Imatges de pÓgina

nizable by the session. They have also a power of receiving and issuing appeals from the feltons, and references, brought before them in an orderly manner'; of examining and licensing candi. dates for the gospel ministry; of ordaining, sertling, removing, or judging ministers" ; of examining, and approving or censuring the records of the feflions ; of resolving questions of doctrine or discipline, seriously and reasonably proposed'; of condemning erroneous opi

'unto the Gentiles: compared when he was disposed to puss with Acts 15. 18. And when into Achaia, the brethren they heard these things, they wrote, exhorting the disciples held their peace, and glorified to receive him. Compared wit! :* God, saying, Then hath God A&s 19. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, ?. a'lo to the Gentiles granted g 1 Tim. 4. 54. Neglec not repentance unto life.

the gift that is in thee, which V.e Acts 15. 5. But there rose was given thee by prophecy, up certain of the fect of the with the laying on of the hands Pharisees which believed, say- of the presbytery. Acts 13.2, ing, that it was needful to cir. 3. As they ministered to the cumcise then, and to command Lord, and fasted, the Holy them to keep the law of Moses. Ghost faid, Separate me Bar. Ver. 6. And the apostles and nabas and Saul for the work elders came together for to con. wherсunto I have called them. sider of this matter.

-Aod when they had fallet Wherefore my sentence is, that and prayed, and layed their we trouble not them which hands on them, they sent thein : from among the Gentiles are away. returned to God: Ver. 20. But h Acts. 15. 28." For it that we write unto them, that seemed good to the Hoiy they abstain from pollutions of Ghost, and to us, to lay upon idols, and from fornication, and you no greater burden than from things strangled, and from thise necessary things. I Cor." blood.

5. 3. fa&s 18. 24, 27. And a i Aas 35. 10. Nów there: certain Jew named Apollos, fore why tempt ye God, 10 born at Alexandria, an eloquent put a yoke upon the neck of man, and mighty in the scrip- the disciples, which neither tures, came to Ephesus.--and our fathers nor we were able to

Ver. 19.

nions, that injure the purity or peace of the church"; for visiting particular churches, to enquire into their state, and redress the evils that may have arifen within them'; of uniting, or dividing congregations, at the request of the people ; and of ordering whatever pertains to the fpiritual concerns of the churches under their carem. And it shall be the duty of the presbyteries to report to the synod, licensures, ordinations, the dismissing or receiving of members, and the removal of members by death.

bear? Compared with Gal. 2. Miletus he sent to Ephesus, -4, 5.

called the elders of the church. k Acts 15. 22, 23, 24. Then-Acts 6. 2. Then the twelve pleased it the apostles and el- called the multitude of the ders, with the whole church, difciples unto them, and faid, to fend chosen men of their It is not reason that we should own company to Antioch, with leave the word of God, and Paul and Barnabas : namcly, serve tables.-Acts 15. 30. So Judas firnamed Barfabas, and when they were dismissed, they Silas, chief men among the came to Antioch: and when brethren, and they wrote letters they had gathered the multihy them after this manner: The tude together, they delivered apostles, and elders, and bre- the epistle. thren, send greeting unto the m Eph. 6. 18. Pray: brethren which are of the Gen- ing always with all prayer and tiles in Antioch, and Syria, and supplication in the Spirit, and Cilicia. Forafmuch as we have watching thereunto with all heard, that certain which went perseverance, and fupplication out from us, have troubled for all saints.-Phil. 4. 6. Be you with words fubverting careful for nothing ; but in your souls, saying, Ye nust be every thing by prayer and fupcircumcised, and keep the law; plication with thanksgiving, to whom we gave no such com- let your requests be made knows mandment.

unto God. | Acts 20. 17. And from

Se&. VI. The presbytery shall meet on their

own adjournment : and, when any How to be convered. emergency shall require a meeting,

fooner than the time to which the ju. dicatory stands adjourned, the moderator shall, with the concurrence, or at the request of two ministers and two elders, the elders being of dif. ferent "congregations, call meeting of the prefbytery, by a circular letter sent to every minifter, and to the session of every vacant congregation having a right to send a representative to the judicatory, in due time previous to the meeting; which time shall be ascertained and recorded by each presbytery, and shall not be less than ten days: and nothing shall be transacted, at such fpecial meeting, befides the particular business for which the judicatory has been thus convened.

Sect. VII. At each meeting of presbytery, a

sermon shall be delivered, if conveOpening of the Presbytery.

nient; and every particular session

fhall be opened and concluded with prayer; The roll shall be called, and the meeting recorded by the clerk, who shall enter the names of the members present, and also of those ministers who are absent,

c H A P. A.

Of the Synodical Assembly*.
Sect. I.

S a prefbytery is the convention Confituent

of the bishops and elders, with.. Members of in a certain district; fo a fynod is a Synod. convention of the bishops and elders, within a larger district, including several presbyteries.

Sect. II. Any seven ministers of the fynod, who shall convene at the time and place of meeting, with as many elders as may be present, shall be a quorum to tranfact synodical business; provided not more than four of the faid ministers belong to one presbytery. Sect. III. The fynod have power to admit

and judge of appeals, regularly brought Powers thereof. up from the presbyteries: to give their

judgment on all references, and ecclesiastical cases, made to them; to review the pref... bytery books; to redress whatever hath been done by presbyteries contrary to order ; to take effectual care that presbyteries observe the con.. ftitutions of the church; to make fuch regula. tions for the benefit of their whole body, and of the prefbyteries and churches under their care,

As the proofs already adduced in favour of a prefbyterial: affemhly in the government of the church, are equally valid in support of a synodical assembly (üncc a fynod is only a larger presbytery) it is unnecessary to repeat the scriptures to which rei ference has been made under Chaj- IX, or to add any other,

as shall be agreeable to the word of God, and not contradictory to the decisions of the general affembly, and to propose, to the general aflembly, for their adoption, such measures as may be of common advantage to the whole church.

[blocks in formation]

Of the General Assemblyt.
Sect. I. THE general afsembly is the


highest judicatory of the presStyle of the high-byterian church; and shall repre. eft r Judicatory of sent, in one body, all the particuthe Presbyterian lar churches of this denomination;

and shall bear the style and title of of The General Afembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America,

Sect. II.' The general assembly fall confift of an equal delegation of bishops and elders


[ocr errors]

† The radical principles of presbyterian church government and discipline are;

That the several different congregations of believers, taken collectively, constitute one church of Chrift, called emphatically the church ;-that a larger part of the church, or a representation of it, fhould govern a smaller, or determine matters of controversy which arise therein ;-that, in like manner, a representation of the whole should govern and determine in regard to everý part and to all the parts united, that is, that a majority fall govern. And, consequently, that appeals may be carried from lower to higher judicatories, till they be finally decided by the collected wisdom and united voice of the .wbele church. For these principles and this procedure, the example of the apostles and the practice of the primitive church is confidered as authority.-See Acts 15. 1, 2, 4, 6. and from the 2d to the 29th, verses; alfo Acts 16. 14. and the proofs adda, ced under the three lait chapters,


« AnteriorContinua »