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1. Election by Lot

Antiquities of the Christian Church
CHAPTER V. Of appointment to ecclesiastical offices

1. Election by Lot

The first example on record of the appointment of an officer in the christian church is that of Matthias, Acts 1:15–26. He was not chosen, but rather designated to his office by lot. And subsequently, the church were accustomed to resort to the same expedient, when they could not agree respecting any individual. This form of election was neither peculiar to any sect, nor prevalent at any given time, nor applicable to any one case; but was adopted as occasion required. The election was little else than a decision between several candidates who were equally eligible to the office. 

Natalis Alendri Dissert, de usu sortium in sacris electionibus, et de* jure plebis in sacrornm ministrorurn eleciione. Jo. Peir. de Ludewigde sorte siiffrag. eccl. S. Observat. torn. iv. Observ. 13, Fr. Gull. Curstedt Dissert, de ministrorurn end. apud vetere* Christianos ope sortitionis designatione. 1751. 4.


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