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The American Church Dictionary and Cycopedia
(See FATHERS, THE).
Apostolic Succession—"The fundamental principle of the Christian Ministry is, that it is derived from our Blessed Lord Himself, from whom it is perpetuated by Episcopal Ordination," and just this is what is meant by Apostolic Succession. The Apostolic Succession is simply the evidence of the fact that the Christian Ministry has never failed to exist since the time when our Lord commissioned it and sent it forth. It is often called the doctrine of the Apostolic Succession, but it is more of a fact than a doctrine; a fact substantiated by the history of the Church, as much so as the succession of the Kings and Queens of England is a fact known of all men acquainted with the history of the English nation. For this reason we have the statement in the Preface to the Ordinal: "It is evident unto all men diligently reading Holy Scripture and ancient Authors, that from the Apostles' time there have been these Orders of Ministers in Christ's Church,—Bishops, Priests and Deacons." The Christian Church has not been left without its records; its history is as well marked on the pages of history as that of any other kingdom or organization. (See EPISCOPACY; EPISCOPATE; BISHOP, also MINISTRY),
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Miller, William James. Entry for 'Apostolic Fathers'. The American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/acd/a/apostolic-fathers.html. 1901.