Front Page Titles (by Subject) The INTRODUCTION, OR FIRST CHAPTER. - The Oceana and Other Works
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The INTRODUCTION, OR FIRST CHAPTER. - 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 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.