Review Op Chase’s Edition Of The Apostolical Constitutions -- By: Irah Chase

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 005:18 (May 1848)
Article: Review Op Chase’s Edition Of The Apostolical Constitutions
Author: Irah Chase


Review Op Chase’s Edition Of The Apostolical Constitutions

Irah Chase

The literary progress of our country is marked by the increasing demand for such works as this and Neander’s Church History. We hope their sale will amply reward the toil and enterprise of the translators and the publishers.

The present work is elegantly printed and is well executed in all its parts. The Constitutions occupy 257 pages; the prize essay on their contents, date, design, etc., 212; and a separate dissertation on the Canons, by the same author, 26 pages. The last work is the same which was presented to our readers in the Bibliotheca Sacra, Feb., 1847.

The Constitutions are divided into eight books, and each book into many short chapters or sections. That part of the work which is called the Canons, eighty-five in number, constitutes the last chapter, which is much longer than any of the others. These Constitutions are all put forth in the name of one or more of the apostles, and embrace a great variety of matter in regard to morals, the forms of divine worship, the rights and ranks and duties of the clergy, etc. The first sentence is as follows: “The apostles and elders to all those who from among the Gentiles have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ; grace and peace from the Almighty God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, be multiplied to you in the acknowledgment of him.”

The first book is entitled, “Concerning the Laity; the second, Concerning Bishops, Presbyters, and Deacons; book third, Concerning Widows; book fourth, Concerning Orphans; book fifth, Concerning Martyrs; book sixth, Concerning Schisms; book seventh, Concerning Deportment and the Eucharist and Initiation into Christ; and book eighth, Concerning Gifts and Ordinations and Ecclesiastical Canons.”

Book II. c. 11, is as follows: “On this account, therefore, O bish-

op, endeavor to be pure in thine actions, and to adorn thy place and dignity, as sustaining the character of God among men in ruling over all men, over priests, kings, rulers, fathers, children, masters, and in general over all those who are subject to thee; and to sit in the church, when thou speakest, as having authority to judge offenders. For to you, O bishops, it is said, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven.” The next chapter begins thus: “Do thou, therefore, O bishop, judge with authority, like God; yet receive the penitent.”

We select, also, as specimens two or three of the shortest Canons. 7. “Let not a bishop, or a presbyter, or a deacon undertake the cares of this world; but if he do, let him be deposed.” 11. ...

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