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To whose office it belongs .
572 The Form of Church-Government.
, for the bet
reformed churches commonly call Elders. i
, 25 may stand sances, and disc persons":
tions, that is, a certain company of Christians to meet each to other w in one assembly ordinarily for publick worship. When
In this compa
& Rom. xii, 7. Or ministry, let us tongued, not given to much wine, wait on our ministering; or he that not greed of filthy lucre. (See in teacheth, on teaching; Ver. 8. Or he the Bible to Ver. 15.] Acts vi ); And that exhorteth, on exhortatio.1 : he in tisose days, when the number of ibat giveth, let him do it with sim the disciples was multiplied, there plicity; he that ruleth, with dili
arose a niurmuring of the Grecians gence; he that sheweth mercy, with against the Hebrews, because their cheerfulness. I Cor. xii. 28. And widows were neglected in the daily God hath set some in the church; ministration, Ver. 2. Then the first, apostles ; secondarily, prophets; twelve called the multitude of the thirdly, teachers; after that miracles; disciples unto theni, and said, It is then gifts of healings, helps, govern not reason that we should leave the ments, diversities of tongues.
word of God, and serve tables c Phil. i. l. Paul and Timotheus, Ver. 3. Wherefore, brethren, look the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the ye out ainong you seven men of saints in Christ Jesus which are at honest report, full-of the Holy Ghost Philippi, with the bishops and and wisdom, whom we may appoint deacons. I Tim. üi. 8. Likewise over this business. Ver. 4. But we must the deacons be grave, not double will give ourselves continually to tongued, not given to niuch wine, not
prayer, and to the ministry of the
f 1 Cor,
1 Cor. xiv. 26.4 done to edifying.
Cod is not the aud but of peace, as
of the saints. things be done eder.
* Deut, X9.7. nou a poor man thren within any band which the Ill thee, thou shalt n por shut thine bi brother, Ver.
shall never ceas therefore I com Thou shalt op 4
thy brother they needy in the
And the second
believers multiply to such a number, that they cannot coninveniently meet in one place, it is lawful 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 '.
The ordinary way of dividing Christians into distinct congregations, and most expedient for edification, is by the respective bounds of their dwellings.
First, Because they who dvell 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
Secondly, The communion of saints must be so ordered, as may stand with the most convenient use of the ordinances, and discharge of moral duties, without respect of persons ".
Thirdly, The pastor and people must so nearly cohabit created together, as that they may mutually perform their duties each to other with most conveniency. In this company some must be set apart to bear office.
ette fulfil it
f 1 Cor. xiv, 26.-Let all things be Mat. v. 17. Think not that I am done to edifying.
Ver. 33. For come to destroy the law or the pro352 God not the author of confusion, phets: I am not come to destroy, but
but of peace, as in all churches
Ver. 40. Let all h i Cor, xiv. 26.-Let all things things be done decently, and in be done to edifying. Heb. X. 24. order.
And let us consider one another, to 6 Deut. xv. 7. If there be among provoke unto love, and to good you a poor man of one of thy bre works : Ver. 25. Not forsaking the thren within any of thy gates, in the assembling of ourselves together, as land which the Lord thy God giveth the manner of some is; but exhorting thee, thou shalt not harden thy heart, one another; and so much the more, nor shut thine hand from thy poor as ye. see the day approaching. brother. Ver. 11. For the poor
Janies ii. 1. My brethren, have not shall never cease out of the land; the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, therefore I command thee, saying,' the Lord of glory, with respect of Thou shalt open thine hand wide persons. Ver. 2. For if there come unto thy brother, to thy poor and to into your assembly a man with a thy needy in thy land. Mat
. xxii. 39. gold 'ring, in goodly apparel, and And the second is like-unto it, Thou there come in also a poor man in vile shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.' raiment.-
ecclesiastical apostles did imme
burches of the w
And Christ hat
church with gifts
It is lawful, a
church be gover
Of the Po
thanksgiving, and singing of psalms ", the word read, bounds, whom i Prov. xxix. 18. Where there is healings, helps, governments, diversi. then I will pray
1 Acts vi. 2. Then the twelve calling also: I will s worthy of double honour, espe- should leave the word of God, and stalt bless with elders that rule well be counted theni, and said, it is not reason that we ing also. Ver. 11
serve tables. Ver. 3. Wherefore, brenke that occupie
men of honest report, full of the Holy thanks, seeing hl ers; after that miracles, then gifts of fore, that, first of all, supplicae Hill not hear
Of the Officers of a particular Congregation.
one at the least, both to labour in the word and doc-
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 Jesus Christ, and special care for the relief of the poor!.
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 execute the same 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 are congregation
Of the Ordinances in a particular Congregation.
rule well be counted worthy of double k 1 Cor. xii. 28. And God hath set
honour, especially they who labour some in the church; first, apostles; in the word and doctrine.
ni Tim, ii, 1. I exhort there
IT is lawful,
tions, prayers, il of pring of thanks,
and I will pray w
and I will sing w
unlearned say A!
what thou sayed
Mat. xviii thy brother sH thee, go and between thee he shall hear ed thy brother
Of Church-Government, and the several sorts of Assemblies for
CHRIST hath instituted a government, and governors 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 thereunto.
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 synodical.
Of the Power in common of all these Assemblies.
several assemblies before mentioned have power to con1212vent, and call before them, any person within their several
bounds, whom the ecclesiastical business which is before them doth concern o.
tions, prayers, intercessions, and thee one or two more, that in the giving of chanks, be made for all mouth of two or three witnesses
1 Cor. xiv. 15. What is it every word may be established. then? I will pray with the spirit,
Ver. 17. And if he shall neglect to and I will pray with the understand hear them, tell it unto the church: ing also: I will sing with the spirit, but if he neglect to hear the church, and I will sing with the understand let him be unto thee as an heathen ing also. Ver. 16. Else, when thou man, and a publican. Ver. 18. Verily shalt bless with the spirit, how shall I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall he that occupieth the room of the bind on earth, shall be bound in unlearned say Amen at thy giving of heaven; and whatsoever ye shall thanks, seeing he understandeth not loose on earth, shall be loosed in what thou sayest ?
heaven. Ver. 19. Again, I say unto ° Mat. xviii. 15. Moreover, if you, That if two of you shall agree thy brother shall trespass against on earth, as touching any thing that thee, go and tell him his fault they shall ask, it shall be done for between thee and him alone: if them of my Father which is in hea. he shall hear thee, thou hast gain
Ver. 20. For where two or ed thy brother. Ver. 16. But if he three are gathered together in my will not hear thee, then take with name, there am I in the midst of theni. 10
The ruling office
First, Because and admit, such
, Becau wty practice belo
A mutual help on istrinsical weakn
To enquire into the knowledge and spiritual estate of the When congrega
Which three branches are proved by Heb. xiii. 17. regard of enemies not yet cast out of the church, is agreeable to the scripture: THE scripture
that which was broken, neither have is not as an enemy driven away, neither have ye sought herefore, whosoev that which was lost; but with force tead, and drink this and with cruelty have ye ruled then worthily, shall
which is holy unto the dogs, neio the end of the CA neither have ye healed that which derly, and not after the tradition and on him thel
They have power to hear and determine such causes dere was power and and differences as do orderly come before them.
* It is lawful, and agreeable to the word of God, that all the The like
power a said assemblies have some powerto dispense church-censures tues under the Na Of Congregational Assemblies, that is, the Meeting of the power authoritativ
ruling Officers of a particular Congregation, for the person not yet cast
Government thereof. THE ruling officers of a particular congregation have shority to keep 1 power, authoritatively, to call before them any
member of the congregation, as they shall see just occasion. several members of the congregation.
To admonish and rebuke. 1 Thess. v. 12, 13. Ezek. xxxiv. 4. P. Authoritative suspension from the Lord's table, of a person
, : First, Because the ordinance itself must not be profaned.
Secondly, Because we are charged to withdraw from those that walk disorderly.
Thirdly, Because of the great sin and danger, both to him that comes unworthily, and also to the whole church 9. And
there P Heb. xiii. 17. Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit ye brought again that which was yourselves : for they watch for your souls as they that niust give account, that they niay do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unpro ? Mat. not chat fitable for you. 1 Thess. v. 12. And we beseech you, brethren, to know ther cast ye your pearls before them which labour among you, and swine, lest they trample them under are over you in the Lord, and admo their feet, and turn again and nish you; Ver. 13. And to esteem
2 Thess. jii, 6. Now them very highly in love for their we conımand you, brethren, in the work's sake. And be at peace among name of our Lord Jesus Christ, yourselves. Ezek. xxxiv. 4. The that ye withdraw yourselves from diseased have ye not strergihened, every brother that walketh disorwas sick, neither have ye bound up which ye received of us Ver. 14,
any man obey
y this epistle, note wave no company wil cybe ashamed. Vel
in as a brother.
dy and blood of
with lude, Ver. 23 tih fear, pulling by the flesh.
partaker of oth
ice; hating lands suddenly
i trold, if the plan