As one of the three principal systems of ecclesiastical polity known to the Christian Church, Presbyterianism occupies an intermediate position between episcopacy and congregationalism.
Though the jus divinum of presbytery is not now insisted upon as in some former times, Presbyterians claim that it is the church polity set forth in the New Testament.
Elders or bishops, are the highest permanent officers in the Church and are of equal rank; (3) that an outward and visible Church is one in the sense that a smaller part is controlled by a larger and all the parts by the whole.'9 Though Presbyterians are unanimous in adopting the general system of church polity as here outlined, and in claiming New 1 Phil.
They were spoken of as" the way."4 They took with them, into the new communities which they formed, the Jewish polity or rule and oversight by elders.
Church polity is apostolic Presbyterians are accustomed to appeal to the New Testament and to the time when the apostles were still living; and for proof of the apostolicity of prelacy Episcopalians appeal rather to the early Church fathers and to a time when the last of the Apostles had just passed away.'