notwithstanding all the arts he uses in other places to avoid this sense, giving this note upon the text, yields, Tho chirotonizing may be said of any election made by one, or by the few; yet to the election in this place it is probable that the consent of the people was given, no less being imply’d in the beginning of the chapter, where the multitude believ’d, where they were stir’d up, where they were evil affected, and where part held with the Jews, and part with the apostles: which shews that the people were active in the business. But says Dr. Seaman,There is difference between the consent of the people, and the power of the people: which is not to understand the case in controversy, nor to take notice that the people wherof we are speaking were under popular government; for wherever the people are under popular government, between that which is don by their consent, and that which is don (jussu populi) by their power, there is no difference. How should the people give their consent, but by their suffrage? or what difference, where they have power, can there be between the suffrage, and the power of the people?
Dr. HAMMOND upon this point is far more quaint: where the Scripture says, that the multitude were evil affected, and where part held with the Jews, and part with the apostles, he thinks it e’en like enough: but where it is said that a great multitude of the Jews, and also of the Greecs believ’d, he seems to have no opinion of it:§ 134.for, says he, It is evident that believers were at first but few in every town or city; they were not whole corporations at once converted, nor consequently could they act in a common capacity: but as Clemens Romanus says, they that were by the apostles constituted bishops and deacons in several citys and regions, were constituted over those that should after believe, there were oft so few at the present. And then, as fast as any did com into the faith, they readily submitted themselves to those by and under whom they did com in, and were not at all troubled (honest men) with the consultation or deliberation about the way of electing their teachers and guides.
Com away, to leave the Scripture a while, and follow Clemens; be it so for discourse sake, that in those days there was no where any such thing as a great multitude believing, much less whole states or commonwealths at once converted, wherby they might still act in a common capacity, but only som privat or gather’d congregations or churches; and that in such it was the apostles Paul and Barnabas chirotoniz’d: yet these, as they were found, or as afterwards they came to be made, must of necessity have bin corporations; for what can a number of men coming into a society regulated by certain laws, constitutions, or form, be but a corporation? Som ecclesiastical policy or disciplin they must have had; and that probably, seeing the greatest legislators, even Moses himself, have written after copys, according to som pattern: what was this pattern, and whence came it?
§ 125.Why, says he, not from their heathen customs, but from the metropolis; for it must be remember’d, that whersoever the gospel was preach’d, it came originally from Jerusalem; and then, as Agrippa in Philo says of that city, it was the metropolis, not only of Judea, but many other regions, because of the colonys thence sent into Egypt, Phenice, and both the Syrias; nay, to Pamphylia, Cilicia, and a great part of Asia, as far as Bithynia, and Pontus.§ 135. So in reason the churches in Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, where Paul and Barnabas ordain’d elders, were to follow the pattern at Jerusalem; and there, we know, it was not by the suffrage of the people, that an elder was assum’d into the sanhedrim, but the prince or head of the sanhedrim receiv’d him in by imposition of hands. It will be much more reasonable to reduce the circumstances of ordaining elders from the customs familiar to them that preach’d the faith to them, than from the former usages of them to whom it was preach’d, who were not to dispute, but to believe, and receive the institutions as well as doctrins which were brought them.
These, methinks, are strange arguments: the gospel came to us from Rome, is Rome therfore the metropolis of England? It is true Agrippa being a Jew, and writing to Caligula in the behalf of the Jews, not of the Christians, tells him, That Jerusalem is the metropolis of the Jews, and of all their colonys; so is London of the English, and of all their colonys:Philo de legatione ad C[Editor: illegible character]ium but dos it follow from hence that either Jerusalem or London is the metropolis of Christendom? But the Jews had many colonys in Asia; and therfore the churches of Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, were to follow the pattern at Jerusalem. The Jews indeed had synagogs in Iconium and Lystra, as the French have churches in England; but is this a good argument, The French have churches in England, therfore the English are to follow the orders of the French church? The Jews withstood the gospel at Iconium; for, says the text, the multitude of the city was divided, and part held with the Jews, and part with the apostles:Acts 14. 4. therfore the believing Iconians must have acknowledg’d Jerusalem to be their metropolis, and were to follow the pattern of that city: And what was that? Why there we know it was not by the suffrages of the people that an elder was assum’d into the sanhedrim, but the prince or head of the sanhedrim receiv’d him in by imposition of hands. The government of the Iconians was popular, that of the Jews was aristocratical; therfore the Iconians receiving the Christian faith, were bound to change their democracy into aristocracy. The apostles, to comply with an oligarchy, had alter’d that ordination, which originally (as at the election of Matthias) was popular, to aristocracy; therfore being now to plant the gospel in a free state, they might not alter it from aristocracy to democracy. To please the Jews they might change for the worse; therfore to please the Iconians they might not change for the better, but must tell the people plainly, That they were not to dispute, but to believe, and receive the institutions as well as doctrins that were brought them from the metropolis. How would this sound to a people that understood themselves?
Sic volo, sic jubeo, stat pro ratione voluntas.
The right temper of a metropolitan, to whom popular power is a heathen custom, and with whom nothing will agree but princeing of it in the senat: but with the apostles it was otherwise, who making no words of the chirothesia where it was needless, were glad of this occasion to chirotonize, or elect them elders in every congregation by popular suffrage. But this, they will say, is not to come off from the haunt, but to run still upon the people in a common or public capacity. Tho the Scripture speaks of great multitudes believing, believe it there is no such thing: Clemens says they were very few, their assemblys privat, and very scanty things. As privat as they were by the judgment of divines, they were, it seems, to receive from their pattern (if that were the sanhedrim) a form that was public enough; and why might not they have receiv’d this from that public form wherto they were accustom’d, rather than from a foren policy, and one contrary to their customs? Why should they suffer such power in new and privat, as they would not indure in their old and public magistrats? Or, if they receiv’d the Scriptures, why should they chuse that ordination which would fit them worst, rather than that which would fit them best, that of Timothy rather than that of Matthias? Or, let their assemblys have bin never so privat or scanty, yet if the apostles chirotoniz’d them elders in every congregation, is it not demonstrable that they did receive that of Matthias, and not that of Timothy?
Thus much for the propagation of the pure, or first kind of ecclesiastical policy to the citys of Lycaonia. The mix’d or second kind into which (the Christian presbytery delighting to follow the steps of the Jewish) the former might soon degenerat, continu’d in the primitive church, to speak with the least (for Walleus brings it down to Charles the Great) three hundred years after Christ:§ 138. which assertion in Mr. Hobbs, prov’d out of Ammianus Marcellinus, Dr. Hammond has either willingly overseen, or includes in this answer, it is most visibly void of allappearance of truth. Wherfore to the quotation mention’d I shall add the words of Platina: Damasusthe second, by nation a Bavarian, sirnam’dBagniarius,or as som willPopo,possess’d himself of the papacy by force, and without consent of the clergy and of the people. Now what can be clearer than that by this place the clergy and the people had hitherto a right to elect the pope? The doctor coms near the word of defiance to Mr. Hobbs, in a matter of fact so apparent to any judgment, that I need not add what gos before in the life of Clement the second; where the emperor engages the people of Rome not to meddle with the election of the pope without his express command: nor what follows after in Leo the ninth, where the whole power of election was now confer’d by the emperor upon the clergy. Again, Victorthe second, says the same author, obtain’d the papacy rather by favor of the emperor, than by free suffrages of the clergy and the people of Rome, who apprehended the power of the emperor, whose displeasure they had somtime incurr’d by creating popes. So then the people, it is clear, had hitherto created the popes. The power of election thus in the whole clergy came afterwards, as at this day, to be restrain’d to the cardinals only; and so to devolve into the third kind of ordination exactly correspondent to the sanhedrim, and their chirothesia, as it was exercis’d among the converted Jews, when Timothy was ordain’d by the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
Now this is that with which, of all others, divines are so inamor’d, that they will not indure it should be said there is any other: it is also propitious above all the rest to monarchy, as that which, according to the inherent nature or impotence of oligarchy, must have a prince at home or abroad to rest upon, or becom the inevitable prey of the people. Herein lys the arcanum or secret of that antipathy which is between a clergy and a popular government, and of that sympathy which is between the miter and the crown. A prince receiving a clergy with the monopoly of their chirothesia, has no more to do than to make a metropolitan, by whom he governs them, and by them the people, especially if he indows them with good revenues; for so they becom an estate of his realm, and a more steddy pillar of his throne than his nobility themselves, who, as their dependence is not so strong, are of a more stirring nature. This is the Gothic model, from which we had our pattern, and in which No bishop, no king.
Thus for the dignity of ecclesiastical policy, whether in Scripture or human prudence, popular government, you see, is naturally inclin’d to the very best, and the spiritual aristocracy to the very worst. It is also remarkable that the political balance extends itself to the decision of the question about ordination: for as a people never offer’d to dispute with a well-balanc’d clergy, so a clergy dismounted never gain’d any thing by disputing with the people. As to the question of empire or government (I propheti disarmati Rovivano) the apostles became all things to all.
His own words to Mr. Hobbs. § 122.THUS beyond all measure improsperous are this divine’s undertakings against Mr. Hobbs, and the undertakings of divines upon this subject.
Advertisement to the Reader, or Direction to the Answerer.
THE answer of this book must ly in proving that the apostles, at the several times and places mention’d, introduc’d but one way of ordination, and that the same to which divines now pretend: or if the apostles divided, that is to say, introduc’d divers ways of ordination, then the people or magistrat may chuse.
I have taken the more leisure and pains to state, I think, all the cases of controversy that can arise out of the commonwealth of Oceana, as you have seen in these two books, to the end I may be no more oblig’d to write, and yet not omit writing on any occasion that shall be offer’d; for if my principles be overthrown (which when I see, I shall most ingenuously confess with thanks to the author) such an acknowlegement will ly in a little room; and this failing, I am deceiv’d if I shall not now be able to shew any writer against me that his answer is none, within the compass of three or four sheets.
This also will be the fittest way for boys-play, with which I am sure enough to be entertain’d by the quibling university-men; I mean a certain gang of ’em, who having publicly vanted that they would bring 40 examples against the balance, and since laid their caps together about it, have not produc’d one. These vants of theirs offering prejudice to truth and good principles, were the cause why they were indeed press’d to shew som of their skill; not that they were thought fit judges of these things, but first that they had declar’d themselves so, and next that they may know they are not.
An Answer to three Objections against Popular Government, that were given me after these two Books were printed.
Object. 1.MONARCHICAL government is more natural, because we see even in commonwealths that they have recourse to this, as Lacedemon in her kings; Rome both in her consuls and dictators; and Venice in her dukes.
Answer.Government, whether popular or monarchical, is equally artificial; wherfore to know which is more natural, we must consider what piece of art coms nearest to nature: as for example, whether a ship or a house be the more natural; and then it will be easy to resolve that a ship is the more natural at sea, and a house at land. In like manner where one man or a few men are the landlords, a monarchy must doubtless be the more natural; and where the whole people are the landlords, a commonwealth: for how can we understand that it should be natural to a people, that can live of themselves, to give away the means of their livelihood to one or a few men that they may serve or obey; each government is equally artificial in effect, or in it self; and equally natural in the cause, or the matter upon which it is founded.
A commonwealth consists of the senat proposing, the people resolving, and the magistracy executing; so the power of the magistrats (whether kings as in Lacedemon, consuls as in Rome, or dukes as in Venice) is but barely executive: but to a monarch belongs both the result, and execution too; wherfore that there have bin dukes, consuls, or kings in commonwealths (which were quite of another nature) is no argument that monarchical government is for this cause the more natural.
And if a man shall instance in a mix’d government, as king and parlament; to say, that the king in this was more natural than the parlament, must be a strange affirmation.
To argue from the Roman dictator (an imperfection which ruin’d that commonwealth, and was not to be found in any other) that all commonwealths have had the like recourse in exigences to the like remedy, is quite contrary to the universal testimony of prudence or story.
A man who considers that the commonwealth of Venice has stood one thousand years (which never any monarchy did) and yet shall affirm that monarchical government is more natural than popular, must affirm that a thing which is less natural may be more durable and permanent than a thing that is more natural.
Whether is a government of laws less natural than a government of men; or is it more natural to a prince to govern by laws or by will? compare the violences and bloody rapes perpetually made upon the crown, or royal dignity in the monarchys of the Hebrews and the Romans, with the state of the government under either commonwealth, and tell me which was less violent, or whether that which is more violent must therfore be more natural.
Object. 2.THE government of heaven is a monarchy, so is the government of hell.
Answer.IN this, says Machiavel,princes lose themselves and their empire, that they neither know how to be perfectly good, nor intirely wicked. He might as well have said, that a prince is always subject to error and misgovernment, because he is a man, and not a God, nor a devil. A shepherd to his flock, a plowman to his team, is a better nature; and so not only an absolute prince, but as it were a God. The government of a better or of a superior nature, is to a worse or inferior as the government of God. The Creator is another and a better nature than the creature; the government in heaven is of the Creator over his creatures, that have their whole dependence upon him, and subsistence in him. Where the prince or the few have the whole lands, there is somwhat of dependence resembling this; so the government there must of necessity be monarchical or aristocratical: but where the people have no such dependence, the causes of that government which is in heaven are not in earth; for neither is the prince a distinct or better nature than the people, nor have they their subsistence in him, and therfore there can be no such effect. If a man were good as God, there is no question but he would be not only a prince but a God; would govern by love, and be not only obey’d but worship’d: or if he were ill as the devil, and had as much power to do mischief, he would be dreaded as much, and so govern by fear. To which latter, the nature of man has so much nearer approaches, that tho we never saw upon earth a monarchy like that of heaven, yet it is certain the perfection of the Turkish policy lys in this, that it coms nearest to that of hell.
Object. 3.GOD instituted a monarchy, namely in Melchizedec, before he instituted a commonwealth.
Answer.If Melchizedec was a king, so was Abraham too; tho’ one that paid him tithes, or was his subject; for Abraham made war, or had the power of the sword, as the rest of the fathers of familys he fought against. So if Canaan was a monarchy in those days, it was such a one as Germany is in these; where the princes also have as much the right of the sword as the emperor, which coms rather (as has bin shewn already) to a commonwealth. But whether it were a monarchy or a commonwealth, we may see by the present state of Germany that it was of no very good example; nor was Melchizedec otherwise made a king by God than the emperor, that is, as an ordinance of man.
THE ART OF LAWGIVING:
The First, shewing the Foundations and Superstructures of all kinds of Government.
The Second, shewing the Frames of the Commonwealths of Israel, and of the Jews.
The Third, shewing a Model fitted to the present State, or Balance of this Nation.