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A teacher, or doctor, is of most excellent use in schools and universities; as of old in the schools of the prophets, and at Jerufalem, where Gamaliel and others taught as doctors.
joined with the priests and Levites in the government of the church a: So Christ, who hath instituted a government, and governors ecclesiastical in the church, hath furni. thed fome in his church, beside the ministers of the word, with gifts for government, and with commission to execute the same when called thereunto, who are to join with the minister in the government of the church b. Which officers, reformed churches commonly call elders.
THin the church c.
Deacons. "HE Scripture doth hold out deacons, as distinct officers in the church c.
long-suffering and doctrine. Tit. ye salleven warn them that they
a 2 Chron 19.8. Moreover, in se- chearfulness. I. Cor 12. 29. And
ihem, and said, it is not reafon that thy poor brother, v, 11. For the
Whose office is perpetual d. To whose office it belongs not to preach the word or administer the sacraments, but to take special care in distributing to the necessities of the poor e.
Of particular congregations. IT T is lawful and expedient that there be fixed congregations,
that is, a certain company of Christịans to meet in one assembly ordinarily for publick worship. When believers multiply to such a number, that they cannot convenienelý meet in one place, it is lawfựl and expedient that they should be divided into distinct and fixed congregations, for the better administration of such ordinances as belong unto them, and the discharge of mutual duties, f.
The ordinary way of dividing Christians into distinct congregations, and most expedient for edification, is by the re: spective bounds of their dwelling;
First, Because they who dwell together, being bound to all kind of moral duties one to another, have the better opportunity thereby to discharge them; which moral tye is perpetual, for Christ came not to destroy the law, but to fulfil it &. Secondly, The communion of faints must be so ordered, as
may di Tim. 3.8. Likewise must the fi Cor. 14.26. Let all things be deacons be grave, not double. done unto cdifying: 7:33. ForGod tongued, not given to much wine, is not the author of confusion, but not greedyoffilthy lucre.See in the of peace, as in all churches of the Bible to v. 15. Acts 6. I. And in faints. v.49. Letall things be done those days when the number of the decently, and in order. discipleswas multiplied, there arosc g Deut, 15.7. Ifthere be among a murmuringoftheGreciansagainit you a poor man of one of thy brethe Hebrews, because their widows thțen within any of thy gates, in were neglected in the daily mini- the land which the Lord thy God stration.
2. Then the twelvecal- giveth thee, thou shalt not harden led the multitude of disciples unto thy heart, nor shut thy hand from we should leave
word of God, poor fhall never cease out of the and serve tables, v, 3: Wherefore land; therefore I command thee, Brethren, look you out among you saying, thou shalt open thy hand seven men of honest report, full of wide unto thy brother, to the poor, the holy Ghost, and wisdom, whom and to the needy in the land. Mat. weinay appoint over this business. 22. 39. And the second is like uns 7), 4. But we will give ourselves to it, thou shalt love thy neighbour continually to prayer, and to the as thy felf. Mat. 5.17. Think not ministry of the word.
that I am come to destroy the law & Ads 6.1, 2, 3, 4. See before or the prophets: I am not come in letter d.
ip destroy, but to fulfil.
may stand with the most convenient use of the ordinances, and discharge of moral duties, without respect of persons h..
Thirdly, The pastor and people must so nearly cohabite together, as that they may mutually perform their duties each to other with most conveniency.
In this company fome must be set apart to bear office.
Of the officers of a particular congregation.
one at least, both to labour in the word and doctrine, and to rule i.
It is also requisite that there should be others to join in government k.
And likewise it is requisite that there be others to take Special care for the relief of the poor l.
The number of each of which is to be proportioned according to the condition of the congregation.
These officers are to meet together at convenient and set times, for the well-ordering of the affairs of that congregation, each according to his office.
It is most expedient that, in these meetings, one whose office is to labour in the word and doctrine, do moderate in their proceedings m.
of h i Cor. 14. 26. Let all things be Remember them which have the done unto cdifying. Heb. 19. 24. rule over you, who have spoken And let us considerone another, to unto you the word of God, whole provoke unto love, and to good faith follow, considering the end works, v.25. Notforlaking theals of their conversation. sembling of ourselves together, as k i Cor. 12. 28. AndGod hath fet the manner of some is; but exhort. Some in the church; first apostles, ing one another, and lo much the secondly prophets, thirdly teachmore, as ye see the day approach- ers, after that miracles, then gifts ing. James 2.1. My brethren have of healings, helps, goveroments, not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ diversities of tongues. the Lord of glory with respect of I Acts 6.2. Then the twelve cal. persons. y. 2. For if there come led the multitude of the disciples into your assembly a man with a unto them, and said, it is not reagold-ring, in goodly apparel, and lon that we thould leave the word there come in also a poor man in : 'of God, and serve tables. 2, 3. vile raiment,
Wherefore, brethren, look y out i Prov: 29, 18. Where there is among you seven men of honest novision, the people perish; but he report, full of the holy Ghost, and that keepeth the law, happy is he. wisdom, whom ye may appoint I Tim.5.17. Let the elderstbatrule over this bufiness. well be counted worthy of double m.Tim.5.17. Let the elders that honour,especially theywholabour rule 'well, be counted worthy of in word and doctrine. Heb. 12: 7,
Of the ordinances in a particular Congregation. YHE ordinances in a single congrégation, are prayet,
thanksgiving, and singing of pfalms n; the word read (altho' there follow no immediate explication of what is ready the word expounded and applied, catechising, the sacraments administred, collection made for the poor, difmissing the people with a blessing.
OfChurch-government, and the several sorts of
afsemblies for the same.
ecclesiastical in the church: to that purpofe, the apostles did immediately receive the keys from the hand of Jesus Christ, and did use and exercise them in all the churches of the world upon all occasions,
And Christ hath since continually furnished some in his church with gifts of government, and with commission to execute the same, when called thereuntó.
It is lawful, and agreeable to the word of God, that the church be governed by several sorts of assemblies, which are congregational, classical, and fynodica). Ofthe power in common of all these asiemblies. IT
is lawful, and agreeable to the word of God, that the
several assemblies before-mentioned have power to convent, and call before them, any perfon within their several bounds, whom the ecclefiaftical business which is before them doth concern. O,
They double honour,especiallytheywho rit,how shall he that occupieth the Jabour in word and doctrine, room of the unlearned, say, Amen
n 1 Tim 2.1. I exhort therefore at thy giving of thanks, seeing he that first of all, fupplications,pray- understandeth not what thou lay ers, intercessions, and giving of est ? thanks be made for all men, 1 Cor o Mat. 18. 15. Moreover, if thy 14,15. What is it then? I'will pray brother shall trespass against thee, with the spirit,& I will pray with go and tell him his fault between the understanding also: I will fing thee,and him alone: if he shall hear with the spirit,and I will ling with thee. thou haft gained thy brother. the understanding also, v 16, Elfe v. 19. But if he will not hear thee, when thou shalt bless with the Spi- then take with thee one or two
They have power to hear and determine such causes and differences as do orderly come before them.
It is lawful, and agreeable to the the word of God, that alt the said assemblies have some power to dispense church-ceny fures.
Of congregational assemblies, that is, the meet,
ing of the ruling officers of a particular con
gregation for the government thereof. TH
HE ruling officers of a particular congregation have
power, authoritatively, to call before them any mem ber of the congregation, as they shall see just occasion.
To enquire into the knowledge and spiritual estate of the leveral members of the congregation.
To admonish and rebuke.
Which three branches are proved by Heb. xiii. 17. I Thel V. 12, 13. Ezek. xxxiv. 4. p.
Authoritative suspension from the Lord's table of a person not yet cast out of the church, is agreeable to the scripture ;
First, Because the ordinance itself must not be profaned.
Secondly, Because we are charged to withdraw from these that walk disorderly. Thirdly, Because of the great sin and danger, botlı to
more, that in the mouth of two or p Heb. 13. 17. Obey them thật three witnesses every word may be have the rule over you, and submit established, v. 17. And if he shall yourselves, for they watch for your neglect to hear them, tell it unto fouls, as they that must give acthe church : but if he neglect to count,that they may do it with joy hear the church, let him be unto and not with griet; for that is une thee as an heathen man, and a pub- profitable for you, i Thef. 5. 12. lican, v. 18. Verily, I say unto And we beseech you, brethren, to you, whatsoever ye shall bind on know them which labour among earth, shall be bound in heaven: you, and are over you in the Lord, and whatsoever ye shall loose on and admonith you; v. 13. And to earth, shall be loosed in heaven. esteem them very highly inlove for V: 19. Again, I say unto you, that their works fake. And be at peace if two of you shall agree on earth, among yourselves, Ezek: 34. 4. as touching any tliing that they Thedileased have ye not strength. Tall ask, it shall be done for them ned, neither have ye healed that of my Father which is in heaven, which was sick, neither have ye V. 20. For where two or three are bound up that which was broken, gathered together in my name, neither have yebrought again that there am I in the midst of them, which was driven away, neither