Imatges de pÓgina

church"; to concert the the best measures for promoting the spiritual interests of the congregation, and to appoint delegates to the higher judicatories of the church Sect. III. The minister hath a right to con

vene the session when he may judge it How to be requiGite'. And he ought, in all cases, convened.

to convene them, when requested by any two or more of the elders. Sect. IV. We think it proper, that every

church session keep a fair register, of Registers to births, of baptisms, of marriages, of be kept.

persons admitted to the Lord's table, of deaths in the society, and of other removals.

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Of the Presbyterial Assembly.
Sect. I. THE church being divided into

Necetlity of the many feparate congregations,
Presbytery. these need mutual counsel and al-

di Theff. 5. 12, 13. And fore Paul and Barnabas had no we beseech you, brethren, to small diffention and difputation know them which labour among with them, they determined you, and are over you in that Paul and Barnabas, and the Lord, and admonish you. certain other of them, should cond to esteem them very go up to Jerusalem unto the highly in love, for their work's apostles and elders about this fake, and be at peace among question. 6. And the apostles yourselves. See also 2 Theat, and elders came together for to 3. 6, 14, 15. I Cor. II. 27. confider of this matter. to the end.

III. f Acts 20. 17. cAds 15. 2.

When there.

sistance, in order to preserve foundness of doctrine, and regularity of discipline; and to enter into common measures, for the promoting of knowledge and religion, and for the preventing. of the encroachments of infidelity and error”. Hence arife the importance and usefulness of presbyterial and fynodical assemblies". :Sect. II. A presbytery consists of all the mi

nilters, and one ruling elder from Confituent. Mem- each congregation, within a cer

tain difrici. Sect. Ill. Every congregation, which has a settled paltor, has a right to be reprefented in presbytery, by one elder ; and every collegiate church, by two or more elders, in proportion to its ministers. Where there are two or more congregations united, under one pastor, all such con

bers thereof.

1. a The church of Jerusa. A&s 20. 17, 25, 28, 30, 36, 37lem confifted of more than one, Rev. 2. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. joined as-is manifest both before and with Afts 20. 17, 18. after the dispersion, from Ads bi Tim. 4. 14. Negled not 6. 1, 6. Acts 9. 31. Acts the gift that is in thee, which 21. 20. Ads 6. . These con was given thee by prophecy, gregations were under one pres- with che laying on of the hands hyterial government, proved of the presbytery. Ads 15. 3. from Acts 15. 24, 28. Acts 11. -Verle 4. And when they 22, 30.-Acts 21. 17, 18.--Ads were come to Jerusalem, they 6 chap. That the church of were received of the church, Ephesus had more congrega- and of the apostles and elders, tions that one under a presbyce. and they declared all things rial government, appears from that God had done with them AAS 20. 31. Chap. 19. 18, 19, Ver. 6. And the Apostles and 20. 1 Cor. 56. 8, 9, 19. compar. elders came together for to ed with Acts 18. 19, 24, 26.- consider of this matter.

gregations shall have but one elder to represent them. Every congregation, which has no fettled minister, and is able and willing to support one, shall be entitled to be represented, by a ruling elder, in this judicatory. And where there are two or more such congregations, united for the maintenance of the gospel, and, in their united state are of the description aforefaid, then such united congregations may be represented by one elder. Every elder, not known to the presbytery, shall produce a certificate of his regular appointinent, from the church which he reprefents. Sect. IV. Any three ministers, and as many

elders as may be present belonging Quorum of the to the presbytery, being met, at the Presbytery

time and place appointed, shall be a judicatory, competent to the dispatch of business'; notwithstanding the absence of the other membersa. Sect. V. The presbytery hath cognizance

of all things that regard the welPowers of the

fare of the particular churches with Presbytery, &c.

in their bounds, which are not cog

III. c Ads 15. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, failed to Antioch, from whence 6. 1 Cor. 14. 26, 33, 40. Let they had been recommended by all things be done to edifying the grace of God, for the work -For God is not the author which they fulfilled. And of confufion, but of peace, as when they were come and had in all the churches of the faints. gathered the church together, -Let all things be done decent- they rehearsed all that God had ly, and in order.

done with them, and how he IV. d Acts 14. And thence had opened the door of faith

nizable by the session. They have also a power of receiving and issuing appeals from the sellions, 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

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