1 SEPTEMBER 1900, Page 23


The Ministers of JC3148 Chrtst. By J. Foster Lepine. 2 vols. (Longmans and Co. 10s.)—Mr. Lepine has given us here a very carefully constructed treatise on the teaching of Scripture about the Christian ministry, and on the views held by writers in the Ante-Nicene period. He begins with an account of the Hebrew Hierarchy. Here it might have been as well to give a provisional character to his statements. It saves much trouble to take the popular view for granted, but few serious students hold. that the Hebrew ritual, from the Aaronic priesthood downwards, was as highly developed in the early times of the nation's history as it was in the post-exilic period. This introductory part con- cluded, the rest of the first volume is given to an account of

what is said of the ministry in the Gospels, the Acts, and the Epistles. Mr. Lepine holds the views of moderate Episcopalians, which may be briefly summarised by saying that episcopacy was an early development of Church government, but not of the very earliest date. The terms " Bishop " and" Presbyter" are at one time interchangeable; but if the Pastoral Epistles are really

• Pauline it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that they indicate a separation of function between two Orders, not completed, per- haps, but imminent. (We are glad to see that Mr. Lepine condemns the unjustifiable importation of a sacrificial meaning into valve irotsive.) The second volume examines in a most pains- taking way the testimony of the early Christian writers, from St. Clement of Rome onwards. We do not know that this work con- tributes anything positively new to our knowledge of the subject, but it is a very serviceable statement of the whole case.