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| Of Church-Government, and the several sorts of Assemblies for - the same.

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CHRIST hath instituted a government, and governors
ecclesiastical in the church: to that purpose, the
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.

IT is lawful, and agreeable to the word of God, that the

several assemblies before mentioned have power to convent, and call before them, any person within their several bounds, whom the ecclesiastical business which is before

them doth concern".

tions, prayers, intercessions, and
giving of thanks, be made for all
men. 1 Cor. xiv. 15. What is it
then I will pray with the spirit,
and I will pray with the understand-
ing also: I will sing with the spirit,
and I will sing with the understand-
ing also. Ver. 16. Else, when thou
shalt bless with the spirit, how shall
he that occupieth the room of the
unlearned say Amen at thy giving of
thanks, seeing he understandeth not
what thou sayest? . .
* Mat. xviii. 15. Moreover, if
thy brother shall trespass against
thee, go and tell him his fault
between thee and him alone ; if
he shall hear thee, thou hast gain-
ed thy brother. Ver. 16. But if he
will not hear thee, then take with
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They have power to hear and determine such caus and differences as do orderly come before them.

It is lawful, and agreeable to the word of God, that all the said assemblies have somepowerto dispense church-censures.

Qf Congregational Assemblies, that is, the Meeting of to
ruling Officers of a particular Congregation, for the

Government thereof.

HE ruling officers of a particular congregation halt
power, authoritatively, to call before them any mem.
ber of the congregation, as they shall see just occasion.
To enquire into the knowledge and spiritual estate of the
several members of the congregation.
To admonish and rebuke.
Which three branches are proved by Heb. xiii. 17.
1 Thess. v. 12, 13. Ezek. xxxiv. 4. P. ..!
Authoritative suspension from the Lord's table, of a person
not yet cast out of the church, is agreeable to the scripture:
'irst, Because the ordinance itself must not be profamti
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". And

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there

that which was broken, neitherhart
ye brought again that which wo

that which was lost; but with force
and with cruelty have ye ruled them.
* Mat. vii. 6. Give not that
which is holy unto the dogs, nei.
ther cast ye your pears best
swine, lest they trample them under
their feet, and turn again and
rend you. 2 Thess. iii. 6. Now
we command you, brethren, in the
name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
that ye withdraw yourselves from
every brother that walketh disor.
derly, and not after the tradition
which ye received of us. Wer. o
- As

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& there was power and authority, under the Old Testament, to keep unclean persons from holy things'. * . The like power and authority, by way of analogy, conto tinues under the New Testament. - The ruling officers of a particular congregation have a power authoritatively to suspend from the Lord's table a ... person not yet cast out of the church: First, Because those who have authority to judge of, and admit, such as are fit to receive the sacrament, have o, authority to keep back such as shall be found unworthy. ... Secondly, Because it is an ecclesiastical business of ordionary practice belonging to that congregation, to When congregations are divided and fixed, they need all mutual help one from another, both in regard of their instrinsical weaknesses and mutual dependence, as also in to regard of enemies from without.

o Of Classical Assemblies.

# THE scripture doth hold out a presbytery in a church". o A presbytery consisteth of ministers of the word, and # such other publick officers as are agreeable to and warranted

! o 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. Ver. 15. Yet count o him. not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. 1 Cor. xi. 27. ... Wherefore, whosoever shall eat this t bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the . body and blood of the Lord. See on to the end of the Chaster. Compared with Jude, Ver. 23. And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spot*... ted by the flesh. 1 Tim. v. 22. Lay ... hands suddenly on no man, neither o be partaker of other men's sins; keep 3. thyself pure. ... ." Lev. xiii. 5, And the priest shall o, look on him the seventh day; and, s' *hold, if the plague in his sight be

by

at a stay, and the plague spread
not in the skin; then the priest
shall shut him up seven days more.
Numb. ix. 7. And those men said
unto him, We are defiled by the
dead body of a man ; wherefore
are we kept back, that we may
not offer an offering of the Lord
in his appointed season among the
children of Israel? 2 Chron. xxiii. 19.
And he set the porters at the gates
of the house of the Lord, that none
that was unclean in any thing should
enter in.
* 1 Tim. iv. 14. Neglect not the
gift that is in thee, which was gi-
ven thee by prophecy, with the
laying on of the hands of the pres-
bytery. Acts xv. 2. When there-
fore Paul and Barnabas had no small
dissension and disputation with them,
R b - they

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by the word of God to be church-governors, to join with
the ministers in the government of the church'.
The scripture doth hold forth, that many particular COI.
gregations may be under one presbyterial government.
This proposition is proved by instances:
I. First, Of the church of Jerusalem, which consisted of
more congregations than one, and all these congregations
were under one presbyterial government.

This appeareth thus:

First, The church of Jerusalem consisted of more Col. gregations than one, as is manifest: - - -

1st, By the multitude of believers mentioned in divers; both before the dispersion of the believers there, by mean:

of the persecution"; and also after the dispersion

they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them,

should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.

Ver, 4. 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.
Ver. 6. And the apostles and elders
came together for to consider of this
In latter.
t Rom. xii. 7. Or ministry, let us
wait on our ministering; or he that
teacheth, on teaching ; Ver. 8. Or
he that exhorteth, on exhortation:
he that giveth, let him do it with
simplicity; he that ruleth, with dili-
gence; he that sheweth mercy, with
cheerfulness. I Cor. xii. 28. And
God hath set some in the church;
first, apostles; secondarily, prophets;
thirdly, teachers; after that miracles;
then gifts of healings, helps, govern-
ments, diversities of tongues.
"Acts viii. 1. And Saul was con-
senting unto his death. And at that
time there was a great persecution
against the church which was at Je-

w
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rusalem; and they were also
abroad throughout the o
Judea and Samaria, except."
apostles. Acts i. 15. And in i.
days Peter stood up in the o:
the disciples, and said, (the num
of the names together were *
an hundred and twenty) A* t
Then they that gladly received.
word were baptized: and the i.
day there were added unto .
about three thousand soft Vo
And they continuing dail witho
a.ord in the temple, aid ". 3.
i. from house to hole.” .
ji meat with gladnes” †.
ness of heart, Ver, 47. Praising o
and having favour with all the o
le. And the Lord added o
church daily such as should be *
Acts iv. 4. Howbeit *. ed;
which heard the word believed;

o t

the number of the o: be.

lievers were the
the Lord, multitude".
- Acts wi, 1. -
when the o:
inlie

ltip 1. aro

and women.
those days,
the disciples was m”

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2dly, By the many apostles and other preachers in the dio of Jerusalem. And if there were but one congregation there, then each apostle preached but seldom *; which will not consist with Acts vi. 2. 3dly, The diversity of languages among the believers, mentioned both in the second and sixth chapters of the Acts, doth argue more congregations than one in that church. ; Secondly, All those congregations were under one presbyterial government; because, 1st, They were one churchy.

2dly, The elders of the church are mentioned ".

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Acts ii. 47. Praising God, and having favour with all the people; and the Lord added unto the church daily such as should be saved. Com/ared with Acts v. 11. And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things. Acts xii. 5. Peter therefore was kept in prison : but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. Acts xv. 4. 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. *Acts xi. 30. Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul. Acts xv. 4. 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. Ver. 6. And the apostles and elders came together to consider. of this matter. Ver. 22. Then it pleased the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch, with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren. Acts xxi. 17. And when we were come B b 2 to

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