On every view of the subject which it is possible for any Christian party to take, it is indeed perfectly evident, that all authority in matters ecclesiastical and theological, must ultimately resolve itself into an appeal to those divinely commissioned Apostles, whom Christ sent forth as his own embassadors, armed with plenary powers, that they might erect his kingdom and Church on the earth; and for this end endowed in all fulness with the promised gifts of the Spirit, to guide them into all truth, that in all things their authority might be infallible and indisputable. The only question therefore must be, through what channels the knowledge of these authoritative apostolical decisions has been transmitted to us.
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William Daniel Conybeare FRS (7 June 1787 – 12 August 1857), was an English geologist, palaeontologist and clergyman. He was ordained to holy orders in the Church of England in 1814. He was appointed Bampton Lecturer in 1839 and published this work as a result. In 1845 he was insituted as dean of Llandaff. He is probably best known for his ground-breaking work on marine reptile fossils in the 1820s, including important papers for the Geological Society of London on ichthyosaur anatomy and the first published scientific description of a plesiosaur. He was also grandfather of the well-known Frederick Cornwallis Conybeare (14 September 1856 – 9 January 1924) who was a British orientalist, Fellow of University College, Oxford, and Professor of Theology at the University of Oxford. F. C. Conybeare published many important translations of Apocryphal and Gnostic texts such as the Paulician Key of Truth.
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