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gations, as one flock, appeareth h.
3. That these many congregations were one church, and that they were under one presbyterial government, appearethi.
Of Synodical Assemblies.
for the government of the church, beside classical and congregational, all which we call fynodical k. Pastors and teachers, and other church governors (as also
other b A&s xx. 17. And from Miletus fainted. v. 4. Nevertheless, I have he sent to Ephesus, and called the somewhat against thee, because elders of the church. v. 25. And thou hast left thy first love. v. 5. now behold, I know that ye all, a Remember therefore from whence mong whom I have gone preaching thou art fallen, and repent, and do the kingdom of God, shall see my the first works; or else I will come face no more, v. 28. Take heed unto thee quickly, and will remove therefore unto yourselves, and to thy candlestick out of his place, erall the flock over the which the cept thou repent. v. 6. But this Holy Ghost hath made you over thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds feers, to feed the church of God, of the Nicolaitans, which also I hate. which he hath purchased with his Joined with Acts xx. 17, 28. See in own blood. v. 30. Also of your own letter h. felves shall men arise, speaking per k Acts xv. 2. When therefore Paul verse things, to draw away disciples and Barnabas had no small dissenafter them, v. 36. and when he had tion and disputation with them, thus spoken, he kneeled down, and they determined that Paul and Barprayed with them all. v. 37. And nabas, and certain other of them they all wept fore, and fell upon should go up to Jerusalem unto the Pauls neck, and kissed him. apostles and elders about this que
i Rev. ii. 1. Unto the angel of stion. v. 6. And the apostles and elthe church of Ephesus write, These ders came together for to consider things faith he that holdeth the se- of this matter. v.22. Then it plearven Itars in his right-hand, who ed the apostles and elders, with the walketh in the midst of the seven whole church, to send chosen men golden candlesticks, v. 2. I know of their own company to Antioch, thy works, and thy labour, and thy with Paul and Barnabas, namely patience, and how thou canst not Judas firnamed Barsabas, and Sibear them which are evil; and thou las, chief men among the brethren. hast tried them which say they are v. 23. And wrote letters by them apostles, and are not, and hast found after this manner: The apostles, them liars, v. 3. and halt born, and and elders, and brethren, send haft patience, and for my names greeting unto the brethren, which fake hast laboured, and haft not are of the Gentiles in Antioch, and
other fit persons, when it shall be deemed expedient) are members of thofe assemblies which we call fynodical, where they have a lawful calling thereunto.
Synodical assemblies may lawfully be of several forts, as provincial, nacional and oecumenical.
It is lawful and agreeable to the word of God, that there be a fubordination of congregational, classical, provincial and national assemblies, for the government of the church.
Of Ordination of Ministers.
the head of ordination of ministers is to be cons fidered, either the doctrine of ordination, or the power of its
Touching the Doctrine of Ordination.
of the word, without a lawful calling l.
Ordination is the solemn setting apart of a perfon to some publick church-officen.
Every Syria, and Cilicia.
thing of nought, and the deceit of 1 John iii. 17. Johm answered and their heart. Heb. v. 4. And no said, a man can receive nothing, man taketh this honour unto himexcept it be given hin from heaveri. self, but he that is called of God, Rom. x. 14. How then fhall they as was Aaron. call on him, in whom they have not m 1 Tim. i. 5. For this cause left believed ? and how shall they believe I thee in Crete, that thou shouldft on him, of whom they have not setin order the things that are wantheard? and how shall they hearing and ordain elders in every city, without a preacher? v. 15. And as I had appointed thee. 1 Tim. v. how fhall they preach except they 21. I charge thee before God, and be sent? as it is written, How beau- the Lord Jesus Christ, and the etiful are the feet of them that preach lect angels, that thou observe these the gospel of peace, and bring glad things, without preferring one betidings of good things ? Jer, xiv. 14. fore another, doing nothing by parThen the Lord faid unto me, The tiality: v. 22. Lay hands luddenly prophets prophesie lies in my name, on no man, neither be partaker of I fent them not, neither have I com- other mens fins. Keep thy self pure. manded them, neither spake I unto Num. vni. 10. And thou shalt them? they prophesie unto you a bring the Levites before the Lord, false vision and divination, and a and the children of Ifrael shåll put
Every minister of the word is to be ordained by imposition of hands, and prayer with fasting, by those preaching presbyters, to whom it doth belongo.
It is agreeable to the word of God, and very expedient, that such as are to be ordained ministers, be designed to some particular church, or other ministerial chargep.
He that is to be ordained minister, must be duly qualified, both for life and ministerial abilities, according to the rules of the apostle q.
their hands upon the Levites. t. 11. profelyte of Antioch, v.6. Whom And Aaron shall offer the Levites they had set before the apostles; and before the Lord, for an offering of when they had prayed they laid the children of Israel, that they their hands on them. may execute the service of the Lord,
o 1 Tim. v, 22. Lay hands fudv. 14. Thus shalt thou feparate the denly on no man, neither be parLevites from among the children of taker of other mens fins. Keep thy Israel; and the Levites shall be mine. self pure. Afts xiv. 23. And when v. 19. And I have given the Levites they had ordained them elders in as a gift to Aaron and to his fons, every church, and had prayed with from among the children of Israel, fafting, they commended them to to do the service of the children of the Lord, on whom they believed. Israel, in the tabernacle of the con Acts xiii. 3. And when they had gregation, and to make an atone, fafted and prayed, and laid their ment for the children of Israel; that hands on them, they sent them athere be no plague among the chil- way. dren of Ifrael, when the children of p Acts xiv. 23. See before. Tit. Ifrael come nigh unto the sanctua- i. 5. For this cause left I thee ia ry. v. 22. And after that went the Crete, that thou shouldest set in orLevites in, to do their service in the der the things that are wanting, tabernacle of the congregation, be., and ordain elders in every city, as I fore Aaron and before his fons; as had appointed thee. As xx. 17. the Lord had commanded - Moses And from Miletus he sent to Epheconcerning the Levites, so did they sus, and called the elders of the unto them. A&ts vi. 3. Wherefore church. v. 28. Take heed therebrethren, look ye out ainong you fore unto yourselves, and to all the seven men of honest report, full of flock over the which the Holy Ghof the Holy Ghost, and wisdom, whom hath made you overseers, to feed we may appoint over this business. the church of God, which he hath v. 5. And the saying pleased the purchased with his own blood. whole multitude: and they chose 91 Tim. iii. 2. A bishop thes Stephen a man full of faith and of must be blameless, the husband of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and one wife, vigilant, sober, of good Prochorus, and Nicanor and Ti. behaviour, given to hospitality, apt mon, and Parmenas, and Nicoias a to teach; v. 3. Not given to wine ,
He is to be examined and approved by those by whom he is to be ordained r.
No man is to be ordained a minister for a particular congregation, if they of that congregation can lhew just cause of exception against hims.
Touching the Power of Ordination.
The power of ordering the whole work of ordination is in the whole presbytery, which when it is over more congregations than one, whether those congregations be fixe ed or not fixed, in regard of officers or members, it is indifferent as to the point of ordination v.
It is very requisite that no single congregation, that can conveniently associate, do assume to itself all and fole power in ordination :
no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre, ful word, as he hath been taught, but patient; not a brawler, not co that he may be able by found docvetous; v. 4. One that ruleth well trine, both to exhort, and to conhis own house, having his children vince the gainsayers. in subjection with all gravity; v. 5. r i Tim. iii. 7. Moreover he must (For if a man know not how to rule have a good report of them which his own house, how shall he take are without, left he fall into recare of the church of God?) v.6. proach, and the snare of the devil. Not a novice, left being lifted up. v. 10. And let these also first be with pride, he fall into the condem- proved, then let them use the office nation of the devil. Tit i. 5. For of a deacon, being found blameless. this cause left I thee in Crete, that I Tim. v. 22. Lay hands suddenly thou shouldīt set in order the things on no man, neither be partaker of that are wanting, and ordain elders other mens sins. Keep thy self pure. in every city, as I had appointed si Tim. lii. 2. A bishop then must thee. v. 6. If any man be blameless, be blameless, the husband of one the husband of one wife, having wife, vigilant, fober, of good behafaithful children, not accused of viour, given to hospitality, apt to riot, or unruly. v. 7. For a bishop teach. Tit. i. 7. For a bishop mult must be blameless, as the steward of be blameless, as the steward of God. God; not self-willed, not foon an t'i Tim. iv. 14. Neglect not the gry, not given to wine, no ftriker, gift that is in thee, which was ginot given to filthy lucre; v. 8. But ven thee by prophecy, with the lay. a lover of hospitality, a lover of ing on of the hands of the presbye good men, fober, just, holy, tempe- tery. rate; V. 9. Holding faft the faith ni Tim. iv 14. See in letter i.
0 0 2
1. Because there is no example in scripture, that any angle congregation, which might conveniently associate, did assume to itself all and sole power in ordination: neither is there any rule which may warrant such a practice.
2. Because there is in scripture example of an ordination in a presbytery over divers congregations; as in the church of Jerusalem, where were many congregations, these many congregations were under one presbytery, and this presbytery did ordain.
The preaching presbyters orderly associated, either in cities or neighbouring villages, are those to whom the impofition of hands doth appertain, for those congregations within their bounds respectively. Concerning the Doctrinal Part of Ordination of Ministers.
O man ought to take upon him the office of a mini
ster of the word, without a lawful calling w. .2. Ordination is always to be continued in the church x.
3. Ordination is the solemn setting apart of a person to some publick church officey.
4. Every minister of the word is to be ordained by impofition of hands and prayer, with fasting by these preaching presbyters to whom it doth belong z.
5. The power of ordering the whole work of ordination is in the whole presbytery, which when it is over more congregations than one, whether those congregations be fixed or not fixed, in regard of officers or members, it is indifferent as to the point of ordination a.
6. It is agrecable to the word, and very expedient, that such as are to be ordained ministers, be designed to some particular church, or other ministerial charge b. 7. He that is to be ordained minister, must be duly quali
fied, w See before in letter 1.
z See before in letter o. * See before in letter m.
a See before in letter v. See before in letter
See before in letter p.