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part of Appended Note D which deals with Canon xiii of Ancyra; and where he has not re-written, revising and bringing up to date the patristic material; besides verifying most of the references, whether to ancient or modern authorities, throughout the book. Of course this does not make him responsible for the argument of the book or the opinions expressed, though I believe they are in substantial agreement with his own, but it does give the book, especially on the historical and critical side, a quite new value, such as no work of mine could ever have had of itself.

There are certain omissions which I should like to explain. A volume written for the first time to-day would have more about Rudolph Sohm's Kirchenrecht and his Wesen und Ursprung des Katholizismus and

about Dr. Lindsay's The Church and the Ministry in the Early Centuries (Hodder and Stoughton, 1905). But while I hope this volume takes account of what those great writers have said, I have not enlarged it by detailed criticism of their views, because I have done this in Orders and Unity (John Murray), p. 77 ff., p. 104 ff. Sohm's views

. are also examined and criticized in the important volume of Essays just alluded to,-in Essay I on Early Conceptions of the Church by Dr. Mason.

The second essay in the same volume, on the Primitive Ministry, by Dr. Armitage Robinson, is very valuable for its criticism of the idea of a threefold ministry of Apostles, Prophets, and Teachers, which belonged to the Church universal at the beginning and is to be distinguished from the local ministry of


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presbyters, bishops, and deacons as being charismatic' (pp. 60-79). With this criticism I entirely concur. The local ministry was equally charismatic,' for every member of the body had his 'charisma.' But I cannot but feel that Dr. Robinson underrates the evidence for the existence of an order of prophets clothed with an authority only short of apostolic.' I think the evidence of Acts xiii. 1-3, 1 Cor. xii. 28, Eph. ii. 20, Eph. iv. II, coupled with the evidence of the Didache (which represents a primitive constitution of the Church in a somewhat debased form) does force us to recognise, more than Lightfoot recognised it, that side by side with the apostles, and ranking only after them, there were 'prophets' and 'teachers, who, though their position cannot be fully defined, may be not inaptly called 'subapostolic orders' in the primitive Church, and did exercise a great apostolic authority, as is recognised, rather reluctantly, in the fifth chapter of this book. And I wish also that Dr. Robinson had not apparently (p. 85) countenanced Lightfoot's statement that the episcopate was formed out of the presbyterate by elevation. I believe that the evidence (reproduced in Chapter vi. below) points away from this conclusion; and I should like to ask him to consider both the first Note appended to this volume, where attention is called to Lightfoot's profession of agreement with Dr. Langen, and also the argument of Dr. Moberly's Ministerial Priesthood in criticism of Lightfoot's Essay.

* And Dr. Wotherspoon, in The Ministry in the Church (Longmans, 1916), who wrote before Dr. Robinson's essay was actually published.

It is now too late to remedy the defect, but I wish I had pointed out in Chapter IV. how in St. Mark's Gospel the parabolic intimations which our Lord is represented as giving to His disciples of the nature of the Church after He was gone from them suggest a ministry as part of its constitution. Thus in xii. 9, where He is speaking of the people of God under the figure of a vineyard, after the present husbandmen (i.e. the authorities of the Jewish Church) have been 'destroyed 'there are to be other more faithful administrators—He will give the vineyard to others’: and in xiii. 34, where the Church is figured as a household, there are to be those who are clothed with administrative `authority.' It is passages of this kind which support the more definite passages in St. Matthew.




THERE are two large questions having reference to Christianity which it is important to keep distinct. There is the question whether Christianity is true, and there is the question what, as a fact in history, Christianity has been. It is an indispensable preliminary to all effective dealings with the practical problems, which arise in the attempt to apply and adapt Christianity to current needs and circumstances, that we should study profoundly the genius of Christianity as a continuous historical fact—that we should have a clear answer to the question, what Christianity has been and is. This book, then (assuming broadly the truth of Christianity), attempts to give a partial answer to this second question. It maintains that Christianity is essentially the life of an actual visible society, and that at least one necessary link of connexion in this society is the apostolic succession of the ministry. word, this book claims on behalf of the apostolic succession that it must be reckoned with as a permanent and essential element of Christianity. It is an 'apology' for the principle of the apostolic succession.

As being an 'apology' for one clause in the Church's practical and theoretical creed, it will be subject to the usual suspicions of prejudice and want of free criticism to which apologetic literature is

In a At any

exposed, and from which the literature of free thought' is supposed to be by comparison exempt. But it is, perhaps, only while we are very young that we are inclined to believe dissent from orthodox conclusions to afford any guarantee for a just and critical judgment; in fact, the ambition to form or propagate a new theory gives as strong a bias to the mind as the desire to maintain an old one. rate, I have tried to do with my 'prejudices'all that a man can do with those inevitable accompaniments alike of his birth into a continuous society and of the first activities of his own individuality; I have tried to subject them to an exact and free examination in the light of reason and history, and to let it correct or verify them.

A word must be said in explanation of the order and contents of this book. The principle of the apostolic succession has been a formative principle in church history. It seemed, therefore, the best course, after making good the preliminary grounds of this investigation (Chapter 1.), and explaining the idea of the ministry (Chapter 11.), to exhibit the extent to which in church history the principle of the apostolic succession has been postulated and acted upon since the time when the continuous record begins—i.e. the latter half of the second century (Chapter 111.). The principle is then examined in the light of the Gospels (Chapter IV.), of the apostolic documents (Chapter V.), and of the links of evidence which connect the apostolic age with the continuous history (Chapter VI.). After this nothing remains but to draw conclusions and make applications (Chapter VII.). This order treats the question-What has the Church in fact believed about her ministry? as a preliminary to the investigation of her title-deeds, and it was hardly possible

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