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Presbyterial Church-Government, Agreed upon by the Affembly of DIVINES
at Westminfter; examined and approved, Anno 1645, by the GENERAL ASSEMBLY of the CHURCH of SCOTLAND, &c.
ESUS CHRIST, upon whose shoulders the government is, JESE
whose name is called wonderful, counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of peace a, of the increase of whose government and peace there Mall be no end, who fits upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to eftablish it with judgment and justice, from henceforth even for ever; having all power given unto him in heals ven and in earth by the Father, who raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right-hand, far above all principalities and power, and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come, and put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all : he being afcended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things, received gifts for his church, and gave officers necessary for the edification of his church, and perfecting of his faints. br
a Isa. ix. 6, 7. b Mat xxviii, 18, 19, 20. Eph, I. 20, 21, 22, 23. compared with Eph, iv, 8, 11. and Pral. Ixvii. 18.
Of the church.
HERE is one general church visible, held forth in the
new Testament as The ministry, Oracles, and ordinances of the New Testa: ment, are given by Jesus Christ to the general church vifible, for the gathering and perfecting of it in this life, imtil his fecond coming, b:
Particular visible churches, members of the general church are also held forth in the New Testament c. Particular churches, in the primitive times, were made up of visible Saints, viz of such as, being in age, profeffed faith in Christ, and obedience unto Christ, according to the rules of faith and
à Cor.12.12. For as the body Chrift,v.15.But speaking the truth is one,and hath manymembers,& in love,may grow up unto him in all' the members of that one body all things, which is the head, even being maný,are one body; so also Chrift:
v. 16 From whom the is Chrift.v.13.Forby one spiritare whole body fitly joined together, weåll baptized intoone hódy,whe- & compacted by that which every ther we be bond or free: and have joint supplieth, according to the been all made to drink into one feétúal working in the measure of Spirit. v. 28. And God hath fet' every part,maketh increase of the fomre in the church; firit apostles, body unto the edifying of itfelfin secondarily prophets, thirdly love. teachers : after that miracles, then e Gal. 1:27, afterward's I came giftsof healing, helps,governments into the regions of Syria and CilidiverGities of tongues. Together cia;v.22.And was unknownbyface with the rest of the chapter. unto thc churches of Judea, which
bi Cor.12.28.See before.EphĄ. were in Christ. Rev. 1. 4. johin to 4. There isonebody, and one,fpirit, the seven churches of Afia, grace even as ye are called in one hope be unto you, and peace from him of your calling: v. 5. One Lord, which is and which was, & which one faith, one baptism. Compared is to come, and from the sevenfpiwith v ro. Hethat descended is the ríts which are before his throne. fame also thať ascended up fat a v. 20. The mystery of the seven bove all heavens, that he might fill stars whichthou lawelt in my right all things v. 11, And he gave some hand, and theleven golden candleapostles andsome prophets,& fome sticks. The seven starš are the anevangelists, and lome pastors and gets of the seven churches and the teachers; v 12. For the perfecting leven candlestickswhich thousawa of the saints, for the work of the est,are the seven churches . Rev. 2. ministry, for the edifying of the I. Unto the angel of the churchof body of Chrift: 71.13. Till we all Ephesus write, these things faith come in the unity of the faith and he thar holdette the seven Vars in of the knowledgeofthe son of God, his right hand, who walketh in the anto a perfect man, unto the mea. midst of the seven golden candle. fure of the stature of the fulness of sticks
life, taught by Christ and his apostles; and of their children do
Of the officers of the church.
HE officers which Chfist hath appointed for the edifi
cation of his church, and the perfecting of the saints, áre, some extraordinary; as apostles, evangelists, and pros phets, which are ceased.
Others ordinary and perpetual, as pastors, teachers, and others church-governors, and deacons.
a Alts 2.38. Then Peter said un- as the Lordour Godthallcall. I Cor. to them, repent and be baptized 8.14. For the unbelieving husband in the name of Jesus Christ for the is fanctified by the wife, and the remission of lins, and ye shall re- unbelieving wife isfan&tificdby the ceive the gift of the holy Ghost. v. husband; else were your children 41. Then they that gladly receiv- unclean, but now are they holy. ed his word were baptized; & the Rom, 11. 16. Forif the first fruit be same day there were added unto holy, the lump is also holy; and if then about three thousand souls. the foot be holy, so are the brana 1.47. Praising God, and having fa- ches. Mark 10. 14. But when Jeyour with all the people; and the sus faw it,ke was much displealed, Lordadded tothe church dailysuch and said unto them,fuffer the little às should be saved. Compared with children to come unto me and forActs 5.14. And believers were the bid thein hoť: for of such is the niore added to the Lord,multitudes kingdom of God. Compared with both of men & woinen. i Cor.1.2. Mat. 19. 13. Then were there Unto the church of God which is brought unto him little children, atCorinth, to them that are saveţi. that helhould
put hishand on them fiod in Christ Jesus, called to be and pray, and thedisciples rebuked saints, with all that in every place, them. v. 14. But Jesus said, suf:. call upon the name of Jesus Chrilt fer little children, and forbid them our Lord, both theirs and ours. not to come unto me; for of such compared with 2 Cor.9.13. Whilés is the kingdom of heaven. Luke by the experiment ofthis miniftra- 18.15. And theybrought intohimi tion, they glorifyGodfor yourpro, also inifants, that he would touch felfed subjection unto the gospel of them; but when his disciples saw Chrilt,and for your liberal diffribus it, they rebuked them, v. 16. But ion unto them and into all men. Jesus called them unto him, and Acts 2.39:For the promise is unto laid, suffer little children to come you, and to your children, and to únto me,and forbid them not;, for all that are a far off, even as many of fuch is the kingdom of God.
Rev. 2 urchat
HE pastor is an ordinary and perpetual officer in the
church e. prophesying of the time of the gospel f, First, it belongs to his office,
To pray for and with his flock, as the mouth of the people unto God g, Acts vi, 2, 3, 4. Acts xx. 36. Where preaching and prayer are joined as several parts of the fame office h. The office of the elder (that is, the Pastor) is to
for the sick, even private, to which a blessing is especially promised; much more therefore ought he to perform this in the public execution of his office, as a part thereof i.'
e Jer. 3. 15. And will give you of the body of Christ ; v. 13. Til pastors according to mine heart, we all come in the unity of the which shall feed you with know- faith, and of the knowledge of the ledge and understanding. V, 16. Son of God, unto a perfect man, And it shall come to pass when ye 'unto the measure of the stature of be multiplied and increased in the the fulness of Christ. land; in those days faith the Lord, g Acts.6.2. Then thetwelve calthey shall say no more, the ark of led the multitude of the disciples the covenant of the Lord ; neither unto them, and faid, It is not reashall it come to mind, neither shall fon that we should leave the word theyremember it,neither shall they of God, and ferve tables. v. 3. visit it, neither shall that be done Wherefore brethren, look ye out any more v, 17. At that time they among you fevenmen of honestreshall call Jerusalem the throne of port, full of the holy Ghost, and the Lord,and all the nations shall wisdom, whom we may appointobe gathered into it, to the name of ver this business. 7. 4. But we will the Lord, to Jerusalem: neither giveourselves continually to pray. fhall they walk any niore after the er,and to the ministry of the word. imagination of their evil heart, Acts.20.36. And when he had thus
fi Pet. 5.2. Feed the flock of spoken, he kneeled down & pray God, which is among you, taking ed with them all. the oversight thereof, not by con h James 5. 14. Is any man sick Itraint, but willingly, not for fil- among you! Let him call for the thy lucre, butof a ready mind v. 3. elders of the church, and let them Neither as being lords over Gods pray over him,anointing him with heritage, but beingenlamplestothe oil in the name of the Lord; v.15. Hock,
1.4.Andwhen the chiefshep. And the prayer of faith shall save herd shall appear, ye shall receive the sick, and the Lord thall raise a crown of glory that fadeth not him up; and if he have committed away, Eph.4.11. And he gavesome lins, they shall be forgiven him. apoities, and some proplets, and fome evangelists, and some paftors I will pray with the spirit, and I
i'r Cor. 14.15. What is it then? and teachers, 3. 12. For the per- will pray with theunderstandingalfecting of the faints, for the work fo: I will ling with the spirit, and of the ministry, for the edifying I will fing with the under ftanding
To read the Scriptures publicly; for the proof of which,
1. That the priests and Levites, in the Jewish church, were trusted with the public reading of the word, is proved k.
2. That the ministers of the gospel have as ample a charge and commission to dispense the word, as well as other ordinances, as the priests and Levites had under the law, proved, Ifa. lxvi. 21. Mat. xxiii. 34. where our Saviour intituleth the officers of the New Testament; whom he will send forth, by the same names of the teachers of the old 1.
Which propositions prove, that therefore (the duty being of a moral nature) it followeth by just consequence, that the public reading of the Scriptures belongeth to the pastor's office.
To feed the fock, by preaching of the word, according to which he is to teach, convince, reprove, exhort, and com
alfo v, 16. Else when thou shalt monthv.3, And he read therein bless with the spirit, i how shall he v. 13. And on the second day were that occupieth the room of the un- gathered together the chief of the learned, Tay amen at thy giving fathers of all the people, the of thanks, feeing heunderstandeth prielts and the Levites, unto Ezra not what thou fayest?
the fcribe, even to understand the k Deut 31.9. And Moses wrote words of the law. this law, and delivered it unto the lifa.66.21. And I will also take priefts the sons of Levi,which bare of them for priests and for Levites, the ark of the covenant of the faith the Lord. Matth. 23. 34. Lord, and unto all the elders of Wherefore,behold, I fenduntoyou, Ifrael v. 1o. And Moses comman- prophets,andwisemen,and scrites, ded them, saying, At the end of a some of them ye shall kill and every seven years, is the folemnity crucify, and fome of them shall
ye of the year of release, in the fealt scourge in your fynagogues, and oftabernacles. v. 11. When all If. perfecute thein from city to city. rael is come to appear before the mi Tim.3.2. A bishop then must Lord thy God, in the place which be blameless, the husband of one he shall choose; thou shalt read this wife, vigilant, fober, of good befaw before all Ifrael in their hear, 'haviour, given to hospitality, apo ing. Neh. 8. I. And all the people to teach. 2 Tim. 3. 16. All fcripgatheredthemselves togetherasone ture is given by inspiration of God, nian,into the street that was before and is profitable for doctrine, for the water-gate, and they spake un- reproof, for correction, for instru, to Ezra the scribe, to bring the ction in righteousness: v. 17. That book of the law of Moses, which the man of God may be perfect, the Lord'had commanded to Israel. throughly furnished unto all good 7. 2. And Ezra the priest brougbi works. Tit. 1. 9. Holding falt the the law before the congregation, faithful words as he hath been both af men and women, and all taught, that he may be able by thatcould hear with understanding, found doctrine, both to exhort upon the first day of the seventh and to convince the gginlayers.