\u00a9 CHURCH DOCUMENTS . MICHELSTADT JANUAR 2007
Der vorliegende Text ist eine w\u00f6rtliche Abschrift des Originals
unter gegebenenfalls orthographischer Anpassung
Every great movement of God in the Church is known by its conformity to the principles laid down in the New Testament, and by its suitableness to meet the necessities of its own time. He will never depart from the fundamental laws of Christianity; and hold- ing the times and Seasons in His own hand, He will do at each epoch its proper work.
The history and claims of the body of Christians known as the \u201cCatholic Apostolic Church\u201d will be best understood if we first briefly preview the facts con- nected with the origin and progress of the Christian dispensation.
After the death and resurrection of our Lord and His ascension into Heaven (acts by which humanity, assumed by the Son of God in His incarnation, was redeemed and glorified), He sent down the Holy Ghost to form His Body, the Church. He had gathered mate- rials for this during His earthly ministry, but the liv- ing organism first came into existence on the day of Pentecost, through the descent of the Comforter. That which distinguishes the Church from the faithful who lived before the Incarnation is its oneness with Christ Jesus as raised from the dead and exalted into glory. This is a condition of spiritual dignity and blessing
The oneness of the Church with Christ is such as no symbols or analogies can fully express; but the figure of the body, so often used by S. Paul, sets it forth more adequately than any other. The head and the members together form one Divine organism, the Christ mystical of the old divines, so framed as to be God\u2019s instrument for carrying forward His work of salvation in the earth. Jesus does from the heavens by His Church, through the Holy Ghost, what He did personally when in mortal flesh. Then He was the Apostle (Heb. iii. 1), the Sent one of the Father, en- trusted by Him with authority to be the founder, leg- islator, and ruler of His Church; the Prophet (Luke xxiv. 19), anointed with the Holy Ghost to reveal the mysteries of God; the Evangelist (Luke iv. 18), sent to preach the Gospel to the poor, and to unloose the bonds of the curse; and the Pastor  (John x 11), whose office it was tenderly to watch over and care for the little company that followed Him.1
the Gospels may not be best accounted for on the supposi- tion that they were framed by the Holy Ghost to set forth the Lord\u2019s work under these four forms of ministry. They do most strikingly exhibit, Matthew, the apostolic wisdom and authority; John, the prophetic penetration and insight;
And, in order that what He thus began in His own Person might be continued in His Church after His departure, He gave these four ministries, accord- ing to S. Paul\u2019s explicit statement in his Epistle to the Ephesians: \u201cAnd He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.\u201d He could not cease to act as the Ruler over His house, as the Revealer of Divine mysteries, as the Proclaimer of the gospel of the kingdom, and as the loving Shepherd of the sheep; and He therefore con- stituted this fourfold ministry, by which He could per- petually fulfil His functions as Head of the Church. He had called the Twelve to be Apostles while He was still upon the earth, that He might by His personal teachings train them for their future work. And, soon after His ascension, the vacancy which had been made by the apostasy of Judas was filled by means of the lot (the Holy Ghost, who was to make known His will during His absence, not having yet come); and the apostolic college stood complete on Pentecost, ready to receive the promised endowment of the Comforter.
ministry of Divine appointment entrusted with the spiritual oversight of the whole company of the disci- ples. The nature of their duties and the range of their authority appear from the statement in the second chapter of the Acts, that the disciples \u201ccontinued steadfastly in the apostles\u2019 doctrine and fellowship, and breaking of bread and in prayers.\u201d2 It belonged to their office to teach the doctrine of Christ, to maintain the unity of His Church, to provide for the  right administration of the Lord\u2019s Supper, and to set in or- der public worship.
At the time that the apostles received their en- dowment through the descent of the Holy Ghost, the prophetic gift came also into manifestation. The es- sence of this is supernatural utterance in the power of
prophecy came not at any time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost\u201d (2 Pet. i. 21). Apostleship and prophecy
these nouns it is clear that they all stand in the same rela- tion to apostles. Fellowship (or communion), breaking of bread, and prayers, equally with doctrine, were committed to them.
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