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Which three branches are proved by Heb. xii. 17. 1 Theff. v. 12. 13. Ezek. xxxiv. 4. p.
Authoritative suspension from the Lord's table of a person qot yet cast out of the church, is agreeable to the Scripture :
First, Because the ordinance itself mult not be profaned.
Secondly, Because we are charged to withdraw from those that walk disorderly.
Thirdly, Because of the great fin and danger, both to him that comes uoworthily, and also to the whole churchg. And there was power and authority, uader the Old Teltament, to keep unclean perions from holy thingsr.
ye shall loose on earth, shall be your pearls before swine, left they loofed in heaven: v. 19. again, I trample them under their feet, and say unto you, That if two of you turn again, and rent you. 2 Theff. Thall agree on earth, as touching iii. 6. Now we command you, breany thing that they shall ask, it thr in the name of our Lord Jethall be done for them of my Fa- fus Christ, that ye withdraw your. ther which is in heaven. 5. 20. felves from every brother that walk. For where two or three are gather. eth disorderly, and not after the ed together in my name, there am tradition which ye received of us. I in the midst of them.
v. 14. and if any man obey got p Heb. xiii. 17. Obey them that our word by this epistle, note that have the rule over you, and submit man, and have no company with yourselves, for they watch for your him, that he may be ashamed, v. fouls, as they that must give account, 15. Yet count him not as an enemy, that they may do it with joy and not but admonith him as a brother. I with grief; for that is unprofitable Cor. xi. 27. Wherefore, whosoever
i Theff. v. 12. and we shall eat this bread, or drink this beseech you, brethren, to know cup of the Lord unworthily, shall them which labour among you, and be guilty of the body and blood of are over you in the Lord, and ad. the Lord. See on to the end of the monish you ; v 13. and to esteem chapter. Compared with Jude, v. them very highls in love for their 23. and others fave with fear, pulworks fake. And be at peace among ling them out of the fire ; bating yourselves. Ezek. xxxiv.
The even the garment spotted by the diseased have ye not strengthened, fesh. 1 Tim. v. 22. Lay hands neither have ye healed that which suddenly oo no man, neither be was sick, neither have ye bound up partaker of other mens fios. Keep that which was broken, neither thyself pure. have ye brought again that which, Lev, xiii. s. And the priest was driven away, aeither have ye shall look on him the seventh day; sought that which was lost: but and behold, if the plague in his with force and with cruelty have ye light be at a stay, and the plague ruled them.
spread not in the kin, then the 9 Mat. vii. 6. Give not that which priest shall shut him up seven days is holy unto the dogs, neither calt more. Numb. ix. 7. and those
The like power and authority, by way of analogy, continues under the New Testament,
The ruling officers of a particular congregation have power authoritatively to luspend 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 facrament, have authority to keep back fuch as fhall be found unworthy.
Secondly, Because it is an ecclesiastical business of ordioary practice belonging to that congregation.
Wheo congregations are divided and fixed, they need all mutual help one from another, both in regard of their intrinsical weaknesses and mutual dependance, as also in regard of enemies from without:
Of Clasical Assemblies.
bytery confifteth of ministers of the word, and such other public officers as are agreeable to and warranted by the word of God, to · be church-governors, to join with the ministers in the government of : the church t.
The scripture doth hold forth, that many particular congregations may be under one presbyterial government.
This proposition is proved by instances;
1. First, of the church of Jerusalem, which consisted of more CORgregations than one, and all these congregations were under one prefbyterial government.
This appeareth thus:
1. First, the church of Jerusalem consisted of more congregations than one, as is manifeft.
men said unto him, We are defiled and Barbabas had oo small diffenti. by the dead body of a man; where on and disputation with them, they fore are we kept back, that we may determined that Paul and Barnanot offer an offering of the Lord in bas and certain other of them should his appointed season, among the go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles children of Israel ? 2 Chron. xxiii. and elders, and they declared all 19. and he see the porters at the things that God had done with gates of the house of the Lord, that them. v. 6. And the apostles and none that was unclean in any thing elders came together for to consider Should enter in.
of this matter. | 1 Tim. iv. 14. Neglect not the + Rom, xii. 7. Or ministry, let us gift that is in thee, which was given wait on our ministering : or he that thee by prophecy, with the laying teacheth, on teaching ; v. 8. Or he on of the hands of the presbytery. that cxhorreth, on exhortation : he When therefore Paul
Aas xv. 2.
Firlt, By the multitude of believers mentioned in divers, both before the dispersion of the believers there, by means of the periecution v. And alto after the difper fion-w.
Secondly, By the many apostles and other preachers in the church of Jerusalem. And if there were but one congregation there, then each apostle preached but feldom x; which will not consist with Acts
Thirdly, The diversity of languages among the believers, mentioned both in the fecond and sixth chapters of the Acts, doth argue more congregations than one 'in that church.
that giveth, let him do it with sim- Howbeit, maný of them which plicity: he that ruleth, with dili- 'heard the word, believed, and the gence : he that the weth mercy, with number of the men was about fre cheerfulness. I Cor. xii, 28 and thousaod, Acts v. 14. and believ. God hath set fome in the church; ers were the more added upto the first apoftles, secondarily prophets, Lord, multitudes both of men and thirdly teachers, after that mi
Atts vi, i and in chose racles, then gifts of healings, days, when the number of the dif. helps, governments, diversities of ciples was multiplied, there arose a tongues.
murmuring of the Grecians against v A&s viii. J. and Saul was con the Hebrews, because their widows senting unto his death And at that were neglected in the daily ministratime there was a great perfecuti. tion. v 7. and the word of God on againit the church which was at increased, and the number of the Jerusalem, and they were all fcat. disciples multiplied in Jerusalem tered abroad throughout the regi: greatly, and a great company of ons of Judea and Samaria, except the priests were obedient to the the apofiles. Acts i. 15. aod in faith thofe days Peter stood up in the W A&ts ix. 31. Then had the midst of the disciples, and laid (the churches rest throughout all Judez number of the names together were and Galilee, and Samaria, and were about an hundred and twenty.) edified, and walking in the fear of A&s ii. 41. Then they that gladly the Lord, and in the comfort of the received his word were baptized; Holy Ghost, were multiplied. Ats and the same day there were added xiii. 24. But the word of God grew unto them about three thoutand and multiplied, A&s xxi. 20. and, fouls. v. 46. and they continuing when they bcard it, they glorified daily with one accord in the temple, the Lord, and said unto him, Thou and breaking bread from house to feelt, brother, how many thousands house, did eat their meat with of Jews there are, which believe gladness, and finglenels of heart, and they are all zealous of the law. v. 47. Prailing God, and having * Acts vi. 2. Then the twelve favour with all the people. And called the multitude of the disciples the Lord added to the church daily unto them, and said, It is not reasuch as should be saved. Acts iv. 4. 1on that we fhould leave the word
2. Secondly, All tho e congregations were under one presbyterial goverment, because, First they were one church y.
Secoadly, The elders of the church are mentioned z.
Thirdly, The apostles did the ordinary acts of presbyters as presbyters in that kirk; which provech a presbyterial church before the dispersion, Acts vii.
Fourthly, The several congregations in Jerusalem being one church, the elders of that church are mentioned as meeting together for acts of government a; which proves that those several congregawions were under one presbyterial government.
And whether thele congregations were fixed, or not fixed, in regard of officers or members, it is also one as to the truth of the proposition.
Nor doth there appear, any material difference betwixr the several congregations in Jerusalem, and the many congregations now in the ordioary condition of the church, as to the point of fixedoels required of officers or members
3. Thirdly, therefore the scripture doth hold forth, that many congregations may be under one presbyterial government.
II. Secondly, By the jalance of the church of Ephesus; for, 1. That there were more congregations than one in the church of
of God, and serve tables.
% Acts xi 30. Which also they y Aets viii. 1. and Saul was con did, and sent it to the elders by the senting unto his death. And at hands of Barnabas and Saul. Acts that time there was a great perse xv. 4. and when they were come cution against the church which was to Jerusalem, they were received of at Jerufalem, and they were all the church, and of the apostles and scattered abroad throughout the re- elders, and they declared all things gions of Judea and Samaria, except that God had done with them. the apostles. Acts ii. 47. Praising 6 and the apoltles and elders came God, and having favour with all together to consider of this matter the people. And the Lord added v. 22. Then it pleased the apostles unto the church daily such as should and elders with the whole church, be faved, compared with Acts v. to send chosen men of their own 1. and great fear came upon all company to Antioch, with Paul and the church, and upon as many as Barnabas, namely Judas firnamed heard these things. A&s xii. 5., Barlabas, and Silas, chief men a. Peter therefore was kept in prison, mong the brethren. Acts xxi. 17. but prayer was made without ceal. and when we were come to Jerusaing of the church unto God for him. lein, the brethren received us gladly. AAs xv. 4. and when they were v. 18. and the day following, Paul received of the church, and of the went in with us unto James, and apostles and elders, and they de- all the elders were present. clared all things that God had done a A&s xi. 30. Which also they
'did, and seot it to the elders by the
Ephesus, appears by Acts xx. 31. b, where is mention of Paul's continuance at Ephelus in preaching for the space of three years; and Acts xix 18, 19, 20, where the 1pecial effect of the word is motioned c; and v. 18. and 47. of the fame chapter, where is a distinction ot Jews and Greeks d; and 1 Cor. xvi, 6. and 9. where is a realon of Paul's stay at Ephesus until Pentecofte; and v. 19. where is mention of a particular church in the houle of Aquila and Priscilla then at Epbelus f, as appear: Acts xviii 19. 24. 26.8. All which laid together doth prove that the multitudes of believers did make more congregations than one in the church of Ephesus.
2. That there were many elders over these many congregations, as
hands of Barnabas ard Saut. Ads word of God and prevailed. xv. 4 and when they were come to d Acts xix, 10. and this continu. Jerusalem, they were received of ed by the space of iwo years : so the church, and of the apostles and that all they which dwelt in Afia elders, and they declared all things heard the word of the Lord Jesus, that God had done with them. both Jews and Greeks.
V 17 and 6. and ihe apostles and elders came this was known to all the Jews and together for to consider of this mat. Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus, and
v. 22. Then it. pleased the fear fell on them all, and the same aposties and elders, with the whole of thi Lord Jefus was magnified. church, to send chosen men of their ei Cor. xvi. 8. But I will tarry own company to Antioch with Paul at Ephesus until Pentecost.
v. 9 and Barnabas, pamely Judas fir. For a great door and effectual is named Barsabas, and Silas, chief opened unto me, and there are mamen among the brethren. Als axi.
ny adversaries, 17. and when they were come to si Cor xvi. 19 The churches Jerusalem, the brethren received of Asia, falute you, Aquila and them glauly. v. 18 and the day Priscilla salute you much in the following, Paul went in with us uns Lord, with the church that is in to James, and all the elders were their house. preient, and fo forward.
g Ads xviii. 19. and he came to b Aets xx. 31. Therefore watch, Ephesus and left them there : buc and remember that by the space of he himself entered in the synagogue, three years, I cealed not to warn, and reasoned with the Jews. V. 24. every one night and day with tears and a certain Jew named Apollos,
Ci Acts six, 18. and many that born at Alexandria, an eloquent man believed, came and confeffed aod and mighty in the feriptures, came sh-wed their deeds. v. 19. Many to Ephesus. v. 26. and he began alio of them which used curious arts, to speak boldly in the fynagogue, brought their books together, and whom when Aquila and Priscilla had burned them before all men : and heard, they took him unto them, they counted the price of them, and and expounded unto him the way found it fifty thoufand pieces of of God more perfectly, Silver. v. 20. So mightily grew the