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respectively to retain and remit sins ; to shut that kingdom against the impenitent, both by the word and censures; and to open it unto penitent sinners, by the ministry of the gospel, and by absolution from ceasures, as occasion shall require.b

M. Church.censures are necessary for the reclaiming and gaining of offending brethren ; for deterring of others from the like offences; for purging out of that leaven which

night infect the whole lump; for vindicating the honour of Christ and the holy profession of the gospel; and for preventing the wrath of God, which might justly fall upon the church, if they should soffer bis.covenant, and the seals thereof, to be profaned by notorious and obstinate offenders.c

IV. For the better attaining of these ends, the officers of the church are to proceed by admonition, suspension from the sacrament of the Lord's Sapper for a season, and by excommunication from the church, according to the naLure of the crine, and demerit of the person.d

II. b Mat. xvi. 19. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, shal be loosed in heaven. Mat. xviii. 17, 18. And, if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church : but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man, and a publican. Verily i say unto you, Wnatsoever ye shall bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven. John xx. 21, 22, 23. Then said Jesus to then again, Peace be unto you : as iny Father hath sent me, even so senj l you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said unto them, receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them: and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. 2 Cor. ii. 6, 7, 8. Sufficient to such a man is this punishinent, which was inflicted of many. So that contrariwise, ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. Wherefore, I beseech you, that you would confirm your love towards him.

III. c (I Cor. v. throughout.) 1 Tim. v. 20. Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also inay fear. Mat. vii. 6. Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rent you. 1 Tim. i. 20. Of whom is Hymencus and Alexander, whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme. (1 Cor. xi. 27 to the end.) With Jude 23. And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garments spotted by the flesh.

IV. d 1 Thess. v. 12. And we beseech you, brethren, to know the which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you. 2 Thess. iii. 6, 14, 15. Now, we command you, brethren, in the namne of our Lord, Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition

Chapter XXXI.

OF SYNODS AND COUNCILS.

For the better government and further edification of the church, there ought to be such assemblies as are commonly called Synods or Councils.a

11. The ministers of Christ, of themselves, and by virtue of their office; or they with other fit persons, upon delegation from their churches, have the exclusive right to appoint, adjourn, or dissolve such Synods or Councils : though, in extraordinary cases, it may be proper for magistrates to desire the calling of a Synod of ministers and other fit persons, to consult and advise with about matters of religion ; and in such cases, it is the duty of churches to comply with their desire.b

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which he received of us. And, if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet, count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. 1 Cor. v. 4, 5, 13. In the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord, Jesus Christ, to deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore, put away from among yourselves that wicked person. Mat. xviii. 171. And, if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man, and a publican. Tit. iii. 10. A man, that is an heretic, after the first and second admonition, reject.

I. a Acts xv. 2, 4, 6. When, therefore, Paul and Barnabas bad no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question. And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them. And the apostles and the elders came together for to consider of this natter.

II. 6 Acts xv. 2, 4, 22, 23, 25. (See in letter a.) Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas, sirnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren. And they wrote letters by them after this manner, The apostles, and elders, and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch, and Syria, and Cilicia. It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you, with our beloved Barnabas and Paul. Isa. xlix. 23. And kings shall be thy. nursing-fathers, and their queens thy nursing-mothers ; they shall

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III. It belongeth to Synods and Councils, ministerially to determine controversies of taith, and cases of conscience; to set down rules and directions for the better ordering of the public worship of God, and government of his church; to receive complaints in cases of mal-administration, and authoritatively lo determine the same : which decrees and determinations, if consonant to the word of God, are to be received with reverence aod submission, not only for their agreement with the word, but also for the power whereby they are made, as being an ordinance of God, appointed thereunto in his word.c

IV. All Synods or Councils, since the apostles' times, whether general or particular, may err, and many have erred; therefore, they are not to be made the rule of faith or practice, but to be used as a help in both.d

V. Syaods and Councils are to handle or conclude nothing but that which is ecclesiastical : and are not to intermeddle with civil affairs, wbich concern the commonwealth, bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet, and thou shalt know that I am the Lord : for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me. 1 Tim. ii. 1, 2. I exhort, therefore, that first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men: for kings, and for all that are in authority ; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. Mat. ii. 4, 5. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judea : for thus it is written by the prophet. Prov. xi. 14. Where no counsel is, the people fall : but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.

III. c Acts xv. 15, 19, 24, 27 to 31. (See in the Bible.) Acts xvi. 4. And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders, which were at Jerusalem. Mat. xviii. 17 to 20. And, if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man, and a publican. Verily, Í say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth, shall be bonnd in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven. Again, I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth, as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father, which is in heaven. For, where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

IV. d Eph. ii, 20. And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone. Acts xvii. 11. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. 1 Cor. ii. 5. That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 2 Cor. i. 24. Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.

Chapter XXXI.

OF SYNODS AND COUNCILS.

For the better government and further edification of the church, there ought to be such assemblies as are commonJy called Synods or Councils.a

11. The ministers of Christ, of themselves, and by virtue of their office; or they with other fit persons, upon delegation from their churches, have the exclusive right to appoint, adjourn, or dissolve such Synods or Councils : though, in extraordinary Cases, it may be proper for magistrates to desire the calling of a Syood of ministers and other fit persons, to consult and advise with about matters of religion ; and in such cases, it is the duty of churches to comply with their desire.b

which he received of us. And, if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no conipany with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet, count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. 1 Cor. v. 4, 5, 13. In the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord, Jesus Christ, to deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore, put away from among yourselves that wicked person. Mat. xviii. 17. And, if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man, and a publican. Tit. iii. 10. A man, that is an heretic, after the first and second admonition, reject. I. a Acts xy.

. 2, 4, 6. When, therefore, Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question. And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them. And the apostles and the elders came together for to consider of this matter.

II. b Acts xv. 2, 4, 22, 23, 25. (See in letter a.) Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas, sirnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren. And they wrote letters by them after this manner, The apostles, and elders, and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch, and Syria, and Cilicia. It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you, with our beloved Barnabas and Paul. Isa. xlix. 23. And kings shall be thy nursing-fathers, and their queens thy nursing-mothers ; they shall

Ill. It belongeth to Synods and Councils, ministerially to determine controversies of faith, and cases of conscience

e; to set down rules and directions for the better ordering of the public worship of God, and government of his church; to receive complaints in cases of mal-administration, and authoritatively lo determine the same : which decrees and determinations, if consonant to the word of God, are to be received with reverence aod submission, not only for their agreement with the word, but also for the power whereby they are made, as being an ordinance of God, appointed thereunto in his word.c

IV. All Synods or Councils, since the apostles' times, whether general or particular, may err, and many bave erred; therefore, they are not to be made the rule of faith or practice, but to be used as a help in both.d

V. Synods and Councils are to handle or conclude nothing but that which is ecclesiastical : and are not to intermeddle with civil affairs, wbich concern the commonwealth, bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet, and thou shalt know that I am the Lord : for they 'shall not be ashamed that wait for me. 1 Tim. ii. 1, 2. I exhort, therefore, that first of all, sựpplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men: for kings, and for all that are in authority ; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. Mat. ii. 4, 5. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judea : for thus it is written by the prophet. Prov. xi. 14. Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.

III. c Acts xv. 15, 19, 24, 27 to 31. (See in the Bible.) Acts xvi. 4. And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders, which were at Jerusalem. Mat. xviii. 17 to 20. And, if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man, and a publican. Verily, Í say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth, shall be bonnd in heaven : and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven. Again, I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth, as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father, which is in heaven. For, where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

IV. d Eph. ii. 20. And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone. Acts xvii. 11. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. 1 Cor. ii. 5. That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 2 Cor. i. 24. Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith yo stand,

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